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Don’t think about a third party, we don’t need any more talking heads

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Illustration by Gabriel Ivan Orendain-Necochea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this year, Libertarian party presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson filed suit against the Commission on Presidential Debates for excluding him and other third-party candidates from the debates. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, was arrested outside of one of the debates after attempting to enter the debate hall. Needless to say, members of third-parties are enraged that their candidates are not allowed to debate the Democrat or Republican candidates.

Third-party candidates should not be allowed to debate. No consistent libertarian can succeed in electoral politics and it is a fantasy to believe a multiparty system would somehow benefit those who wish to reduce the state.

Libertarianism advocates for the maximum liberty possible. In the case of speech, libertarians are not only in favor of being allowed to speak, say or think whatever one wishes without restriction by the state, but also believe that people have the liberty not to speak. It follows then that no serious libertarian can demand speech from Mitt Romney or Barrack Obama.

Libertarianism also advocates for the full freedom of association. This is why Libertarians, regardless of their moral view on the subject, believe that the state has no role in defining marriage.

I am sad that too many Libertarians forget this principle of free association when discussing political parties. These Libertarians believe that Republicans and Democrats should be forced to associate with third parties during the debates. Political parties are associations of people with similar political goals; they should not be forced to associate with anyone nor should they be disallowed from associating with others. Johnson should be mocked for trying to use the law to force others to associate with him whilst running as a Libertarian.

Suppose though that the two major parties did want to allow the third parties to join them in the debates. Should we rejoice and see this as the end of the two-party system and the start of a more perfect multiparty system? If you are a Green, then yes, but a Libertarian should be saddened at this.

It is true that this would increase competition between politicians, but we must recall that politicians do not produce anything. They merely redistribute the wealth of others. Competition between politicians then is always about increasing the amount of wealth being redistributed (i.e. increasing taxes) and getting as much of that to one’s constituents.

Libertarians are alone in believing that government should not redistribute the wealth of producers. Democrats and Republicans do not debate whether the state should redistribute. but only in how and to whom it should redistribute. If the Greens managed to win seats in Congress, little would change except in where wealth is being redistributed. In fact, we should expect wealth redistribution to increase as the parties compete with one another.

It is true that libertarian Congressman Ron Paul has had tremendous success in introducing libertarianism to others, but he has had no true success in electoral politics. His “End the Fed” movement has been watered down to “audit the fed.” His success has been in education, and it is still up to debate how successful he has been there. It may be that the liberty movement could gain from having another Paul or two in Congress for the purpose of reaching out to people, but it is less clear that much more can be won in electoral battles.

We should abandon electoral politics to pass a grand reform. We should certainly not strive to create a multiparty system in the hopes of reform.

We should be content that we need only listen to two idiots “debate” one another every four years. Things would hardly be better if we had three or four idiots “debate” instead. The adoption of an elective monarchy should be seriously considered if for no other reason that we might spare ourselves the sound of these idiots to only once or twice in our lifetimes.

– Michelangelo Landgrave is President of the CSUN Libertarian Club, an illegal alien from Mexico, a Whovian and a student of Economics.

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9 Comments

  1. LiberalIrishLass Oct 26, 2012

    The reason that every party who can vote, should be allowed to do so is about our RIGHTS, granted by the Constitution. Mr. Landgrave did not do all his homework before writing this article. If he had, he would learned that the decision not to have included Governor Johnson and Dr. Stein, is made by a seemingly well-intended non-profit organization. The fact that when this organization was founded, the League of Women Voters knew what was happening, and we the people have allowed them to control and erode not just our elections, but our lives, is the reason we should be angry that the debates operate the way we do. As the non-profit has taken the debates over, so too have they gained control of the election process.

    The integration of the organization was the beginning of fraud and censorship of the American electorate’s choices. The Commission on Presidential Debates was formed by Republicans and Democrats, the former Chairmen of both parties actually. It is seated with representation, only from those two parties, and they have SPECIFICALLY said they DO NOT wish to include third parties. Further, when questioned by activists, who called them, they felt “the American People are too easily confused by a third party voice, they would not understand the third party voice.” This should raise alarms, as this is our country too. We need a voice that represents us. The two parties are beholden to extensive amounts of Corporate money, extensive special interest, and the 1%. The Occupy protests were talking to us about this, but the Main Stream Media clouded that delivery, as they are also part of the problem. The aforementioned Commission, chooses who debates. They do so based on some Constitutional criteria, but they also look at polls. Polls that survey less then one percent of the voting population. Exceeding the reach of the Federal Elections Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. 

    You already won’t see coverage of alternative party candidates, because the Congress of Democrats and Republicans gave the media an out in 1959, by ruling basically news shows, are exempt to providing equal coverage. So yes, the debates should become important, but now they don’t either because of a non-profit organization run by the two parties, and organized with the support of a beer company, a bottled water organization, and a collection of private fund organizer. There is no representation of the people or other parties in this process.

    Hopefully you had the opportunity to see the Free and Equal Debate – all the other viable candidates – debating real issues. In the Commission Debates, you heard no climate questions, drug war questions, or questions on the National Defense Authorization Act. That Act alone has dangerously eroded the rights of EVERY one of US. And was signed by the current administration, written by the two-parties. It grants the government the right to indefinitely detain you. That, along with the FAA rules about drones entering American airspace, and the continued failed drug war. Should encourage all of us to think that perhaps yes, the  Commission Debates lack a HUGE amount of content. And the dull act of two lawyers talking laws and tax codes, is not a debate. The Free and Equal debate was intriguing, with a diverse range of people participating. A Doctor, Former Governor, Former Mayor/Attorney and  Virgil Goode, who was delightful. Do yourself a favor look for that debate. Do your country a favor. vote for Gary Johnson. If you remain undecided, then you can catch him in a Debate on Tuesday, October 30th. Sponsored again by Free and Equal. Live Free!

  2. Spencer Gray Oct 23, 2012

    The Commission on Presidential Debates is registered as a tax exempt, NON-partisan organization. So while I disagree with most of your entire argument, it seems as though you still need to read up on how the debates are organized. It’s not the Democrats and Republicans together agreeing to do a debate, they accept an invite from the CPD, again a NON partisan organization. However the D’s and R’s do in fact control the commission, making it actually a bi-partisan organization that should be prosecuted for fraud. 

  3. Bedfordoak Oct 23, 2012

    I think libertarians are feared by both parties because if people were
    to take a blind poll of political questions a lot of Americans would
    find that there views fall most in line with Libertarians.  I think many
    people have just associated themselves with a major party because they
    either value social issues or economic issues more than the other.  A
    lot of Democrats I speak with are strong on social issues but favor a
    republican platform for economic issues, however, not so much so that
    there willing to overlook the right to choose, gay marriage and don’t
    particularly care for Republicans warmongering.  Republicans seem to
    strongly value economic issues, and believe hard work should be rewarded
    by allowing you to move up a class, not keeping you in your place by
    redistributing self motivation an desire to succeed, they believe
    democrats want to play the part of Robin Hood (STEALING yes STEALING
    from those that would sacrifice to succeed to redistribute to those that
    are all to happy to take) and are they willing to pass on certain civil
    liberties, for economic freedom. 

    What if our international
    agenda was that of non-interventionist.  Let nations find their own way,
    let their people fight for their own freedoms.  The world hates America
    because we involve ourselves too often in others affairs.  Why do we
    have bases in Germany, why are we building schools if foreign countries
    while we forget about our own schools at home.  Why can’t two men or two
    women get married, why shouldn’t they have the same benefits as a man
    and a woman.  I grew up in a home where my parents were divorced and
    fought basically right up to the day I got married.  What I would have
    given for two loving parents that promoted family values like loving
    your family, being friendly to your neighbors and respecting each
    other.  A woman should have the right the choose.  **News flash** People
    that want to do drugs have no problem finding them and consuming them,
    why make it difficult and expensive to try and prevent…tax them and
    profit.  If you don’t snort coke, shoot heroine, smoke marijuana, crack,
    or crystal meth chances are you aren’t going to start if they’re
    legal.  You’re likely still going to teach your children that they’re
    bad and that they should abstain.  If your kid wants to smoke, snort or
    ingest they can and will find it, legal or not, except if they’re legal
    it won’t be the end of their life because they have a felony on their
    record for getting caught in possession of it while experimenting.  Take
    responsibility for yourself and don’t expect others to provide for
    you.  What does that mean?  It’s means sacrifice a little today for a
    better tomorrow, you aren’t owed a cell phone, an expensive car, lavish
    vacations, or air conditioning.  I’ve invested in IRA’s and 401k’s since
    the age of majority 18.  What that meant was sacrificing 10% of my
    income today so I could live in retirement.  I’m 34 and I’m on track to
    live quite comfortably even if social security fails.  I want the right
    to choose, if you’re going to take money from me for retirement and
    force my company to match, I want the right to allocate those funds. 
    Democrats and Republicans alike have stolen from the social security
    trust, which is why we’re really in the situation we’re in.  Government
    shouldn’t be trusted to decide for you, you should, you know what’s best
    for you, are you willing to sacrifice to have it.  I didn’t grow
    thinking the American dream was that I’m American and the world is owed
    to me, I grew up thinking that if I worked hard, loved and provided for
    my family, saved and invested wisely that I could advance a little in
    life and my children a little more than me.  I love America and I
    dislike what the two parties (divorced fighting parents) have made it
    become.  I say we welcome third parties because we have to, we need to,
    we must change. 

    I think the two major parties should fear
    libertarians because I think the today’s youth find this platform
    refreshing and in line with their values.  Republican candidate Mitt
    Romney is only moderately different than Democratic President Barack
    Obama.  Like my parents even though they like to argue with each other
    and wage large and costly negative campaigns about one another they
    basically represent the same idea…and that just hasn’t worked.  Gary
    Johnson represents real change, Ron Paul represents real change.  If you
    want to represent real change give the libertarian party a look, if
    it’s not for you than it’s not for you.  I vote for freedom, I vote
    libertarian.  

  4. Bedfordoak Oct 23, 2012

    I think libertarians are feared by both parties because if people were
    to take a blind poll of political questions a lot of Americans would
    find that there views fall most in line with Libertarians.  I think many
    people have just associated themselves with a major party because they
    either value social issues or economic issues more than the other.  A
    lot of Democrats I speak with are strong on social issues but favor a
    republican platform for economic issues, however, not so much so that
    there willing to overlook the right to choose, gay marriage and don’t
    particularly care for Republicans warmongering.  Republicans seem to
    strongly value economic issues, and believe hard work should be rewarded
    by allowing you to move up a class, not keeping you in your place by
    redistributing self motivation an desire to succeed, they believe
    democrats want to play the part of Robin Hood (STEALING yes STEALING
    from those that would sacrifice to succeed to redistribute to those that
    are all to happy to take) and are they willing to pass on certain civil
    liberties, for economic freedom. 

    What if our international
    agenda was that of non-interventionist.  Let nations find their own way,
    let their people fight for their own freedoms.  The world hates America
    because we involve ourselves too often in others affairs.  Why do we
    have bases in Germany, why are we building schools if foreign countries
    while we forget about our own schools at home.  Why can’t two men or two
    women get married, why shouldn’t they have the same benefits as a man
    and a woman.  I grew up in a home where my parents were divorced and
    fought basically right up to the day I got married.  What I would have
    given for two loving parents that promoted family values like loving
    your family, being friendly to your neighbors and respecting each
    other.  A woman should have the right the choose.  **News flash** People
    that want to do drugs have no problem finding them and consuming them,
    why make it difficult and expensive to try and prevent…tax them and
    profit.  If you don’t snort coke, shoot heroine, smoke marijuana, crack,
    or crystal meth chances are you aren’t going to start if they’re
    legal.  You’re likely still going to teach your children that they’re
    bad and that they should abstain.  If your kid wants to smoke, snort or
    ingest they can and will find it, legal or not, except if they’re legal
    it won’t be the end of their life because they have a felony on their
    record for getting caught in possession while experimenting.  Take
    responsibility for yourself and don’t expect others to provide for
    you.  What does that mean?  It’s means sacrifice a little today for a
    better tomorrow, you aren’t owed a cell phone, an expensive car, lavish
    vacations, or air conditioning.  I’ve invested in IRA’s and 401k’s since
    the age of majority 18.  What that meant was sacrificing 10% of my
    income today so I could live in retirement.  I’m 34 and I’m on track to
    live quite comfortably even if social security fails.  I want the right
    to choose, if you’re going to take money from me for retirement and
    force my company to match, I want the right to allocate those funds. 
    Democrats and Republicans alike have stolen from the social security
    trust, which is why we’re really in the situation we’re in.  Government
    shouldn’t be trusted to decide for you, you should, you know what’s best
    for you, are you willing to sacrifice to have it.  I didn’t grow
    thinking the American dream was that I’m American and the world is owed
    to me, I grew up thinking that if I worked hard, loved and provided for
    my family, saved and invested wisely that I could advance a little in
    life and my children a little more than me.  I love America and I
    dislike what the two parties (divorced fighting parents) have made it
    become.  I say we welcome third parties because we have to, we need to,
    we must change. 

