Guest MINDSETTER™ Jeff Scott: The Republican Guide to the Liberty Vote
Friday, November 16, 2012
I'm not a politician or a party operative. I'm not a talking head on television or a host on talk radio. I'm a libertarian, a voter, an average concerned American attempting to appeal to your common sense. I do not claim to speak for the whole of a movement. What I do claim is I am not alone. Not everyone believes your party is capable of change and should be ignored and abandoned because of this. I believe your party has changed before which necessarily implies change is possible.
This first installment of The Republican Guide To The Liberty Vote will be followed by four others, focusing on Economy, Civil Liberties, Foreign Policy, and Philosophy. This first addition is meant to begin an adult conversation, an uncomfortable one, and not just for you.
There are plenty on "my side" who will surely read this with contempt and disgust. Perhaps I should begin by expressing a premise. I could not care less should the Republican Party fall further into obscurity. The results of the 2012 elections did not depress, upset, or anger me. I didn't care. My only concern is liberty and free market economics, both having found no sanctuary in either major party. If Republicans are capable of change, willing to reevaluate, and approach government and elections in a different way, I find that as mutually beneficial. In my opinion, attacking an enemy from multiple directions is preferable to attacking from one direction; third party movements and the Republican party are two directions which I support. Those who have worked to make government as intrusive and massive as it is today did not do so by attacking from one direction, and one of those has included infiltrating the Republican Party with the Progressive cancer.
The first step to self-improvement is admitting you have a problem. The Republican Party has many problems but above all else, you continue to nominate lackluster Progressive Republicans for Presidential elections. Your potential voters weren't exactly excited about John McCain, and even he received more votes than your most recent candidate, Mitt Romney. What makes this practice worse is the act of selling us on the idea that these candidates are Conservatives. And, right on cue, many in the mainstream media of the GOP began to admit that which we all knew to be true the day after Obama won re-election: Mitt Romney wasn't exactly Conservative. Not only do you hand us a candidate we do not like after a primary which was all about "anyone but Romney", you admit lying about how Conservative he is during an election all about "anyone but Obama."
This leads to yet another severely flawed election strategy. Your party loyalists have no problem voting against someone rather than for something, but we do, and it's apparent you aren't making progress. Libertarians are one of the fastest growing groups in American politics, if not the fastest. They also comprise of a great portion of the vaunted youth vote whom the Republican Party hasn't been able to relate. Not only did you demonize and marginalize one of our candidates of choice, Ron Paul, you mistreated his supporters as well as other grassroots movements during the primary process and the Republican National Convention, including pushing through rule changes intended to remove future influence of the liberty movement and the tea party movement against the will of your own voters. To add insult to injury, your best argument for the liberty movement to fall in line and support the Republican nominee was that a vote for anyone else is a vote for Obama and we would be responsible for his re-election. A guilt trip is not a successful campaign strategy.
Another argument was to say those in the liberty movement, Ron Paul supporters specifically, are incapable of compromise. There is some truth to that argument. Personally, I am not willing to compromise on those issues that are most important to me. Others, I am willing to do so to a certain extent. A compromise to me, generally, is voting for a Conservative Republican, but it is not voting for a Progressive Republican. That is surrender, not compromise.
Putting aside mistreatment and the general attitude toward the liberty movement from the Republican Party, the Romney campaign offered nothing to entice someone like myself to consider supporting his candidacy in terms of policy. We aren't typical voters. We research things like voting records. When we hear things on the campaign trail, we check it out. For example, when claims are made about a proposed budget, we do not accept those claims as fact. We actually take the time to go over the budget numbers, read articles in review of the budget, and come to our own conclusions on what is fact or fiction. When we read about cuts in spending, we do not accept that baseline budgeting tricks are actual cuts. We recognize that increases in spending overall is, indeed, an increase in spending.
The Republican Party would do well in knowing that most of us actually believe our country is on the verge of collapse. This is not just an advantageous talking point intended to frighten voters and demonize Obama and the Democrat Party. We have been on a certain path for several decades and no one party or person his exclusively to blame. If you are interested in expanding your party and winning elections again, we expect candidates who practice what they preach. We expect candidates who are fluent in free market economics, speaks passionately about liberty, and do not make comments suspiciously similar to the likes of Paul Krugman at the New York Times.