Who I Support For President? Wednesday, Sep 26 2012 

Election Day is November 6 and I need to decide who I’m going to support for president.

There’s the incumbant, Barack Obama. Should I give him four more years? However, the problem is, I don’t approve of the four years he has already served. His signature law is Obamacare which is a tax increase on the middle class and the government takeover of our healthcare system. Nor do I approve of his administration continuing to enact budgets that increase the national debt by $1 trillion every year he has been office. I also do not approve of his administration’s foreign policy which is an incoherent continuation of the Bush foreign policy. I do not approve of this administration’s social policy which appears to support a nanny state to combat everything from obesity to bullying, nor am I impressed with his very recent, election change of heart on gay marriage. I am also opposed to the continued funding of Planned Parenthood, the crack down on medical marijuana in states where it is legal, and the nationalization/federalization of just about everything. I definitely will not support Barack Obama’s reelection.

Then there is Mitt Romney. The fact of the matter is, either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will be taking the oath of office on January 20, 2013. I could vote for Mitt Romney just to get rid of Barack Obama, but there’s a few problems with that. First of all, I don’t tactically vote anymore. Secondly, I live in Louisiana and this state will go overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney, therefore if I did tactically vote, it would be meaningless. Third, I do not support Mitt Romney’s candidacy. I do not see a coherent stance on foreign policy or any policy for that matter. I certainly do not see a man who is willing to take the bold steps necessary to right our country’s financial ship and to stop spending more money than we take in. Romney scares me when he says he will “repeal and replace” Obamacare because he is the architect of Romneycare, which was the precursor to Obamacare. Romney’s overall record as governor of Massachusetts is left of center and he has been trying to reinvent himself since he left office. The man simply cannot be trusted on anything. Finally, there is a cold arrogance and elitism to Mitt Romney. I believe this is a man who simply despises large segments of the American population. A president of the United States must represent all Americans and I do not believe Mitt Romney can do that.

Which leads to me to the person many of my readers think I’m about to endorse, Gary Johnson. I do agree with Gary Johnson more than any other presidential candidate. However, I cannot support him or vote for him. First of all, I have major disagreements with him on his two major economic issues, the Fair Tax and introducing a balanced budget in his first year. While I do applaud Johnson for actually being serious about addressing our nation’s economic problems, unlike Obama and Romney, I think both policies are the wrong approach. I do not support the Fair Tax because I do not believe it could ever be enacted into law and I do not think you can collect a 30% sales tax without massive tax evasion. What I do support is a flat income tax of around 17% or so. I do not support cutting the budget by 43% in one year because I believe it would cause massive economic disruption and Governor Johnson has not outlined what exactly he will cut. However, I do support getting to a balanced budget by the end of a first term. Finally, I am concerned by the lack of policy details and general policy knowledge by Johnson. We do not need another president who needs on the job training.

Who Do I Support?

In good conscience I cannot support anyone running for President. I will not be voting on November 6th for President. I am undecided on voting in other races.

Some of you may say, “Kevin, by not voting; you can’t complain” or “you’re not doing your civic duty” or “you’re not letting your voice be heard”. I disagree strongly. I feel my choice is letting my voice heard, I do not see a competent candidate running that I can support. I would not be doing my civic duty casting a ballot for someone just because they have the “right” party label after their names. As for “not complaining”, I’ll let the First Amendment take care of that. Besides, I live in Louisiana, a state that Mitt Romney will win overwhelmingly, my puny little vote will have no say anyway. I would be better off buying a Powerball ticket and trying to win it (after all, it is over $200 million as of writing). Finally, on Election Day, I would have been a resident of Louisiana for less than 2 months. I cannot cast an informed ballot in a state in a state I have not lived in over 3 1/2 years. I just don’t feel comfortable doing that.

I do not have a problem with voting in general. I do believe in a liberal democratic republic. I also believe that not voting is casting a ballot in itself. I have consistently urged my readers to vote their conscience, as I am doing in my own way.

Should Libertarians Support Mitt Romney Wednesday, Sep 19 2012 

One of the biggest questions many libertarians are dealing with is who to support for president this year. The Libertarian Party has nominated a somewhat credible candidate, at least by his resume alone, in former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Some others are trying to mount a nationwide write in campaign to try and get Ron Paul elected, even though his campaign is over. While our conservative friends are trying to persuade us to support Mitt Romney. Kurt Schlichter has written one of the more persuasive pieces over on Breitbart’s Big Government .

There is no more time for games, no room for hurt feelings. Ron Paul fans, you need to choose, because not voting for Romney is a vote for Obama. It’s that simple. And you could make the difference.

………

Making no choice in this election is a choice –it’s a choice for a collectivist who will get two or three Supreme Court picks over a man who picked a guy, Paul Ryan, who understands capitalism and its unbreakable link to human freedom. Now, this is a two-way street. Romney and Ryan need to reach out to libertarians over their common ground. Fortunately, there is lots of common ground.

No, the Republican Party is not a libertarian party, but it is the only party with any libertarian element. It’s the only place you have any chance of being heard. And with guys like Rand Paul and the libertarian-friendly Tea Party elements, you can be in the GOP.

Most of that is true. The Republican Party of the two major parties is the one that has a genuine libertarian element. The Democratic Party as seen in its convention is generally hostile to individual liberty.

The Republicans are not libertarians, but at least libertarian-conservatives make up an influential and growing part of the party. There are exactly zero “libertarian-liberals.” Nor can there be; Democrats embrace everything libertarians oppose.

That’s partially true. Libertarian-conservatives (like myself) are growing in influence in the GOP. However, there are left-leaning libertarians. They’re more concerned about social liberty than economic liberty. They will never cast a vote for Mitt Romney.

Finally

The Romney-Ryan camp needs to do its part too; they need to reaffirm their commitment to Constitutional liberty. Freedom needs to be part of the conversation, not just Obama’s appalling record. While they can’t undo the gratuitous insults at the convention, they can make their case to the possibly decisive libertarians.

The reason why many libertarians can’t back Romney right now is that he has not made this argument. He needs to not only articulate a vision for freedom, but a positive one as well. The current argument he’s trying to make with the “makers vs takers” is a negative one that will turn off more people than it engages.

If and when Romney starts to makes the positive argument for freedom, libertarians should back him. Until then, each libertarian should vote their conscience.

The Problem With Mitt Romney Tuesday, Sep 18 2012 

Mitt Romney has found himself in a bit of trouble. He spoke at a fundraiser where he claimed 47% of all Americans did not pay taxes and felt entitled to government handouts. This rhetoric has been seized upon by the Obama campaign and its allies to portray Romney as elitist and out of touch. However the image of Romney the elitist is only a small part of the problem he faces. Romney’s overall problem is that he is running a campaign that ultimately stands for nothing and does a terrible job reaching out to ordinary voters.

Even though the economy is in terrible shape with virtually nonexistent growth and unemployment hovering around 8%, Obama has consistently maintained the lead in both the national polls and in the important battleground states. You would think that in terrible economic conditions any challenger would be running stronger against Obama. However, that just hasn’t been the case this year. The American people may not like Obama’s job performance, but right now they do not see Mitt Romney as a viable alternative. They just don’t like the man. He comes off as cold and arrogant to many voters. Winning votes is essentially a sales job and people only buy things from people they like.

Another reason why the Romney campaign is floundering is because it is a campaign that lacks a vision for this country. Obama’s vision for this country is simple, more government involvement in the lives of each American. Romney’s vision for this country is exactly what again? There has to be more specific policy proposals and most importantly, Romney has to be ready to defend them. Ultimately, there needs to be a positive vision of freedom and prosperity to counter the Obama vision of more government.

The lack of an overall vision is also a part of the reason Romney is struggling among libertarian-leaning voters. Many wise conservatives are waking up to the need to reach out to Ron Paul voters. However, I’m not convinced Romney himself realizes this. At the GOP convention in Tampa last month, Ron Paul was denied a speaking slot and his delegates were treated badly. The perception among libertarian-leaning voters is that Romney is just a dull, progressive technocrat and does not offer much of a difference from Obama. If Romney wants the energy and passion that his campaign needs and that the Ron Paul supporters can provide, he needs to start articulating the positive vision of freedom that can inspire many of them to support him.

A lot can happen between now and November 6. However if the election was held today, Romney would lose to Obama. Romney is running out of time to outline the vision he needs to win. Good campaigns don’t whine about the media coverage, they go out and own the narrative.

