Libertarian leaders now backing Mitt Romney

I link this with very few comments. Wayne Alynn Root, the 2008 Libertarian VP candidate, has left the Libertarian party and is backing Mitt Romney. He says:

When I asked if he was now backing Mitt Romney, Root responded, “I am,” adding, “I don’t deny that Romney and Ryan aren’t libertarians, but Romney is a pro-business capitalist and Obama is a Marxist-socialist.”

“The economy has been trashed. This is about my kids’ future, it’s about my businesses,” said Root. “There is no hope for America if Obama is re-elected.”

Bob Barr, the 2008 Libertarian presidential candidate, also says he will back Romney.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

29 thoughts on “Libertarian leaders now backing Mitt Romney

  1. I think libertarians better put aside the third party instincts to save the Republic in this election or there won’t be a Republic to save if Obama wins re-election. There is a time to fight for your principles and a time to live to fight another day.

  2. Jettboy, I think the comment would more accurately read, “There is a time to die for your principles and a time to fight to live another day.”

  3. How about Gary Johnson? Who’s he voting for?

    Listening to Obama’s speech, the difference in aspirations of the two parties’ nominees never seemed so stark, whether being a Julia with an intimate, dependent relationship with one’s government should be a middle-class norm or a distasteful condition for free people. We’ll see which wins in November. If Obama carries the day, then that will be something disappointing to learn to live with—not his next term so much as that we’re a people who preferred what he is selling. People all over the world have to make do with their countries, though.

  4. John M, as a libertarian-leaning person, I think Gary Johnson is the best Libertarian candidate perhaps ever. A successful popular governor who ran a state for eight years is quite a change from some of the people you get in the Libertarian party. Having said that, I doubt he gets more than 2-3 percent in any state except New Mexico, where he might get 10 percent at most. Polls show that he seems to be taking from both Romney and Obama. I wish there were more space for third parties in American politics.

  5. That is called being pragmatic. Reagan wasn’t a Libertarian, but did accomplish many good things during his presidency. The thing is, he was more libertarian and pro-freedom than Jimmy Carter, Ford, Nixon or Johnson before him.

    And it is possible that Romney and Ryan will be more pro-freedom than Obama, GWBush, and perhaps Clinton.

    One focuses on real changes to create jobs and stop the economic bankruptcy, while Pres Obama’s claim of saving $4 Trillion has already been debunked as he will add another $10 Trillion deficit over the next decade or less.

  6. Geoff, I totally understand the argument that we should vote for the lesser of the two (electable) evils. However, I must point out that if everyone thought that way, there is never going to be “space for third party candidates in america”.

  7. Root’s comments exemplify exactly what I hate most about politics. A “Marxist-socialist” is a communist. That’s what that means. But of course he’s not actually saying Obama is a communist (I think?), he’s trying to raise fear about an Obama second term by using words that will incite it (Marxism is bad for America, Obama is a Marxist, therefore…). It’s pure manipulation.

  8. Geoff B

    I don’t understand. A third party candidate has never been viable. What’s different about “these days.” The best I can think of in American history were the Bull-Moose party, and Ross Perot in the 90’s.

  9. A socialist. You can be a democratic socialist, and not be a Marxist. Marx’s dream of socialism is that it would be the necessary bridge to a communist state. It’s actually fairly insightful.

    Marx recognized that if you took a capitalist state, and immediately turned it communist, the former-rich would find a way to get rich again, leaving the former-poor poor again. So the state would need a couple of generations to go under socialism, where the rich would be taxed heavily but remain generally wealthy, and that money would go to educating the poor so that they could learn to have skilled jobs. Then, after things were equalized, the state could transform into full communism.

    Obama is a democratic socialist. Marx would have hated democratic socialism. It has the flavor of socialism, but its not part of his vision. Suggesting Obama is a Marxist is saying something that just isn’t true. If we say any socialism=Marxism, then we live in a Marxist country. We’ve had, after all, a mandate for a graduated tax in our constitution for decades.

  10. Well, if you add in free state education, central banking, and now universal health care, we have made great strides in fulfilling Marx’ Communist Manifesto!

