October 20, 2004

Four More Years

In the spirit of Reason's survey of libertarians and friends-of-libertarianism, let me make my official endorsement:

2004 vote: George W. Bush. I'm somewhat skeptical of the argument that divided government will reign in spending, given that the only evidence comes from a period where the GOP congress was led by anti-government crusaders and the Democratic president's giant health care proposal was already a dead letter; neither of these things will be true in the next four years. (I suspect that the reality is that we face a budgetary wash: Bush would propose and pass X amount of spending, whereas Kerry would propose 2X amount and pass X.) Even if I bought the divided government argument, though, that issue is more than trumped by foreign policy. Notwithstanding certain tactical errors, the Bush administration operates within a strategic framework that is basically sound. John Kerry's entire approach to terrorism, on the other hand, consists of returning to the policies of the 90s, a recipe for catastrophe.

2000 vote: Harry Browne. I would have voted for Bush in a swing state (in fact I did vote for him over McCain in the Republican primary, for all the good that did in stopping the assault on the First Amendment that is campaign finance "reform"), and I was quite annoyed to learn how seriously some people are willing to take the popular vote.

Most embarrassing vote: Harry Browne in 2000, which became embarrassing shortly after 9/11 when Browne went into full isolationist blame-America mode. Michael Badnarik is if anything even more radical than Browne; this year I haven't seriously considered voting Libertarian even for a moment.

Favorite president: James K. Polk, who appeals to my soft spots for both obscurity and Manifest Destiny. (I also like the They Might Be Giants song.)

Speaking of that Reason survey, I was especially pleased by Louis Rosetto's answer, which Rod Dreher highlighted today. As a teenager I was an avid fan of Wired under Rosetto-- before it was bought by Conde Nast and all-but-gutted of serious philosophical and political content-- and it was second only to my parents in influencing my intellectual development.

Posted by John Tabin at October 20, 2004 08:16 PM


I am also a big fan of James Polk. He is the only President in U.S. history to fulfill all of his campaign promises.

Posted by: Tim Birdnow at October 21, 2004 07:11 PM

"certain tactical errors"?

You have a way with words, my friend.

Posted by: Aoeuo at October 25, 2004 02:02 PM