The Embassy Attacks Are A Clash of Values Wednesday, Sep 12 2012 

Yesterday’s tragic and hainous attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya have refocused the spotlight on 11 years of endless war against radical Islam. The attack was preceded by the storming of the US Embassy in Egypt the day before. The attacks were apparently motivated by an anti-Muslim film that has been promoted by the Koran burning pastor Terry Jones. Predictably from interventionists all across the political spectrum, there have been calls for a military response and the phrase “act of war” has been flying around the Internet all day. Meanwhile, the Libyan government has promised to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice. While there is absolutely nothing that can justify the attacks in Egypt and Libya, we as Americans often forget that not everyone else around the world shares our liberal, tolerant values.

The concepts of freedom of religion and free speech are mostly unheard of in Egypt and Libya. Both nations’ governments may claim to respect both, but they are restricted in practice. Egypt has a blasphemy law that is often used to crack down on religious minorities for example. Libya, since the fall of Gaddafi, has enacted its own restrictions on freedom of speech and religion. Both nations are functioning democracies on paper and both have just recently had free and fair elections. However, neither nation is a liberal democracy that respects the rights of minorities. Unfortunately, since both nations are democracies, we have to conclue that the hostility to tolerance and liberty is pervasive among the population.

The fact of the matter is, liberal democracy, tolerance, and liberty itself are not the historical norm. Most states in history were and are authoritarian and/or totalitarian to a degree. Nor are most people around the world secular minded like Americans and most Westerners are. Most people around the world are very devout and fervent about their religious beliefs and yes, they often to do not treat non-believers too well. Finally, most people around the world just do not understand the concept of “live and let live”, which is a basic fundamental tenet of a free society. The question is, how can American foreign policy recogonize and deal with this reality?

US foreign policy should be based solely on advancing the national interests of the United States. It should not be about spreading our vision of democracy to people who have no concept of it. The illegal adventure in Libya last year was a massive foreign policy blunder. It helped promote the rise of radical Islam in North Africa, it demonstrated to the world that any agreement with the United States on nuclear non-proliferation was not worth paper it was printed on (remember, Gaddafi made a deal to end his nuclear program in exchange for not being attacked by the US), and it also ensured that Russia and China will never cooperate again with the US at the UN. Most importantly, there was no vital US national security interest that was served by the removal of Gaddafi from power. We saw the results of this misguided Wilsonianism yesterday.

US foreign policy should also based on defending our values as a nation such free speech and liberty when they are threatened, as they were by these mobs. Any calls to prosecute or censor Terry Jones for his film should be resisted, because even the most disgusting among us have the right to speak freely. Finally, we must demand that the Libyan government follow through on its promises to bring these murderers to justice.

We are going to continue to have these clashes in the Middle East because ultimately our liberal values clash with their traditional Islamic values. It’s just the way it is. It would be best for everyone involved for us to diminish our involvement with that part of the world and just let them stew in their own barbarism.

The Chicago Teachers’ Union’s War On Children Monday, Sep 10 2012 

Today, the Chicago Teachers’ Union has gone on strike after rejecting a proposed pay raise.

The union that represents nearly 30,000 teachers and support staff in the nation’s third-largest school district called the strike after negotiators failed to reach a contract agreement with school administrators despite eight months of talks.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said teachers were harming Chicago’s children by striking.

“This is, in my view, a strike of choice, and it’s the wrong choice for our children,” he said. “Stay at the table. Finish it for our children.”

He said negotiators had resolved all but two issues — teacher evaluations and provisions dealing with jobs for laid-off teachers.

However, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said teachers had no choice but to strike, despite “intense but productive” bargaining sessions.

Basically Chicago government school teachers are holding the city hostage until their demands are met. They’re demanding more pay, more job security, and less accountability. It is not about improving the quality of education or the lives of their students. It is about plundering the taxpayers of the city of Chicago.

Just what are the “successes” of the status quo in Chicago?

The coverage of the strike has obscured some basic facts. The money has continued to pour into Chicago’s failing public schools in recent years. Chicago teachers have the highest average salary of any city at $76,000 a year before benefits. The average family in the city only earns $47,000 a year. Yet the teachers rejected a 16 percent salary increase over four years at a time when most families are not getting any raises or are looking for work.

