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2008: Should I support a Libertarian Candiadate?

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posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 06:10 PM
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First off, I need to say that I'm a liberal and I will vote Democrat for the forseeable future. However, I do have a quite a problem with Hillary Clinton. It's not that she's an indepentent, outspoken woman (the reason many conservatives hate her), it's because she's trying to be Republican lite. The whole Grand Theft Auto thing really got to me. One thing I'll never forgive you for is messing with my video games.
Hopefully she won't get the dem nomination in 08 (Go Clark!), but if she does I'm going to have a very, very hard time voting for her.

So, I've been thinking about who else I could vote for. I started looking into the Libertarian Party. I agree with alot of their viewpoints, yet there are some things they support that I just can't get past. Please help me reconcile these issues.

First the issues I agree with them on:
www.lp.org...
-Censorship. Being a liberal librarian I feel very strongly about the principles of intellectual freedom and free flow on information. Libertarians have a strong position on this. The are against censorship and "oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through government censorship, regulation or control of communications media".

-The Internet. Libertarians are against regulation of the internet and government control of ideas.

-Privacy. They oppose the national ID card and support our right to do whatever the hell we want in the privacy of our own home.

-Drugs. Legalize most of them...at least relatively harmless ones like marijuana.

-Open Social policy. They don't worry about victimless acts, are supportive of individualism. They don't believe in imposing one groups morality on everyone else. They seem fairly pro-gay rights as far as I can tell as well.

Now, for an abbreviated version the things that I can't get past. These are the things that would make it almost as difficult to vote for a Libertarian as would be to vote for Hillary Clinton.

-Privitazation of everything. While the government is bad enough, I don't trust private companies, motivated only by profit, to look out for my best interests and those of the country. The libertarian answer to preserving the enviroment is to give federal lands to private companies. I worry about who is going to watch over these companies to ensure that they're not polluting.

-Gun Laws. This is something I can probably overlook, but it's worth mentioning. Rather simple really...Libertarians are against Gun control, I'm for it. Like I said...not a big issue for me.

-Welfare. While i think there needs to be serious reform to avoid abuse, I don't beleive welfare should be completely done away with. While I don't like the idea of a nanny state as advocated by so-called democrat H. Clinton, or a religio-facist plutocracy as advocated by neo-cons, I find the everyone's on their own views of Libertarians disturbing as well. I think there needs to be some saftey net, when someone has a real financial problem. Charity is simply not going to be enough, in my opinion.

-Taxes. This was more of a lack of understanding on my part. If we cut taxes, where is the government going to get it's money from? Then I remembered that Libertarians don't want much of a national government.

That's something I can't agree with. What's the point of having a country if we're just going to be an alliance of city-states? I worry about local governments having too much power as well. They are just as vulnerable to cronyism and corruption as large bureaucracies...even more so in some cases. For example, if local government had the last word, the civil rights movement wouldn't have gotten off it's feet. The local jim crow governments in the south would have been able say "keep them in their place, stay out of our schools, sit down and shut up", and the castrated federal government wouldn't have much power power to do anything about it. My point is that local governments need to be accountable to someone. Same with the national government.

Ok, I've prattled on long enough. I didn't get to half of my points, but I'm going to leave it there.





[edit on 8/15/2005 by Flinx]




posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 06:31 PM
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I'm a registered Republican but I have come to the conclusion that Dem/Rep are both controlled by multinational corps. Their social agenda may look different, but have you seen any real change? Libertarians look like a viable alternative more every day.

I see the liberal/concervative pissin matches here on ATS as entertaining but really just silly exercises in macho posturing. In real life I'd bet most of these tough guy are cuckolds of the first order. Thats why it's so easy to look like a bad a** using the anonimity of the www as a hiding place.

My vote from now on will be based entirely on character [honesty] of the various canidates. This will be very difficult because politicians of all flavors have developed lying to a fine art.



[edit on 15-8-2005 by whaaa]



posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 06:36 PM
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Hmmmm, unrestricted access to Grand Theft Auto for minors versus Grand Theft Auto for everyone in real life.

I'd pass on the dismantling of our infrastructure and return to a feudal mercantile system of capitalist strong men if I were you, but that's just me.



posted on Aug, 15 2005 @ 06:37 PM
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Hmmmm, unrestricted access to Grand Theft Auto for minors versus Grand Theft Auto for everyone in real life.

I'd pass on the dismantling of our infrastructure and return to a feudal mercantile system of capitalist strong men if I were you, but that's just me.