  11. Michael,

    You’re overreacting. Compared with some of the European countries, we’re still in the kitty pool. At most, we’re starting to look a little like Canada (but not yet Australia). Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

  12. Oh I know, it’s unthinkable that we would embrace such socialist thinking and put it into practice in the US. You’re quite correct.

  13. Oh I’m not saying we can’t end up with a system closer to more socialist countries. I’m saying that we are in no danger of turning into a communist country. Funny enough, though, the Romney/Ryan dream of producing all energy at home by 2020 would make Marx very proud. For communism to actually work, you have to get people to be more excited about production than consumerism (being proud of our self-sufficient production=good).

    Even the most socially democratic European countries are in no danger of communism. We live in a world where Walmart is king, and that’s true for even Europe (though it doesn’t exist there). Prosperity is judged in things we acquire, not in the pride we get from manufacturing something ourselves. Communism is as much ideology as it is policy. You can’t turn so socially democratic that you accidentally slip into communism. Even Marx recognized that the shift has to be intentional, and it doesn’t work unless you’ve got everyone on board (or you are Lenin or Mao, and you massacre tens-hundreds of thousands of people who oppose you; then you are a Leninist or Maoist, but certainly not a Marxist).

  14. “For communism to actually work, you have to get people to be more excited about production than consumerism (being proud of our self-sufficient production=good).”

    I don’t argue with you, with the exception of the above. America has not always been in the thrall of consumerism. We used to have a vast manufacturing base, and that was even before the Fed was created. Americans used to practice CAPITALism, emphasis on capital. As in financial reserves and dollars that were actually backed by gold.

  15. DavidF, I basically agree with you. The correct use of labels is important, and Obama is NOT a Marxist. He is a democratic socialist, just as you say. The world would be a better place if people used labels more carefully, including all of those people who call Republican “fascists” and “nazis.” Although, truth be told, we are becoming a corporatist state more every day, so it is sad but true that we (both Obama and Romney/Ryan) are closer to fascists (in the real sense of the word) than they are to “free market capitalists.” We haven’t been anything close to free market capitalists since at least 1913.

    Re: third parties. Third parties were viable throughout most of the 19th century and into the progressive era. The two-party system didn’t really get consolidated until the 1920s. So, by “these days” I am once again harkening to the possibility of something different that we had in the past. It would be great if there were four viable parties forming coalitions, pushing each other, etc.

  16. This is mostly true, but it doesn’t discredit my point. To be ideologically driven to favor production and manufacturing does not make one a communist, but favoring those things is a necessary precondition for communism.

  17. I say Obama _is_ a Marxist/communist. If you look at the transcript of his July 13th speech (the “you didn’t build that” one), it is clearly Marxist rhetoric, filled with attempts at class envy, and other standard Marxist tactics and phrases.

    One of his mentors, Frank Marhsall Davis, whom Obama names in his bio as a father figure and a very influential mentor, was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party, USA.

    Obama’s mother was a close associate of Frank Marshall. Obama’s mother, as a child, went to an openly communist school in the 1950’s. She was closely aligned with communist ideology during her teen and young adult years.

    Obama’s grand-parents, who raised him for most of hid childhood, were communists.

    Obama’s favorite professor at Harvard (the one he is seen on video intrucing when he was a student) was an admitted communist.

    In his bio, Obama admits that he showed up at Occidental as a committed Marxist.

    When he was US Senator, Obama had the farthest left voting record of any Senator at the time.

  18. Geoff: As I understand it, 3rd parties can’t get a foothold until run-off elections are put into place. Or, unless there are elections with 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc., options.

    In an election where there are 2nd/3rd/4th/etc. options, you can avoid the run-off election, and figure out the winner just by computations from the 2nd/3rd/4th choice votes.

    Of course, neither of the two dominant parties would want a third party to have a reasonable chance, so no one currently in power from the 2 main parties would ever vote to alter the elections to have a run-off or alternate choices.

    I suppose it could be done on a state by state level, since _how_ a state votes for its electors in the Electoral College can be somewhat controlled (and thereby altered) at the state level.