The city is being bled dry by the exorbitant benefits packages negotiated by previous elected officials. Teachers pay only 3 percent of their health-care costs and out of every new dollar set aside for public education in Illinois in the last five years, a full 71 cents has gone to teacher retirement costs.

But beyond the dollars, the fact is that Chicago schools need a fundamental shakeup — which of course the union is resisting. It is calling for changes in the teacher-evaluation system it just negotiated by making student performance less important.

Small wonder. Just 15 percent of fourth graders are proficient in reading and only 56 percent of students who enter their freshman year of high school wind up graduating.

What Chicago’s government schools need are true reform, not pay increases and job security for terrible teachers.

First thing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel needs to do is fire every single striking teacher. This will send the immediate message that strikes will not be tolerated.

Secondly, institute a merit pay plan that rewards good performance in the classroom. At the same time, there should be a plan developed to get rid of poorly performing teachers.

Finally, the Chicago School District needs some competition. A school choice plan, either vouchers or a tax credit program, needs to be developed. This will force government schools to compete for students and their money. This will result in higher test scores and better educated students.

Eva Longoria’s Arrogance Thursday, Sep 6 2012 

It seems the Democrat party just doesn’t have a whole lot to run on this year. Their convention this week has been either a big rally for the mythical “War on Women”/ a celebration of abortion and a “we hate rich people”* fest. After all, the only alternative to this farce is to actually talk about their record. But, that’s probably not a good idea for Team Obama given the high unemployment, a $16 trillion debt, high energy prices, an unpopular healthcare plan, etc. ad nauseum. The Obama-Biden record is one of failure across the board, therefore they have to rely on distractions like these.

One of the pretty faces chosen to deliver the class warfare message is Eva Longoria of Desperate Housewives fame.

Actress Eva Longoria doesn’t need to take a break — a tax break, that is.

“Mitt Romney would raise taxes on middle-class families to cut his own — and mine,” Longoria, best known for her role on the TV show “Desperate Housewives,” said Thursday in a speech at the Democratic National Convention. “And that’s not who we are as a nation, and let me tell you why: because the Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy’s flipping burgers — she needed a tax break. But the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not.”

First of all, the claim that Mitt Romney will raise taxes on the middle class to cut taxes for the rich is not true. Secondly, if Eva Longoria does not want her tax cut, she is more than welcome to give that money back to the Treasury. Third, who does Eva Longoria create jobs? A hint for her, it’s not the person at Wendy’s flipping burgers.

Who the hell does Eva Longoria think she is to tell any American whether or not they “need” a tax cut!? It’s our money in the first damn place.

*They only hate rich people who don’t donate to Obama-Biden or the Democrat Party. Some could call the process by which some rich people donate to Democrats as “paying their protection money”. It works just like a good old-fashioned mafia shakedown.

Sandra Fluke’s War On Reality Wednesday, Sep 5 2012 

Media darling and left-wing feminist activist Sandra Fluke is yet again in the news. She gave an interview to some CNN program called “Starting Point” that nobody watches, just like the rest of the programming on CNN but I digress. Ms. Fluke had some choice words for Republicans.

“I talk to women across the country, they really do feel like this is a shift,” said Sandra Fluke.

Sandra Fluke, who rose to national prominence when she was attacked by Rush Limbaugh following her testimony in favor of increased contraception access, said Wednesday that many women personally feel “they’re under attack” from GOP policies.

“When you look at the facts, quantitatively, there have been a record number of bills in the House to limit reproductive health. … Women feel that. I talk to women across the country, they really do feel like this is a shift, and not in their favor,” Fluke said on CNN’s “Starting Point.”

So once again in the mind of Sandra Fluke and other left-wing feminists, women are nothing more than vaginas and uteruses. The only issues that women care about are abortion and birth control in their minds. Something tells me that not necessarily true. Women, just like men, I’m sure care more about whether or not they will have a job in the failed Obama economy for starters. This whole “war on women” is a distraction from the real issues invented by the Democrat Party and their allies in the media and the feminist movement.

Finally, it’s an insult to say that you must support abortion in order to be pro-woman. That’s just simply not true. There are many pro-life feminists out there. Supporting women’s equality and women’s rights is a lot more than just supporting abortion or dressing up as a giant vagina.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Sandra Fluke interview without her whining about the criticisms about her.

The former Georgetown Law student said it was “fair” to say critics were waging a war on her personally.

