June 04, 2006

How I stopped worrying and learned to love the GOP. Kinda.

Or, we'll have a two party-system until there is a third party that isn't headed up by f'n morons.

So, I'm a Libertarian leaning sort of guy. I have been telling people lately that, in '06, I'm going to go the "Vote the bums out" route and vote for the libertarian candidate, whoever he might be, against that stalwart of the conservative community, Rick Santorum.

I'm not a big fan of Santorum. I disagree with him on nearly every social issue, and on several fiscal ones. In interviews and often on the senate floor he comes across as the sort of superior self-righteous jackass that I would want to throttle after about ten minutes of conversation. I don't think he's the anti-Christ, I just don't like the guy. I figured voting against this joker would be a no-brainer.

But, being a good little citizen, I wanted to check out what his actual voting record is: this seems to be a pretty fair evaluation. Not bad, no big surprises, he is Republican right out of a bottle; where we disagree is mostly where I disagree with the GOP in general.

Where I had screwed up was in assuming the ever-popular perfect candidate on the Libertarian side. Ah, not so: Check out this guy's website. Here's his aol members profile; here's his blogspot address.

Never mind for the moment that you've seen more sleek, professional websites on geocities by 14 year old girls with a pink fetish posting pictures of their latest boy-band crushes. The only issue he addresses on his front page is...ballot access. I couldn't figure out what the hell he was talking about, but if you click the link you get a fuller explanation of the Single Largest Problem Facing America:

Ballot access: a stealth issue. The main parties wish to continue their control of candidates and alternative parties on the ballot. The political process has naturally stagnated because of the monopolistic protections the Democrats and Republicans have granted themselves.

Our rights enumerated by and or implied in the 1st, 9th, 14th amendments and the freedom to associate are violated by the Republocrats when they create or maintain laws who's sole function is creation of artificial barriers to citizens who would politically assemble to call these very mismanagers to account.

Political Parties are special interest groups who have no inherent rights of their own. They exists as an extension of every individuals existing right to freely assemble for peaceful purposes. As such they have no just authority to oppress the rights or abilities of others to assemble for similar purposes.

That incomprehensible rant is the full extent of his complaint. Here's a clue, for the senator wannabe: If an issue is a "Stealth Issue", that's probably because nobody cares. If it's so scary-important to you but you seem to be the only person on the planet that gives a damn, 99.9% of the time that's because you're either A. a kook or B. overly worried about something that is a real issue. B might be a noble stance, but it's not a terribly productive one for a politician.

We can give him the benefit of the doubt, though: Maybe ballot access is actually a huge problem the rest of us are ignoring because the vast majority of us have no problem accessing the ballot box at our local high school should we so desire. He's just a lousy politician, not a kook.

Then we explore the rest of the webpage. Somewhere on that kaleidoscope of broken links that passes for his frontpage there is a link to his stance on other issues; the ones falling so far behind "ballot access" that they make National News front page every day. (I'm not going to tell you where to find this link, however; it's like where's Waldo.) When you do manage to navigate into the land of bullet lists and broken links that is his issues page, you are greeted with a stream-of-consciousness that reads like Neal Boortz crossed with an acid-tripping hippy. Surprisingly, I don't much get along with this person: he has some good ideas and several very bad ones and a few that start out good but somehow manage to wander in to the territory that I always find myself in when talking to a true-believing socialist.

Of course, having had an all-expenses paid yearlong trip to Baghdad courtesy Uncle Sam, one of my primary concerns is OIF and the WOT in general. (I know the fate of American intervention in the Middle East and Iran and all that is a distant second, perhaps third or fourth, to "ballot access", but I wanted to see what Mr. Martin had to say when he gave it a passing thought.) Unfortunately, there isn't much to be had here: Do a Ctrl-F and search for "Iraq", and you'll come up with two mentions. Can we guess under which heading they fall? You got it: Ballot Access, in the form of "Iraqis can vote and we can't" whining. Under Foreign Policy, there is little more than a passing mention of "Withdrawal of American Military from all foreign countries". Excuse me for asking for specifics here, but could we maybe do a little better than that?

I know Libertarians opposed Iraq at the kickoff, but this is 2006. I had hoped for a sort of "We don't like it, but we're going to do it right" determination. None of that to be had here, though, the only option is immediate withdrawal.

So guess who won't be getting my vote this fall? That's right, the chubby fellow wearing the tinfoil hat sitting in the corner ranting about ballot access and hammering away grammatically incorrect pamphlets to pass out on college campuses.

Posted by Francis at 05:41 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack