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Citizen Voices

Libertarians in the News!

I'm really surprised by the amount of press coverage lately on the Libertarian party.

From Jesse Ventura being interviewed on Al Jazeera to even Time Magazine doing an article on the Libertarian candidate , Bob Barr. It's all rather interesting, to say the least. The current trend, in most news articles, is that the media is gearing up to blame the Libertarian party if EITHER candidate loses.

Some stations, like CBS , are already claiming the Libertarian party is going to cost John McCain votes. While other news media sources are claiming that Sen. Obama may be hurt  -- vote-wise -- by the Libertarian party. 

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Whichever side it is, the meaning is clear -- we're not wanted here.

Matthew C. Scallon
July 14, 2008 at 05:44 PM
If these articles were closer to "Sweeps Weeks," I'd take your point. According to the calendar, though, these are the Dog Days of political reporting. Congress is about to recess. W is about to go to on his fiftieth vacation in Crawford, TX. The Supreme Court finished its docket. This all means that you have plenty of political reporters trying to justify their paychecks. This is when they start talking about the alternative candidates. It's good for you as a Libertarian; you get your Queen for a Day moment. Election time rolls, though, and, much as I support the principle of more open democracy, the two main parties have far too much access to power and media to allow any room for alternative parties. Ross Perot didn't get a single electoral vote. The last independent candidate to get an electoral vote was John Anderson; the elector was from his district in Rockford, IL. Even if a third-party candidate could bust the college, there is no support for them in the House of Representative, which is where such an election would end up. But, you know what? As one who wants honest government, I hope you're right and that I'm wrong.

Alma Sove from San Diego
July 17, 2008 at 09:32 PM
Nice post Steven. There are more choices than Party A & Party B. Just look at the growing number of registered Independents who want to break out of the mold. I try not to get sucked into the "stolen votes" argument, and w/some candidates (like Nader) it's almost impossible. Bob Barr hasn't gone on some crusade to derail either candidate's chance of winning. He's been promoting his platform as an alternative to the 2 party candidates, sure, but that is no different than any other candidate. Personally, I think what Dr. Ron Paul did w/in the Republican party breathed new life into choosing 'C' as an alternative to the 2-party system. Through Ron Paul's public tv appearances, many more Americans were able to hear for themselves the difference between dutifully voting w/tradition, as your article suggests, and choosing a candidate based on principle. True, he worked w/in that system, but he has always been very clear about why he chose to do that.

Tony from San Diego
July 18, 2008 at 08:35 PM
God bless libertarians, but since Penn Jillette isn't a politician and Jesse Ventrua is entertaining 9-11 conspiracy theories, I don't expect many people to go with choice "c." The real reason third parties are having so much trouble getting a toe-hold on the American electorate is that both the Republican and Democratic parties are so big and comprehensive they co-opt every important issue a third party could use to connect with Americans. Take the libertarian party. Their anti-war stance is drowned out by the DNC's. Their opposition to a super-sized government overtaxing and over-regulating us has been on the GOP platform ever since that party became conservative. And Frankly, American's don't care about legalizing prostitution or drugs as much as they care about the Iraq war, the economy, or even the new Batman movie, so right now the time just isn't right for the Libertarian party. I love libertarians; I wish they were one of the major two parties, but they're not, and that's not going to change anytime soon, no matter how many interviews Bob Barr gets.