LP.org: ‘Relieved by Roy Moore’s defeat? Thank a Libertarian’

LP.org:

Write in Ron Bishop for Alabama Senator

Republican candidate Roy Moore lost to Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election for U.S. Senate. The Moore campaign was plagued by allegations of sexual impropriety, and voters turned away in droves from what was once considered a safe GOP seat. The race was so close, though, that Jones won by a margin of only 1.5 percent — less than the 1.7 percent of votes for write-in candidates, including Libertarian Ron Bishop.

“If you’re happy that Roy Moore was not elected to the Senate, thank write-in candidates like Libertarian Ron Bishop,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark.

Bishop and other independent candidates received 22,780 votes in the election according to the latest figures from the Alabama secretary of state, while the margin of difference between the Jones and Moore was a razor-thin 20,715. Even President Donald Trump acknowledged in a tweet that “The write-in votes played a very big factor” in determining the outcome.

According to Bishop campaign staffer Jim Albea, it will be several weeks before we know how many of the write-in votes went to Bishop. Libertarian candidates usually draw equally from disaffected Republicans, Democrats, and independents. Considering the slim margin of victory in such a heavily Republican state, though, Bishop probably turned far more voters away from Moore than from Jones. He did so with an unabashed campaign championing free trade, a balanced budget, lower taxes, and other common-sense Libertarian positions that would also appeal to fiscally conservative Republicans — but he didn’t shy away from Libertarian positions on social issues that can make social conservatives uncomfortable.

Bishop’s campaign also remained respectful toward Jones, whose long career as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama included a remarkable victory in convicting the Ku Klux Klan members who had been responsible for a 1963 Baptist church bombing.

According to a 2015 Gallup survey, 27 percent of the electorate is broadly libertarian. That’s more than the 26 percent who are conservative, the 23 percent who are liberal, and the 15 percent who are populist. That’s the highest percentage of libertarians Gallup has ever found among U.S. voters. Thanks to the efforts of both Republican and Democratic state politicians, Alabama has long been subject to state ballot access laws that keep third parties off the ballot in a special election this one. This prevents Libertarian voters from easily expressing their preferred electoral choice and ensures that Republicans and Democrats will retain a stranglehold on the political process.

“In 2018, the Libertarian Party aims to challenge the Democratic/Republican duopoly across the country,” Sarwark said. “We plan on fielding more than 2,000 candidates nationwide. Libertarians don’t care whether people are liberal or conservative. We welcome both liberals and conservatives with open arms. What we do care about is when conservatives force their views on others, for instance, by trying to ban gay marriage. Or when liberals try to force their views on others, for instance, by mandating the intricate details of health insurance contracts and then forcing people to buy them or pay draconian fines.”

The Libertarian Party also stands in opposition to the strain of populism that dominates in the United States today, which seeks to restrict people’s ability to do business with someone on the other side of a line in the sand drawn by dead politicians decades ago.

“We believe that limiting the power and size of government is a great first step toward creating a society in which people of all types accept and get along with each other,” Sarwark said. “Instead, our authoritarian regulatory regime encourages combat between blue and red tribes over the spoils collected by taxation and inflation. A better world of peace and freedom is possible, but cultural change comes before political change. The increase in libertarian cultural thinking, documented by Gallup, bodes well for political change in a libertarian direction.”

50 thoughts on “LP.org: ‘Relieved by Roy Moore’s defeat? Thank a Libertarian’

  1. Steven R Linnabary

    Does anybody know how many voted “straight ticket” as opposed to voting for the candidates?

    And is a ballot “soiled” if a voter voted both ways?

  2. Just Some Random Guy

    “If you’re happy that Roy Moore was not elected to the Senate, thank write-in candidates like Libertarian Ron Bishop,” said Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark.

    No, no, no, no. Don’t brag about how your candidate played the spoiler (or MAY have played the spoiler). Worries about splitting the vote are a major force in preventing people from voting for third parties, and trying to brag about that will just further make people think that’s the case and avoid third parties in the future. Okay, sure, this is just a random article on the LP site and probably won’t get much attention from non-Libertarians, but it’s worrisome that he would try to highlight this as a positive. Even if someone is of the persuasion that it’s good Bishop (may have) prevented Roy Moore from winning, that’s not a very good sell for more people to vote Libertarian.

    The people who would be most thrilled by this message would be the Democrats, but that happiness wouldn’t translate to them actually supporting the Libertarian candidate because that’d make it harder for their own guy to win. It’s telling Democrats who voted for Doug Jones they did the right thing by NOT voting for the Libertarian!

    So, essentially, Sarwark’s big pitch is “Want to let the other guy win? Vote Libertarian!” Not particularly good for making people want to support you.

  3. Thomas Knapp

    There are two ways to handle the “spoiler” charge. One is to deny it and one is to embrace it.