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 06:04 PM
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Eh, well when I was typing my initial post, I realized that Libertarianism and I have irreconcilable differences. There really are less checks on cronyism and exploitive capitalism in this system. There is the fact that I believe human progress leads to larger and larger systems of government rather than a devolution into city-states.



posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 06:12 PM
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prepares to be flamed and called many many nasty things

If you want to support a candidate that will get absolutely nothing done because they wont stand a snowcone's chance in hell of winning, then go for it. The fact of the matter is that in major elections only democrats or republicans win, and nobody else. Granted I think voting in general is a sham most of the time, its even more of a sham when you vote for any party other than the big two.

I respect the LP for giving it an honest try (mainly Micheal Badnarik) to be fair and balanced, but we have to face up to the fact that its just not going to happen here in the US, we have he two main parties and all the others are allowed just to keep the fringe elements happy and quiet thinking they are making a difference.



posted on Sep, 2 2005 @ 12:20 PM
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[QUOTE]If you want to support a candidate that will get absolutely nothing done because they wont stand a snowcone's chance in hell of winning, then go for it. The fact of the matter is that in major elections only democrats or republicans win, and nobody else.[/QUOTE]

That kind of attitude is the reason why only the corrupt parties (republicans and democrats) get into office. The libertarian party CAN win, it is the 3rd largest party in the United States. You are not wasting your vote by voting libertarian, you are voting for the party you want! It is possible for libertarians to get into office, never forget that.

To the topic starter. I encourage you to vote libertarian. It is the only party, imo, that is not corrupt and/or statist. We need limited government more than anything else. We see first hand how corrupt big government has become, ie, the Kennedy Assassination, 9/11, etc. The libertarian party is the only party that I am aware of that wants to re-investigate 9/11, limit government to its constitutional begining, eliminate the Patriot act, end our aggressive foreign policy, and restore freedom to America.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 09:29 PM
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I look with grave skepticism on all 'parties', political, religous, whatever. When humans band together in groups, all rational thought tends to disappear.

I'd say, vote for someone with whom you agree, at least on most things, without regard to the 'party' they claim to represent. Then, at least you will have voted for someone you would want in office. And as xFalconx says, if enough people did this, instead of voting the 'party' line, then some non-Dempublicats would get elected (Assuming the election system is at all honest... a BIG assumption).

I voted the last two prez elections for someone I didn't really want, in an effort to keep Bush out of office. Well, he's there anyway, and now I am living with the knowledge I voted for someone I didn't really want. So vote your concience. Ignore the 'party'.



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 12:50 AM
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I have always said vote your conscience. I personally think that people who vote soley on party lines, suffer from extreme 'my guy' syndrome. This is the syndrome where their 'guy' can do no wrong, and the other guy is completely evil, a fool, or some conglomeration of the two.

This past election I didn't follow my own advice, and now I feel the burden of that decision. It would have been better for me to have voted for the person I really wanted, and felt would do the best job, then to have narrowed my options between the two main candidates.

I never will make that mistake again, even if people tell me I am throwing my vote away. Well guess what? It is poeple like that, that prevent any real change from ever occuring in this country. We are always told that we have a choice in how our country is run; but as long as we can only choose between the lesser of two evils then change will never come.

I have learned that for change to occur it has to start somewhere, and I choose to let that change start from within. If we don't start standing up and voting for what or who we think is right or best, then we have no room to complain when things don't go how we want them to.

So I guess what I am trying to say is: If the best candidate is Liberatarien, vote for them. If the best candidate is Democrat, vote for them. If the best candidate is Republican, vote for them. Or whatever party they may come from. It is up to you to decide, in the end....



posted on Sep, 5 2005 @ 01:01 AM
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No, you should not vote Libertarian. You should vote for this party:

www.constitutionparty.com...

If you find one that is more in line with the original intent of the nation, let me know.



posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 10:23 AM
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Originally posted by Thomas Crowne
No, you should not vote Libertarian. You should vote for this party:

www.constitutionparty.com...

If you find one that is more in line with the original intent of the nation, let me know.


I think there's also the America First Party, and they seem similar to the CP--in fact, they supported Peroutka last fall.

Still, I'm a CP member and I even have a membership card.


What cracked me up was people telling me "A vote for a third party is a vote for ______." Given that there's no real difference, that's really laughable.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 08:23 PM
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Wow, I had completely forgotten about this thread until I looked at the top of the ATS main page. Having the subscribed threads thing up there is a good idea.


Anyway, I do know more about the Constitution party than I do about the Libertarians. I have to say that I don't have much in common with their beliefs though. Actually, I'd say their platforms are as close to opposite mine as I've seen, at least regarding social policy. I'm not much for the whole morality (as defined by them) and religious thing.

Thanks for the recommendation though.



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 02:51 PM
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Don't waste a vote with the Libertarians. They have no idea how to campaign, first off. Second, their platform is shakey at best, it has no moral grounds for its existence.

But if you choose to waste your vote, do so, whether it be for prez or a congressman or what not.



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 04:57 PM
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There used to be an old cynical adage that says "don't vote, it only encourages them"

This is truely how I'm beginning to feel. I'll vote anyway because if you don't vote; you have no right to complain about the sorry state of affairs.

Sad that It's come to this.


I think I'll write in my canidate next time. My GF, One of the few people I can trust anymore. What she lacks in qualifications, she makes up for in character.



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 10:57 PM
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The libertarian bible:

Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do:
The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes
in Our Free Country




If you can espouse the philosophy in that book then reconcile it with the free market economy, you just may be a Libertarian.



posted on Oct, 7 2005 @ 11:52 PM
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Originally posted by Flinx
Eh, well when I was typing my initial post, I realized that Libertarianism and I have irreconcilable differences. There really are less checks on cronyism and exploitive capitalism in this system. There is the fact that I believe human progress leads to larger and larger systems of government rather than a devolution into city-states.


you obviously dont understand as well as you think, a big part of the lp is reducing government to defense and protection against corporate corruption and to protect freedom, not just keeping it as is and letting corporations reign free like you imply.

larger government? you arent serious are you? how will that lead to progress? and devolution? i see this as dangerous thinking on your part.



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 06:52 AM
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I like the idea of voting a philosophy, because I have a philosophy of government, as do many people here (of course, our philosophies may differ substantially). My personal belief is based on the understanding that government-- any and every government -- is based on one rationale: they will take away a portion of your freedom to provide you with a portion of service.

The simplest version of this philosophy is what a guy called Jean-Jacques Rousseau dubbed the "social contract": We make a deal with each other, each of us giving up the “right” to kill and steal stuff from another person, if he gives up the right to do the same to us. This minimalist form of government is best delineated by the Founders, where they said (in the D of I):

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Note how the Founders looked at the purpose of government: to secure rights, not to constrain them. This wasn't surprising; Rousseau was a contemporary of the Founders, and they were very much influenced by his writing.

The maximalist form of government is where the government gives you everything you need and, in return, takes away all your rights. I guess the best examples of such a government would be a quote from Karl Marx in 1874: "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs!"

Now many people would think the Marxist approach is a bit of overkill, especially since the same people who are in charge of giving you whatever you "need" are also the ones who define just what it is you "need" in the first place.

On the other hand, many people (including a good percentage of Americans and Britons) are quite happy with a government that takes away freedoms as long as they can benefit from that government. Interestingly enough, most people tend to want other peoples' freedoms taken away.

Here in America (and I will use American examples, because those are the ones with which I am more familiar) we have traditionally had two main pressure-groups, each differentiated from the other by what freedoms they want to take away.

One group believes that the government should take a large portion of your money and provide everyone with benefits such as subsidized transportation, food, medical care, education, etc. These folks operate under the premise that the government (when it's controlled by them, of course) knows what's good for you and acts accordingly. This group, usually called liberals, tend to not care about the details of your personal life as long as you give them half of your money so they can give it to people who don't earn as much as you do.

The other group believed that the government should not take quite as much money, and don't believe in subsidized benefits quite as much, although they don't seem to mind giving a lot of benefits to companies. This group, usually called conservatives, although tending to give you more freedom in keeping your property, also seem to believe in taking away other freedoms that deal with your personal life, such as your choice to have an abortion, medicate yourself, sleep with or marry someone of the same sex, etc. (Surprisingly, the one personal choice the "conservatives" are in favor of is the one that the "liberals" seem mostly against: the unconstrained ownership of firearms -- but I digress).

In other words, both of these groups, although they trumpet “freedom” are both pretty anti-freedom the only difference between them being the freedoms they want to constrain you from having,

Now what does all this political philosophy stuff have to do with answering your simple question?

Well, if you want to have a big government that takes away a bunch of freedoms because you agree with the principle that you’re basically a stupid person and you need the government to take care of you, then you’d probably feel better voting for the “liberal” or the “conservative” approach; i.e., either the Democrats or the Republicans. Which one? Well, it probably doesn’t make any difference; I suppose you’d want to go with whatever party gave you the most stuff. If, for example, you believe people are too stupid to be making choices about guns, but think that rich people should have their earnings taken away to give to poor people, then you might lean to the Democrats.

