Libertarians for Dean

18 Minute Gap also pointed me to this Reason editorial by Libertarian Julian Sanchez. Julian is starting to realize something:

Perhaps it’s time for libertarians to stop getting starry-eyed over the candidates who write us the prettiest love poems and begin comparing policy outcomes.

And, unlike most dedicated Greens I see, Julian (who is a dedicated Libertarian) seems to be aware of the world-as-it-is:

Because of our first-past-the-post, winner-take-all voting system, the reality is that Ds and Rs are going to be the only live contenders for the foreseeable future. When libertarians as a group defect from the GOP to the Democrats (or vice-versa), our threat power is effectively doubled: each of us counts both as a vote lost to one candidate and a vote gained for the other. In close elections, a willingness to coalition jump may make the libertarian swing vote enough of a prize that candidates become, at the least, afraid of alienating us too severely.

So here’s my offer to Libertarians: you’ve tried the Republicans and that clearly isn’t working out, so give the other side a try (and bring your Libertarian friends with you). Here’s what you’ll get in exchange:

  1. We’ll let you sleep with whoever you want to.
  2. We won’t force you to pray or otherwise interfere with your private religion.
  3. We won’t force you to pay for other people’s religious choices.
  4. We still won’t let you smoke pot on the public square, but Democrats generally support decriminalization. And we’ll do all we can to promote rehabilitation over incarceration. Soft on the drug war remains a damning indictment so there’s not much more we can do. Yet.
  5. We won’t start unilateral wars without evidence of a real threat.
  6. We won’t spend as much of your money, though still more than you would like.
  7. For most Libertarians, those making roughly $100k or less, we’ll tax you either no more, or less than the Republicans will.
  8. We will generally support free trade, or at least do so more often than Republicans.
  9. As you point out, we will–perhaps surprisingly–run a smaller government and regulate business activities less than do Republicans.

I’m probably missing a few more, but this list is a pretty good starting point. Pass it on.


UPDATE: Here are two more from the comments that are important enough to be in the post proper:

10. We won’t interfere with your reproductive rights and choices.

11. Despite what you might think, we really won’t take your guns away (possible exception: if you are a criminal).