    Denying it doesn’t seem to have worked very well. Might as well embrace it: “Damn right we cost your party the election. Time to either get with the LP team and come on in for the big win, or else talk your lesser evil party into getting a lot less evil, because as long as it remains just the lesser evil, we’re going to keep it from winning.”

  4. robert capozzi

    LNC: Bishop and other independent candidates received 22,780 votes

    me: I believe there was at least R write-in candidate. Shelby apparently voted for him, and I suspect a large percentage of the 22,780 went that way, not with Bishop.

    This bow may well be overstated and undeserved. Yes, write-ins were more than the margin of victory, but it’s not obvious Bishop exceeded the margin. IOW, the credibility of this release appears to be challenged.

  5. Jonathan Makeley

    Indeed Knapp, and owning the ability to ‘spoil’ major party candidates results has historically been used by some minor parties to help get what they want. For instance, the Prohibition Party was able to pressure major party officials into getting behind passing national prohibition in part by affecting the results of various important elections and making credible threats of unseating incumbent officials.

  6. Andy

    Is the Democrat any good? Is the Democrat really any better than Roy Moore?

    I am doubting that Libertarians really have anything for which to be thankful here.

    Also, given that there were several write in candidates, I doubt that the a Libertarian candidate had much impact.

  7. Thomas Knapp

    “Is the Democrat any good? Is the Democrat really any better than Roy Moore?”

    To get a candidate who wasn’t any better than Roy Moore, the Democrats would have had to exhume Daniel Lee Siebert.

  8. robert capozzi

    AJ,

    Some NAPsters may not see that assessing the choice of candidates involve not just their positions but their character and emotional stability/temperament. They instead assess whether a candidate is at least directionally correct on the issues, regardless of other important factors for the job. Moore has demonstrated for decades that he lacks the temperament to be anywhere near making law. Jones showed no propensity for the sort of wackiness that Moore demonstrates.

    It begins to explain that there were actually Libertarians for Trump, a person whose temperament should have been disqualifying, even though we might like some of his positions.

  9. Gene Berkman

    Doug Jones put several Klansmen in prison in Alabama – that certainly is better than anything Roy Moore has done.
    Doug Jones is pro-choice on abortion, and supports non-discrimination in marriage.

    Roy Moore has said America was great when it had slavery, even if he described slavery as being a tragedy. Judge Moore not only opposes non-discriminatory marriage, he thinks gay people should be punished by law.

    It is pretty clear that Doug Jones is more committed to freedom than Roy Moore.

    Others took a more direct approach to opposing Roy Moore. Stand Up Republic, led by Evan McMullin, spent $500,000 on targeted radio ads against Judge Moore. And K.B . Forbes, who worked in the Pat Buchanan and Steve Forbes campaigns, established a Sava Alabama Pac to oppose Roy Moore.

    It really was a victory for freedom when Roy Moore was defeated, and anybody who helped did something for America.

  10. Andy

    “Thomas Knapp
    December 18, 2017 at 14:54
    “Is the Democrat any good? Is the Democrat really any better than Roy Moore?”

    To get a candidate who wasn’t any better than Roy Moore, the Democrats would have had to exhume Daniel Lee Siebert.”

    I would have to do some research on Moore and Jones to see if one is really better than the other. I’m rather skeptical that this is anything for Libertarians to celebrate, because it generally does not make a rat’s ass bit of difference who gets elected between Democrats and Republicans. It is also possible that Jones is worse than Moore (I’m not saying that he is or is not, I’m just throwing it out as a possibility).

    I just don’t see this as cause for celebration among Libertarians. How about Libertarians focus more on getting actual Libertarians elected to office, and then celebrate when you accomplish that goal?

    The LP of AL did not even have their US Senate candidate on the ballot, even though they have had over a year since the last general election where they could have been working on obtaining ballot access. If they really had their act together, Alabama is one of the few states where the LP could have had petition circulators at the polling places on the day of the 2016 presidential election, which, if probably executed, could have gotten the party a lot of valid signatures for 2018 ballot access, and had they finished the drive prior to this special US Senate race, they could have had their candidate, Ron Bishop, on the ballot in that race, instead of being a write in candidate.

  11. Thomas Knapp

    Jones seems like a pretty typical “moderate Democrat,” which is the only type of Democrat that can get elected in a majority white southern polity.

    Moore, on the other hand, is openly and avowedly the exact opposite of a libertarian as a matter of his over-arching political philosophy.

    He’s not against abortion out of a principled argument on personhood. He’s against abortion because God is against abortion.

    He’s not against gay marriage out of a principled opposition to government involvement in the institution. He wants government involved in it, to make sure it’s done the way God says it should be done.

    He’s a theocrat. He wants everything run according to God’s law. And whaddayaknow, God’s law always happens to agree with Roy Moore’s opinions.

