Punish the Wicked: For any national office, vote for Democrats today. If you can't bring yourself to vote Democratic, vote for anyone who isn't a Republican. If you don't have a third-party candidate... write someone in. I recommend Jesse Walker of Reason magazine.
A lot of us came to libertarianism because we learned from Hayek that schemes to mandate economic equality, pursued zealously enough, led to torture, arbitrary detention and state murder. All true. But it's also possible to skip the mandating economic equality step and go straight for the torture, arbitrary detention and state murder.... [T]hat's where rule by the Republican Party, as presently constituted, leads.
If you insist on a single reason to rebuke the GOP at the polls today, here it is: In late 2001, some libertarians hoped that the New Seriousness after September 11 would lead to government setting new priorities. With a real threat to deal with, surely the government would have less time and energy to spare for drug wars and pornography crusades. What actually happened was that government, under the Republican Party, has used draconian laws ostensibly drafted to "fight terror" to ramp up programs against drugs, pornography and online gambling of all things. These are not people you want to have practically unchecked power.
The counterargument is that the Democrats will be gutless and no real threat to the security state the GOP has spent four years building. I think that's probably true. However, there is still one principle worth upholding: throw the bums out. Voting is like being strapped into a high chair and offered a couple of bowls of mush. The one useful way to communicate is to fling whatever they made you eat yesterday against the wall. Go now and fling.
Making Light: Vote. Today.: Today it's important to go to the polls and vote.
Vote straight-ticket Democrat.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote for torture.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote for corruption.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote for cronyism.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote against habeas corpus.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote against our troops.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote against liberty.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote against the Constitution.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote against being secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote against Social Security.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote for "preemptive" war.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote for incompetence.
A vote for a Republican, any Republican, is a vote for Bush.
Go out today. Vote Democratic.
p>Whatever: A Small Plea to the Right: Vote Left in 2006: Dear Republicans:
Here's the thing. We've got ourselves a Republican President who likes to whiz all over the Constitution; really, he just likes to whip out Lil' Dubya and make a splatter tinkle all over James Madison's handiwork. Then he looks over to the Republican Congressional leadership, which says "that's a right pretty tinkle, Mr. President," and hands him a six-pack so he can reload. And while they're doing their little Andres Serrano act on the founding document, they're holding back a reserve for your basic Republican ideals of individual freedom, fiscal responsibility and smaller government. You see how this might be a problem.
As Republican voters, I figure you've got two choices when you step into the voting booth today. You can either get pissed on, or you can get pissed off. And if you choose the latter -- if you decide it might be important that your Republican leaders actually act like Republicans, and also treat the Constitution as something other than a nice absorbent blotter for their processed beer -- you might consider doing what it appears so many others are going to do this year and give your vote to the Democrats.
"But wait," I hear you say. "Won't voting for a Democrat make me a Democrat? Won't it scald my flesh?... Absolutely not! Nothing could be further from the truth.... [Y]ou don't get invited to The Pit until the second time you vote Democrat. So you're safe....
Second, and rather more importantly, voting Democrat in this case doesn't make you a Democrat. Far from it -- it makes you a better Republican, one who recognizes that the likelihood of Republican party reforming itself and re-embracing genuine Republican principles without being booted on its ass is roughly the same as, say, Al Gore waxing poetic about the health advantages of breathing coal dust. By voting Democratic, you're letting the GOP know that you think it would be nice if it stopped being the party of swelling deficits and shrinking individual rights and got back to what it says it believes in.
Third, let's be honest: Even the wettest of their dreams, the Democrats won't be getting anything close to a veto-proof majority. Yes, they'll whoop and holler and Nancy Pelosi will sacrifice a goat or whatever it is that she does, and then the Democrats will get all misty about their big plans. But without a veto-proof majority, they're mostly harmless for the next two years. That's enough time for the GOP to tear itself apart in a fury of bitter recrimination, crawl out of the bloody ruins re-energized and then take a rock to the skulls of those unwary Democrats in 2008. Foolish pinkos! They'll never see it coming! Where's your goat now, Speaker Pelosi?
Now, believe me, Republicans, I sympathize with you. I'm sure it will be hard to pull the lever for the party of Bill and Hillary, and to know that for the next two years, somewhere in Hollywood, Sean Penn is giggling like a bisexual Wesleyan freshman inhaling his first whippet. But, listen: you're not doing it for Sean, or for that Wesleyan bisexual. You're doing it for the idea of separation of powers, for congressional oversight of the executive, and for a re-establishment of the genuine ideological principles of the GOP. You're doing it for the good of the nation and your party. And anyway, that's why it's a secret ballot. Go ahead and lie to your friends and the exit polls. It's all right. Like that night in college with that lacrosse player, no one has to know...