Memo to a frustrated libertarian

So, I was about to write a fairly lengthy response to a text message from a long-time friend and blog reader.  I hate typing on my phone, so I was going to switch to email.  But then I decided I should just make it a blog post.  Here’s your context:

Friend: Since your posts have been more balanced lately, I’ll fill out your hippy liberal survey.  Can you say outlier?

Me: I reject your premise of “balance.”  There’s WAY more awfulness on the right to call out.  That’s an empirical reality.  That said, some stuff on ton the left really bugs me, too, and that gets called out.  Thanks for taking the survey…

Friend: I know you don’t like the term balanced, but it’s one thing to want Trump called out unequivocally and another to turn a blind eye to the hypocrisy and problems with the Democrats.  You’ve done a good job recently addressing some of those.  Kudos!  Trump should go, but I don’t like the alternatives.  In my uneducated opinion, the system is designed to prevent 3rd party candidates from having a chance.  Keep ’em out and split the spoils.

As for the “blind eye” hypocrisy and such.  Sure, there’s problems with Democrats.  But, honestly, when compared to Trump, here’s my analogy.  Trump is a psychopathic kid purposely taking a crap in the swimming pool.  The Democrats are kids violating the squirt gun and splashing rules.  You don’t want the latter to get out of hand and should step in to enforce the rules before things get too bad, but only one of these things leads you to kick out a kid, shut down the pool, and “shock” the water with chemicals.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.  There is quite literally only one “rule of law” political party (with any chance of winning elections) in America right now.  Forget racism, forget crude bigotry, xenophobia, and misogyny (all of which are far too prevalent and excused in today’s GOP).  Right now, to vote for the Republican Party is literally to vote against the rule of law.  Needless to say, that should come before pretty much everything else.

Yeah, it’s frustrating if you really want lower taxes on all your wealth which you 100% deserve because the financial sector is commensurately rewarded with it’s value to society.  Or, you really want less environmental regulations because clean air and water are overrated.  Everybody is fine in China.  Or yes, those damn woke, LGBTQ teenagers are the most important political issue liberals are so annoying.  I get that.  But, right now, the only way at all to hold the present-day obscenely-corrupted Republican party accountable is to vote for Democrats.

I would love it if there were actually a sane, rule-of-law-respecting, not-racist Republican party out there in America right now.  Our democracy would be so much healthier.  Alas, that party does not exist and is basically an on-line only presence loosely categorized by the name of NeverTrumpers.

And, the system was “designed” to reflect the electoral rules in Britain in the 18th century with first-past-the-post voting and single member districts.  We have since learned that this almost inevitably leads to a two-party duopoloy.  But, the reality is that this was “designed” before the existence of political parties as we know them.

For the record, I’m all for a proportional voting system.  But, we’ve got to work with the system we’ve got.  And in this system, the only way to get back to sanity is for the Republican Party as we know it to be thoroughly rejected and burned to the ground.  And, the problems with Democrats?  Yeah, that’s a thing.  But in the present context, it really is kids splashing too much in the shallow end.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Memo to a frustrated libertarian

  1. R. Jenrette says:

    Let’s see. One one side we have as a primary goal the rule of law and on the other side we have a primary goal of attaining wealth, dam the law.
    Wow, that’s a really hard one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: