Tag Archives: Voting

Can a Voluntaryist Vote?

voting_stations

This presidential election has found me pensive on the matter of voting. There is something of a debate within voluntaryism as to whether voting is an immoral activity, or one strategy to be used in the fight for liberty. The anti-voters claim that voting is “supporting the system” and provides legitimacy to The State. The pro-voters assert that voting for whatever policy or candidate that results in the least amount of aggression is a positive (although not very effective) way of bringing about a more free world.

The most serious objection to voting is that it qualifies as an act of aggression. The reason the objectors believe this is that voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil, and that voting is authorizing immoral and horrible government power. This is patently false because the government exists, whether people vote or not! The State is just giving it’s slaves the option to choose between evils — it will force evil on the populace even if no one votes! If you have an option to vote on a ballot that  will legalize marijuana even if with high taxes and regulations, that clearly isn’t authorizing aggression (which is impossible by definition), but only a selection for the reduction of government power. The same would go for voting for a Libertarian candidate, voting for a reduction in taxation, voting to reduce regulations, etc., etc.

The far more convincing argument against voting is the one which states that voting is a complete waste of time, is irrational behavior, and is focused more on exercising your “civic duty” and partaking in the sacraments of the State than it is on achieving libertarian goals. Notice that this is not so much about the morality of voting as it is about the effectiveness or strategic value of doing so.  While it is absolutely true that a person has a greater chance of getting into a fatal car accident on the way to the booth than influencing the outcome, voting is still a way of reducing government power. Even if the odds are small that you will affect just a little amount of good, why wouldn’t you take advantage of every opportunity to oppose the State and minimize the amount of aggression in the world? After all, filling out an absentee ballot is positively easy and takes virtually no time or hassle — you’re not even  herded into a little enclosure or made to stand in line!

Then there is the argument from those concerned with libertarian strategy that voting results in greater perceived legitimacy. However, voter turnout doesn’t have anything to do with “legitimacy”, and no one really cares how many people voted or pays any attention to those numbers, they show up to the polls because they’re passionate about what’s being voted on, not because of perceived legitimacy! I think the results of a vote matter more to people than which people didn’t vote (or why). If a Libertarian candidate gets elected, doesn’t that expose the libertarian philosophy to a large number of people, as opposed to only having the Republicans and Democrats in office? Doesn’t a Libertarian or a libertarian (non-Libertarian Party libertarian) getting lots of votes gather interest in what it is that they stand for? Besides, these people/ballot measure getting elected/passed really do make a difference – all those states that passed marijuana legalization measures are perfect examples of libertarian voting making a freer society.

In conclusion, voting is perfectly moral, doesn’t (necessarily) support the State, and can even be a somewhat effective tool to combat it. As a voluntaryist you should be doing everything you can to make a voluntary society — so go ahead, register as a Libertarian and vote without feeling like you’re doing something wrong! And, in case you were wondering, I supported Gary Johnson in the election, with Donald Trump ranking second on my preference scale, Jill Stein third, and Killary Clinton ranking last.

If you enjoy this content make sure to upvote and follow me on Steemit.

Which Candidate to Root For?

     In the 2016 presidential race we are faced with yet another election in which all who are running are statists. The only question that needs to be answered is this: who is the most libertarian, or the least worst libertarian. Due to the nature of the presidency, and the deadly and destructive effects of an interventionist foreign policy, the primary focus when determining who would be the best president is on having a non-interventionist foreign policy, or at least the most non-interventionist foreign policy, as explained in this article.

     In the Republican Party, we have Donald Trump. Trump most likely won’t go to war against Russia and he says that he could get along with Putin and doesn’t want to defend Ukraine, yet wants to pick a fight with China, calling them an “enemy” and says he wants to “get tough with China”. Trump has said that he wants to “bomb the sh*t out of ISIS”, but at other times implied that the US military should leave it to Russia to fight ISIS. Trump has said that he doesn’t want to get “bogged down” in the Middle East, and that the US shouldn’t support rebel groups in the Middle East, but wants to provide financial assistance for the creation of a “safe zone” in Syria and have a closer alliance with Israel. When asked “Would you pull out of what we’re doing in Syria now?” Trump responded with “no, I’d sit back.” Trump is also supportive of sanctions against Iran and China, which could cause blowback in the form of wars and terrorism. Trump may support some kind of intervention against North Korea – this is particularly dangerous because North Korea has expressed a willingness to use nuclear weapons. Trump has said that it would be better to have strongmen in power than chaos in the Middle East. He’s said a lot of good things on foreign policy, but he’s also said a lot of bad things as well. Many times he contradicts himself.

     In the Democratic Party, there’s Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is the worst serious candidate running. I don’t think there is a country on earth that she doesn’t support intervening in to spread American goodness – while inciting blowback, bankrupting our country, and causing disgusting amounts of death and destruction. Hillary is responsible for the catastrophe in Libya – we know this for sure because of her released e-mails. Libya is now in total chaos, with ISIS and Al-Qaeda taking over after they were armed by the USG(United States government) to overthrow Moammar Gaddafi, the (former) ruler of Libya. Clinton strongly supports one world government, and has been an advocate for the United Nations and voted for the expansion of NATO. She wants the USG to spend billions in foreign aid to third-world countries, and wants the USG to aggressively intervene in other countries for “human rights” including possibly China and definitely Russia. Hillary supports the USG establishing “safe zones” in Syria, thinks that the USG should pay for Israel’s military, thinks that the US showed to much restraint toward Iran’s former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection in 2009, said that we abandoned support for Egypt’s head of the secret torture police, Hosni Mubarak, to be ruler of Egypt, and wants to fight Russian forces in Syria. Hillary Clinton is an imperialist and a globalist, is the candidate that is most likely to get America into a World War, and is one of the greatest threats to America. Bernie Sanders is better than both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, though is probably the worst on domestic policy. Bernie Sanders supports “humanitarian” interventions, like sanctions against Burma, Iran, Russia, possibly China, and, back in the 90’s, supported the sanctions in Iraq that resulted in the deaths of half a million children. Sanders generally does not support war but does support sanctions if diplomacy doesn’t work, and supports war if sanctions aren’t effective at accomplishing his objectives. He was against the war in Iraq, and wanted to end the Afghanistan war soon after it started, but supported the Kosovo war and supports the airstrikes in Syria. Bernie is supportive of massive amounts of foreign aid, and the UN. Bernie Sanders says that war should be a last resort, and is against the use of torture. Overall, Bernie Sanders would be less hawkish than Hillary or Trump.

      In the Libertarian Party, the presidential candidate is Gary Johnson. Johnson has said that he wants to cut military spending – something that the prospective nominees of the other parties want to do the opposite of. Johnson wants to eliminate foreign aid, with the exception of aid that supports “American interests,” a position better than Donald Trump’s, which is to reduce foreign aid. He is generally against war, but is not against humanitarian wars and interventions in severe cases of rights violations in other countries (which is not libertarian). Although Johnson wants to end the (still ongoing) Afghanistan war and all further military interventions in Afghanistan, he has stated that he would not be opposed to having an American military base open there. He seems to be against using drone warfare at the present time, but not on principle, saying “I would want leave all options on the table.” He says that there are no current threats to the United States, but wants the USG to have a military presence in the Middle East, but was unclear as to what that would mean; I’m guessing from his statements that Johnson wants US bases that the official governments have allowed in the Middle East to fight terrorists. Gary Johnson opposed the USG’s interventions in Libya, but supports military attacks against ISIS. His support for (some) intervention is strange coming from a man who recognizes blowback as a serious phenomenon. Gary says that he wants to shut down military bases in Europe and in the Far East. Gary Johnson is hardly a libertarian, but his foreign policy and desire to cut the military budget is miles better than Trump’s, Clinton’s, or Sander’s because he (seems to) only supports wars and foreign aid to fight terrorist groups – not to remake other countries by backing rebel groups and regime changes.

      In the end, Donald Trump’s and Bernie Sander’s foreign policies are approximately equal, Hillary Clinton’s is the worst, and Gary Johnson’s is better than any of them. Therefore, libertarians should support Gary Johnson. I suggest that all my readership make a Facebook post, like Johnson’s page, tweet in favor of Gary Johnson, and perhaps get yard signs and a Gary Johnson 2016 t-shirt – anything in order to get the most libertarian candidate there is recognized. This election has some of the most polarizing candidates in the history of the United States, which provides a unique opportunity to get the LP (and Gary Johnson) support, with one poll saying that about 55% of voters would be both unhappy with a Trump-Clinton race, and would be willing to vote for a third party candidate. If Gary Johnson wins, or even gets a large percentage of votes, more people will discover libertarianism, and there will be less foreign interventionism.

Sources and Further Reading

OnTheIssues: Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy

OnTheIssues: Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy

The Daily Caller: Gary Johnson’s Strange Foreign Policy

A Libertarian Future: Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Solution to ISIS

Reason Magazine: Gary Johnson Interview

Gary Johnson – ISIS is Today’s Nazi Facism

OnTheIssues: Bernie Sander’s Foreign Policy

Bernie Sander’s Campaign Website: War and Peace

An Anarcho-Capitalist’s Case for Gary Johnson 2016