    I think the two major parties should fear
    libertarians because I think that today’s youth find this platform
    refreshing and in line with there values.  Republican candidate Mitt
    Romney is only moderately different than Democratic President Barack
    Obama.  Like my parents even though they like to argue with each other
    and wage large and costly negative campaigns about one another they
    basically represent the same idea…and that just hasn’t worked.  Gary
    Johnson represents real change, Ron Paul represents real change.  If you
    want to represent real change give the libertarian party a look, if
    it’s not for you than it’s not for you.  I vote for freedom, I vote
    libertarian.  

  5. Bedfordoak Oct 23, 2012

    I think libertarians are feared by both parties because if people were to take a blind poll of political questions a lot of Americans would find that there views fall most in line with Libertarians.  I think many people have just associated themselves with a major party because they either value social issues or economic issues more than the other.  A lot of Democrats I speak with are strong on social issues but favor a republican platform for economic issues, however, not so much so that there willing to overlook the right to choose, gay marriage and don’t particularly care for Republicans warmongering.  Republicans seem to strongly value economic issues, and believe hard work should be rewarded by allowing you to move up a class, not keeping you in your place by redistributing self motivation an desire to succeed, they believe democrats want to play the part of Robin Hood (STEALING yes STEALING from those that would sacrifice to succeed to redistribute to those that are all to happy to take) and are they willing to pass on certain civil liberties, for economic freedom. 

    What if our international agenda was that of non-interventionist.  Let nations find their own way, let their people fight for their own freedoms.  The world hates America because we involve ourselves too often in others affairs.  Why do we have bases in Germany, why are we building schools if foreign countries while we forget about our own schools at home.  Why can’t two men or two women get married, why shouldn’t they have the same benefits as a man and a woman.  I grew up in a home where my parents were divorced and fought basically right up to the day I got married.  What I would have given for two loving parents that promoted family values like loving your family, being friendly to your neighbors and respecting each other.  A woman should have the right the choose.  **News flash** People that want to do drugs have no problem finding them and consuming them, why make it difficult and expensive to try and prevent…tax them and profit.  If you don’t snort coke, shoot heroine, smoke marijuana, crack, or crystal meth chances are you aren’t going to start if they’re legal.  You’re likely still going to teach your children that they’re bad and that they should abstain.  If your kid wants to smoke, snort or ingest they can and will find it, legal or not, except if they’re legal it won’t be the end of their life because they have a felony on their record for getting caught in possession of it while experimenting.  Take responsibility for yourself and don’t expect others to provide for you.  What does that mean?  It’s means sacrifice a little today for a better tomorrow, you aren’t owed a cell phone, an expensive car, lavish vacations, or air conditioning.  I’ve invested in IRA’s and 401k’s since the age of majority 18.  What that meant was sacrificing 10% of my income today so I could live in retirement.  I’m 34 and I’m on track to live quite comfortably even if social security fails.  I want the right to choose, if you’re going to take money from me for retirement and force my company to match, I want the right to allocate those funds.  Democrats and Republicans alike have stolen from the social security trust, which is why we’re really in the situation we’re in.  Government shouldn’t be trusted to decide for you, you should, you know what’s best for you, are you willing to sacrifice to have it.  I didn’t grow thinking the American dream was that I’m American and the world is owed to me, I grew up thinking that if I worked hard, loved and provided for my family, saved and invested wisely that I could advance a little in life and my children a little more than me.  I love America and I dislike what the two parties (divorced fighting parents) have made it become.  I say we welcome third parties because we have to, we need to, we must change. 