“Certainly you’ve been under attack, so it’s certainly fair to say there has been a war on you from some people,” asked CNN host Soledad O’Brien.

“That’s probably fair,” responded Fluke.

Fluke is slated to speak Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Previewing her speech, Fluke said she would look to draw the distinction between President Obama’s record on women’s issues and that of his Republican opponents, presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

“Talk about what kind of policies for women Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have stood for, and what the president has stood for on issues like fair pay, access to reproductive healthcare, violence on women,” Fluke said.

Sandra Fluke is no longer just an average person advocating an issue. She’s now an operative of the Democrat Party and someone in the public eye. She really needs to quit whining about what people say about her. This is politics, people say nasty things about their opponents all the time. Ms. Fluke either needs to learn to let the attacks roll off of her or get out of the public eye.

Besides, I thought feminism was about gender equality. Part of that gender equality is being able to take criticism and yes, even personal attacks.

We need more real feminism that pushes for strong, independent women instead of the government dependence that the Sandra Fluke’s of the world promote.

Is Voting Third Party Really A Vote For Barack Obama? Monday, Sep 3 2012 

With the 2012 presidential election expected to be close, a lot of attention is being focused on third party candidates. One candidate who has really received a lot of attention as a “spoiler” is Libertarian Party presidential candidate and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Republicans appear to be so worried about Johnson that they have been accused of trying to deny him access to the ballot in some states. The perception is that voters who vote for Gary Johnson would normally instead vote for Mitt Romney and therefore split the anti-Obama vote. However, I’m not sure this is necessarily true. I’m inclined to think that a vote for a candidate is a vote for that candidate, not a vote for or against someone else.

Not every vote that Gary Johnson will receive would have necessarily gone to Mitt Romney. For instance, I know one young lady for example who is a relatively recent convert to libertarianism for whom if Gary Johnson was not in the race, would be voting for Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. The main reason why is because she is more concerned about social issues than fiscal issues. She’s also sympathetic to the Occupy movement and is genuinely horrified by the Rick Santorum types in the GOP. She is not alone in that regard. Other likely Gary Johnson voters are former Obama supporters who are disillusioned by Dear Ruler’s change of heart on war and civil liberties and are therefore supporting the most high profile anti-war and pro-civil liberties candidate. Many other Gary Johnson voters are libertarian activists who would not be voting if the Libertarian Party was not fielding a candidate. I think that many Republicans are wrong when they believe that Libertarian Party voters would necessarily migrate to the GOP if it went away tomorrow.

Also, I have a problem with the belief that votes automatically belong to a certain party or candidate. In a democratic republic, it is the job of politicians and political parties to earn the votes they receive. If a bloc or group of voters are automatically assumed to belong to one political party or another, that demographic can and will be taken advantage of because they are not being competed for. Excellent examples of this are blacks in the Democratic Party and evangelical Christians in the Republican Party. The role third parties play are that they increase competition and make both major parties more responsive to more voters. They also address issues that are not addressed by the major parties. Most people who vote for third parties are voting for the third party candidates, not so much against the two major parties.

While I do think that voting for Gary Johnson or any other third party is a vote for that candidate, I personally am not inclined to make that choice for myself. Gary Johnson appears to be focused on social issues such as gay marriage and drug legalization, that I’m just not interested in on a national level. Johnson’s position on balancing the Federal budget I believe is not only realistic, but would be economically disastrous. I believe that the Fair Tax is a stupid idea to be perfectly blunt. Finally, I honestly don’t think Gary Johnson is that well-versed or knowledgeable when it comes to foreign policy.

Third parties are also not the best way to operate in the American political system. The vast majority of American political elections are “first past the post” which is the candidate that receives the most votes, wins. Any candidate who runs under the banner of a third party is truly not utilizing the American political system wisely to push for change. Given the winner take all aspect of American politics, there is no formal coalition building between political parties are there are in other countries. Instead both major political parties are coalitions in themselves. The best route for liberty activists to go is to work within the Republican Party.

My advice is still the same as it was earlier this year, vote your conscience. Vote for the guy you believe would be the best candidate for the job. Votes do not belong to any political party or candidate, they belong to you and you alone as a voter. Voters should do their research on the candidates, their records, and their platforms and give their votes to the candidate that best reflects their values and interests. However, it may not be the best way to affect political change.

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