    But until the vast majority of states had run-off (or alternate choice type) elections for the presidential election, there still would be no hope for a 3rd party to win at the presidential level, and their votes would just siphon off from someone else.

    If sitting Dems and Repubs in the federal House/Senate voted for a way to have run-off (or alternate choice type) elections for president, they would essentially be committing political suicide within their parties.

  19. “they would essentially be committing political suicide within their parties.”

    Another reason why term limits have never stood a chance.

  20. Romney isn’t a pro-business capitalist, he’s a corporatist.

    Libertarian leaders voting for Romney basically reinforce pretty much everything most people think about libertarians. All talk.

  21. Bookslinger,

    I didn’t see that speech, but I’ve tried to find as much of a transcript as I can find on the internet. I don’t see Marxist rhetoric. “You didn’t build that” is perfectly in line with what any social democrat might say. Granted, Marx would have liked that statement, but in the context of Obama’s presidency, he would have been severely disappointed. See my posts above for how Marxism does not equal democratic socialism.

  22. I think the election is pretty much over. There is going to be a lot of desperation moves in the last two months, but the electorate is relatively static and the map for Romney just doesn’t add up.

  23. So the “Root of all Evil” is a big-government turncoat after all?

    First of all, Big Government is doing very badly these days. The employment numbers suck because so many public services are being closed and people being let go: teachers, fire fighters, police officers et.c. have been joining the ranks of the unemployed; and this after GWB presided over the biggest Government-employment growth since at least 1960s, what with the DHS with all its spying-on-citizens agencies, NSA, CIA, FBI et.c. Alphabet soup.

    Also, the two war-wars created major demand for explosive products and all kinds of equipment, which is naturally coming from taxpayer dollars, which is why the deficit is ballooning. But as long as you don’t have draft, you’re likely to have these military adventures that go south in the end.

    And now. Corporate bailouts were somehow socialism? When billions flow to private enterprises with no strings attached (not just the officially equity-owning streams), it can hardly be called “Marxist-socialist”. Marxism is socialism, for crying out loud. And Soviet Communism had about as much to do with Marxism as Islam has with Judaism. At times, it sounds familiar. So “Marxist-communist” means nothing at all. Not from a sane person’s pov.

    Marx’s argument was by the way, that the worker needs to control the means of production. Hence, the German model is ideal Marxism. How? The workers own enough stock through their pension funds now, that the labour unions have their representatives in the boards of almost all major corporations. German tycoons think it’s nicer to have middle class people around them than poor people. Well, they have the poor, but not as visible as some other places I could name.

    They are involved in making long-term production decisions, and we can see it: Germany successfully integrated East Germany since 1990, and it cost billions upon billions, and still Germany is still a triple-A country; so much so that thanks to Germany, if Euro were a single economy, it would be stronger than either US or UK in credit ratings. Germany is a major exporter of high-precision manufacturing machinery into SE Asia and also North America, Brasil and so forth. At one point, e.g. Siemens employees agreed to a major cut in wages, on the condition that they’d get bonuses for productivity. And they did, indeed.

    So before one labels anyone a socialist, a consideration should be made towards the applicability inasmuch as it is supposedly based on real world concepts.

    Plus, I know people who know Romney personally, and yes, he might be a nice enough guy, but also he has already more than earned the “flip-flopper” name. His nose turns to the wind faster than the eye can see. As long as bottom line is there. And his fancy Cayman-flagged 150-ft yacht, his complicated schemes of tax avoidance skirting the line of illegality. Too much of a weasel.

    But of course he’s not in my district. So go nuts!

  24. Wayne Allyn Root is a disgraceful embarrassment to all true Libertarians. He sold out (because he is bankrupt) to a cheap payout from the GOP and he was glad to do it as he harbors sour grapes for being a failure in the Libertarian party and he is jealous of Gary Johnson. This is America, not Russia. Otherwise Gary Johnson could just beat the tar out of Wayne Root. Just to be clear Wayne Allyn Root is a disgusting sellout!

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