    I think the two major parties should fear libertarians because I think the today’s youth find this platform refreshing and in line with there values.  Republican candidate Mitt Romney is only moderately different than Democratic President Barack Obama.  Like my parents even though they like to argue with each other and wage large and costly negative campaigns about one another they basically represent the same idea…and that just hasn’t worked.  Gary Johnson represents real change, Ron Paul represents real change.  If you want to represent real change give the libertarian party a look, if it’s not for you than it’s not for you.  I vote for freedom, I vote libertarian. 

  6. BeloSol Oct 23, 2012

    Michelangelo Landgrave makes frequent reference in his opinion piece to “the state” and in other of his articles, “the government’.  This make his logic difficult to follow, because he fails to make it clear if he’s referring to ‘state’ as in “the 50 states”  or to ‘state’ as in a national entity.  And, is it ‘national government’ or ‘state government’?  The reader may even wonder — is the definition is remaining the same, from sentence to sentence?

    For example, Mr. Landgrave says the Libertarians want to reduce ‘the state’.  My understanding is Libertarians wish to transfer some powers back to the ‘individual states’ — where they constitutionally belong — instead of having these powers handled centrally, at the level of the national or federal ‘state’.  So, they would actually believe in an expansion, not a contraction, of ‘the state’ — at the local level. 

    Is it possible Mr. Landgrave says he is a Libertarian, yet sees little or no difference between the national and state govenments, and so seems to use the terms interchangeably??

    1. Michelangelo_L Oct 23, 2012

      I do apologize if I’ve ever used the term national government. I attempt to avoid usage of it, and when forced to do so prefer the term federal government to reference the fact that the United States are not a unitary government, like France, but a voluntary union between fifty sovereign states.

      I further apologize for any impression you might have that libertarianism is somehow fine with the expansion of state power simply because it is more local. It is true that some libertarians wish to increase the power of the constituent states of the US, but only relative to the Federal state, and only in the hopes that the two warring entities might in the long run create more freedom for the citizenry at large. A libertarian’s loyalty is to no state, be it local, federal or global. A libertarian’s loyalty is to the idea of liberty.

      I do in fact use state to mean both the Californian state, and the Federal state. There is no difference between them from a libertarian theoretical view. A libertarian, for example, does not believe it right to increase taxes at either the local or federal level. It does not matter if either Prop 30 or 38 are approved by the majority of Californians to increase taxes, the tyranny of majority is not suddenly right simply because it was done by a vote of only Californians. Similarly Prop 30/38 would be no more legitimate if they were voted at a federal level, or even brought to vote in the UN assembly. These tax increases are unjust and remain unjust regardless of the will of the population at large.

      I urge greatly looking up Thomas Woods. He deals with the issue of libertarianism and federalism and should be able to answer any inquiries you have between the two. I apologize again for any impression previous libertarians or myself have made that somehow the infringement of our liberties is okay if done at the local level. 

  7. Jaron DiTommaso Oct 23, 2012

    you’re wrong

    Libertarianism also advocates for the full freedom of association. This
    is why Libertarians, regardless of their moral view on the subject,
    believe that the state has no role in defining marriage.

    The fact is they believe gay marriage should be a civil rights issue and protected in every state by federal law on day one with an executive order.

    1. Michelangelo_L Oct 23, 2012

      If I may quote from the Libertarian Party platform,

      Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.

      The libertarian stance on these issues has been to get the state out of them completely. The problem with using the federal government to enforce equality for the LGBT community is that it gives the impression that it is advocating in favor of it or, worse perhaps, implying that the state has the duty to push what it considers to be proper values. Libertarianism makes no moral judgement on the LGBT community, it neither promotes or discourages it. All it says is that it should not be a factor in deciding whether one has rights. It is up to individuals to complement libertarianism, which is simply a political theory, with their own moral system. This is why one should be wary about the federal government forcing regions to accept the LGBT community. It may in the short run be appealing, but it is ultimately a trap to believe a dictator can enforce freedom on an unwilling populace.

      You are right in that the 3rd parties have some role to educate. As I said in the article, there may be some utility in having one or two ‘Pauls’ in congress for the sake of reaching out to people. It is less clear though that we should actually want 3rd parties that have the capacity to shift politics through votes in Congress (and so the point of the above article). However, as noted in the article above, competition between politicians ultimately leads to more state power.

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