On the other hand, if you believed that people should be entitled to keep most of their property and be responsible for their own well-being, and you believe people are too stupid to be making choices about their private life, then you might be more comfortable voting for Republicans.

(Of course, I have to add that, since the Republicans have been in power recently -- from the late 90s for Congress and 2000 for the Executive branch -- they have taken away a lot of freedoms and money themselves, in the guise of their “war on terrorism” -- but that’s the subject for another Off-the-Street rant.)

I wouldn’t vote for the Libertarians at all if you believe that people are stupid, because those people believe that you should be completely responsible for your own life, and that kind of freedom is a pretty tough philosophy for us nowadays. Most Americans (and I don’t know about the Britons) feel that the government needs to take care of them and tell them what to do, and are willing to give up a lot of their freedoms and property to have that kind of government.



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 09:36 AM
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Very eloquent, logical and effectively non-judgmental.

My comments which are likely none of the above...


Originally posted by Off_The_Street
I like the idea of voting a philosophy, because I have a philosophy of government, as do many people here (of course, our philosophies may differ substantially). My personal belief is based on the understanding that government-- any and every government -- is based on one rationale: they will take away a portion of your freedom to provide you with a portion of service.


Philosophers are great. Absolutely essential commentators. Just like the red shirt in every episode of Star Trek that reminds the Captain of the Prime Directive before he breaks it anyway. Some things need to be done.


The simplest version of this philosophy is what a guy called Jean-Jacques Rousseau dubbed the "social contract": We make a deal with each other, each of us giving up the “right” to kill and steal stuff from another person, if he gives up the right to do the same to us
.

I'm going to use eggs and omlettes in reference to this. Then we may boldly go where no man has gone before.


This minimalist form of government is best delineated by the Founders, where they said (in the D of I):

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."


A prime directive of sorts.
And the reasonable agreement that eggs are good, and possibly good enough.


The maximalist form of government is where the government gives you everything you need and, in return, takes away all your rights. I guess the best examples of such a government would be a quote from Karl Marx in 1874: "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs!"


Some people prefer omlettes. With everything.

I pretty much agree with your assesments of the two main parties also, except the assertion that fear of stupidity is the primary motivator for voting those platforms. At least I think that's what you were saying.

Really, many people coming together with a common goal of wanting their omlette a certain way isn't necessarily to be mean to those that like raw eggs. Or even to tell them that omlettes are better and they're just stupid. It's just enough of them get together in a democracy to make reasonable requests.

I totally agree some requests are unreasonable. All the social issues, authoritarian versus civil liberties stuff is totally without merit. But I don't have a problem saying taxes really don't bother me when it comes to doing good things. Of course, that's just me (and quite a few others).

But I can't vote libertarian on a national level because of it. Well, that and the isolationism I perceive. It's a fine philosphy, I just don't think it's practical anymore as a black & white imperative.

Unless this moderate revolution really takes hold either within the LP or the DNC as Dean suggests.



posted on Oct, 8 2005 @ 07:24 PM
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Many thanks for you kudos, Rant; however, I am judgmental, just successful at hiding it. I would like to comment on several of your points:


I pretty much agree with your assessments of the two main parties also, except the assertion that fear of stupidity is the primary motivator for voting those platforms. At least I think that's what you were saying.


Actually what I meant was that it seems to me that assuming hoi polloi are stupid is a baseline assumption of the parties and the people who write their platforms. Consider:

(1) We need a government-sponsored Ponzi scheme to extort you money and put it into a hideously performing Ponzi-scheme (“social security”) because, even though we know that the stock market has historically outperformed social security, most people aren’t bright enough to even put their money aside; or, if they are, are too stupid to know how to invest it properly. This is why we force you to do our plan, or you go to jail.

(2) We have a one-size-fits-all primary and secondary education system which, although it fails the students and their parents, gives great security and longevity to the public school bureaucracy. This, plus the fact that parents are not smart enough to make choices for their own children, is why we do not allow people to take their extorted funds and opt into a school system of their choice.

(3) Indians live on reservations which the US Government runs for them. Individual Indians cannot own their own property, nor can they (or even the tribes as a group) dispose of their property as White people can, like leasing land to a McDonalds or selling property to vacationers -- unless they get permission from the United States Government. You see, Indians just aren’t as smart as White people and can’t be trusted to make those kind of decisions.

I mean, is this arrogant or what?


I totally agree some requests are unreasonable. All the social issues, authoritarian versus civil liberties stuff is totally without merit.


I agree. An adult woman’s body is her own, and if she chooses to procure an abortion or a handgun, it should be no business at all of her parents, husband, or the United States Government. I may think that her actions are morally wrong, but I consider horizontal stripes on a fat person to be morally wrong too; that does not give me the right to deny a fat person the freedom to wear horizontal stripes.

However, Rant, (unlike us) there are people who want to take that woman’s right to procure an abortion or a handgun away because they think that such actions are wrong, and she should think so, too, but since she’s too stupid to agree with them, the will pass laws forcing her to comply with their wishes.


But I don't have a problem saying taxes really don't bother me when it comes to doing good things.


And of course, you and the guy next door might disagree on what comprises a “good thing”. I personally like the idea of tax-supported procurement of multitudes of Boeing aircraft!

In a way, I have to think of my best friend Gary, with whom I have hung out, camped, picked bluegrass with, etc. for almost fifteen years. Gary’s also the Bishop of his Ward, and, as much as he likes the concept of individual freedom and responsibility, simply can’t bring himself to vote libertarian, because there are some things that they are simply flat wrong about, such as not forbidding gays to do gay stuff. Of course, for other people, “flat wrong” may be their stand on the Second Amendment or no tariffs or military non-intervention, or what-have-you.

Translation: ”Of course I’m in favor of freedom -- as long as it’s freedom to do things I approve of!” And, to be perfectly honest, your property is a hallmark of your freedom. If I extort half of your earnings and let you smoke a joint, how free are you really?


But I can't vote libertarian on a national level because of it. Well, that and the isolationism I perceive.


I would hardly call a platform that calls for unrestricted free trade, open borders, and no tariffs as “Isolationism” The libertarians tend to agree with Thomas Jefferson, when he said ”Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Let’s face it, Rant; in my lifetime (sixty years) can you think of any alliance, military or otherwise, which has benefited the United States? With the UN, we’ve supported a pack of yapping third-world mendicants since 1945, and all it bought us was the Korean War, playing Street Cop / Santa Claus to a bunch of whiners, and a raft of unpaid New York City traffic tickets.



posted on Oct, 9 2005 @ 12:32 PM
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Brother Crowne recommends the Constitution Party over the Libertarian Party and directs us to its platform. Since I’m not familiar with the Constitution Party, I figured the least I could do was to look at it and, as I often do, to make whatever comments I thought might further confuse the issue and maintain my reputation as someone who will never use two words when a paragraph will do.

First, it’s very similar -- on the surface -- to the Libertarian Party, in that it calls for a minimizing of government powers and a return of government to policies and outlook similar to the ideas of the founders. But there are some internal inconsistencies, such as calling for maintaining pensions for some government employees (veterans) and removing pensions for other government employees (congresscritters).

Here are some further differences between the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party that I have found:

Sanctity of Life -- The Constitution Party is a no-holds-barred, outlaw-abortion-under-all-conditions group. You can debate whether a fetus/pre-born child is a human being or not (I will not do so, thank you very much), but I notice that the CP calls for more power to the states, it also says that “…abortion may not be declared lawful by any institution of state or local government - legislative, judicial, or executive.” Say what you will about the evils of abortion, the Constitution Party is advocating a strong central government which is (in this case) contrary to both the spirit and letter of the Tenth Amendment (“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”). This is ironic, because in the same section of the Constitution Party’s platform, they inveigh against certain anti-demonstration laws as being ”…unconstitutional expansion of federal power into areas reserved to the states or people by the Tenth Amendment.”

C’mon folks; make up your mind! Are you constitutionalists or not?

Character and Moral Conduct -- This section doesn’t really say anything, but it looks like the Constitution Party would want a moral litmus test for its candidates. Do they see imposing such litmus tests on everyone? Well, no; not in so many words. But I get a bit nervous when I see any group even explore the idea of such a subjective test (what’s “moral” for me may not be “moral” for you) on anyone.

Military -- “We reject the policies and practices that permit women to train for or participate in combat.” Well, okay, if you don’t mind eliminating the Fourteenth Amendment, whish includes these words: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

I mean, this is the “Constitution” party, right?

I suppose I could go over the platform with a finer-toothed comb, but these are the things that jump out at me. The Constitution Party is, like so many of us, in favor of freedom for things they approve of, but not for things that other people might approve of. This is a pleasant, popular (and populist) approach, but it is both, I fear, anti-freedom and anti-Constitutional.


[edit on 9-10-2005 by Off_The_Street]




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