October 26, 2004

Debating Badnarik

Radley Balko explains why Badnarik is unacceptable:

Given how close this election is, even if Badnarik does worse than Harry Browne did in 2000, there's a small chance that the LP could draw enough votes in a few states to tilt the outcome one way or the other. Should that happen, both Badnarik and the LP could get more media exposure than the LP's gotten in years. I'm sorry, but I'm just not convinced that either Badnarik or the LP speaking on behalf of libertarianism to a national audience with limited exposure to the ideology would ultimately be good for libertarianism, the philosophy.
This is a guy who gives seminars advocating that the federal income tax is optional, who refuses to use zip codes, who says he'd blow up the UN building "after giving occupants a week to vacate," who has equated FDR to Hitler, and who suggested we chain convicted felons to their beds until their muscles atrophy.

Megan McArdle joins in, not once but twice:

Short answer: because Mr Badnarik is a barking moonbat. He has, if memory serves, been arrested multiple times for driving without a license, because he views getting one as an unwarranted concession to The State. I believe he also has tax protester sympathies. I am not going to encourage the Libertarian Party to nominate more such by voting for this one.

Jim Henley responds, it's not the man, it's the party:

if the Libertarian candidate starts getting more votes it will attract better candidates. Right now the prize is not worth the effort to claim it. That would change with the increase in prestige of a higher vote share. Yes, the LP sucks ass in a thousand ways. But during our quadrennial magic show it's a handy way to signify general preferences.

I disagree with Henley for one very important reason: if I use my vote to endorse libertarian ideals by voting for Badnarik, I am in effect saying that I care more about the label than the substance. A vote for Badnarik says that I am willing to endorse a man who is clearly not qualified for the office, something I refuse to do. Even as a "protest" vote, Badnarik is much worse than my other options for protest - I can cast a write in for someone else (almost anyone else!) or even, as many do, refuse to vote for anyone at all.

I will do my best to figure out who I would view as an acceptable President, not necessarily ideal, but good enough, and cast my vote for that person. Badnarik is not the man.

Henly link via Missy.

Posted by wasylik at October 26, 2004 06:27 PM | TrackBack
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