    Electing Jones may or may not turn out to have been a good thing for libertarians/Libertarians in any particular respect. Defeating Moore was 100%, completely, totally and beyond a shadow of a doubt a good thing for libertarians/Libertarians in every respect.

  12. Just Some Random Guy

    I just don’t see this as cause for celebration among Libertarians. How about Libertarians focus more on getting actual Libertarians elected to office, and then celebrate when you accomplish that goal?

    I’m actually in agreement with Andy here.

  13. paulie Post author

    I believe there was at least R write-in candidate.

    You can write in literally any name. There is no write-in registration process. Some sources reported that there were over 200 declared write-in candidates and actually, my guess is that most of the write-in vote went to people who weren’t even running at all such as football coaches Nick Saban and Gus Malzahn, Santa Claus, Jesus, Jeff Sessions and Luther Strange.

  14. paulie Post author

    Is the Democrat any good? Is the Democrat really any better than Roy Moore?

    Those are two very different questions. The Democrat who ran against David Duke wasn’t good, but he was better than Duke. This is the same sort of thing here.

  15. paulie Post author

    they have had over a year since the last general election where they could have been working on obtaining ballot access.

    Nope. The date of the election has to be on the petition. The special election had not been called a year ago.

  16. paulie Post author

    Defeating Moore was 100%, completely, totally and beyond a shadow of a doubt a good thing for libertarians/Libertarians in every respect.

    Exactly.

  17. Andy

    I’d be curious to look into the issue stances and records of Roy Moore and David Jones to see if one is really better than the other. Most of the time, it makes little difference who gets elected between the Democrat and the Republican.

  18. Thomas Knapp

    Andy,

    You often write about how you’d “be curious to look at” things. Have you ever considered actually doing so instead of just speculating about what you might find if you did?

    Defeating Moore was good, whether or not electing Jones was. Just like defeating Clinton was good, whether or not electing Trump was.

  19. paulie Post author

    I’d be curious to look into the issue stances and records of Roy Moore and David Jones to see if one is really better than the other.

    That’s like going back to 1990 and saying “I’d be curious to look into the issue stances and records of David Duke and J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., to see if one is really better than the other.” That is, it would be, if Duke, in addition to being an infamous bigot, had also been a judge who had been removed from the bench twice by his fellow Republican judges for openly flouting the rule of law and an infamous creep who had been banned from the town mall and put on predator watch at high school sports games for habitually stalking and propositioning teenage girls while in his 30s.

    Most of the time, it makes little difference who gets elected between the Democrat and the Republican.

    This wasn’t one of those times. You’d have to have lived under a rock or be intentionally ignorant to not know that. Either that or be a reactionary theocrat like Roy Moore who wants to go back to some fantasy version of the Old South blended with Old Testament patriarchy AKA “make Alabama great again” (just like in the “good old days” of segregation and slavery).

    Defeating Moore was good, whether or not electing Jones was. Just like defeating Clinton was good, whether or not electing Trump was.

    Electing Trump was a disaster. Electing Moore would have also been a disaster. Electing David Duke would have been about the same kind of disaster as electing Roy Moore, or at least close to it. By comparison, moderate Democrats such as Hillary Clinton, J. Bennett Johnston Jr., Doug Jones, Mary Landrieu or even that crook Edwin Edwards, or moderate Republicans such as David Treen or Luther Strange, aren’t nearly that level of disaster, as much as they’re legitimately horrible in their own right. It’s a big mistake to make excuses for the likes of Trump, Duke, or especially Moore by false equivalence with run of the mill politicians or worse yet thinking they must be better just because they are different.

  20. Thomas Knapp

    “Electing Trump was a disaster.”

    I expected it to be. So far, apart from the “we desperately want you to believe that Trump colluded with !THEM RUSSIANS! to change the election outcome, even though after more than a year we have yet to produce a shred of evidence to support such a belief” nonsense, for which he can hardly be held responsible, he seems to have pretty much been business as usual.

  21. paulie Post author

    after more than a year we have yet to produce a shred of evidence to support such a belief

    ROFL. I don’t know how anyone can deny the overwhelming and daily mounting evidence of the still ongoing collusion at this point.

    he seems to have pretty much been business as usual.

    That’s sadly very, very untrue. I would rather use my time on other things than going into detail about that and then arguing about it endlessly here.

  22. robert capozzi

    tk,

    Especially for a president, we can assess the technical substance of what has been done during an administration, and there — yes — DJT is not super different. The Muslim ban — I would suggest — IS different, especially when considered along with his campaign. (Although I would say the policy eventually got to a reasonable place, but only AFTER it attempted to codify DJT’s faith-bating ways.)

    When we add to that the DJT Administration’s tone — the rhetoric and positioning and sense of direction — I’d say DJT is QUITE disturbing. Putting generals in charge is to me disturbing, too. Putting a person with no background in diplomacy in charge of the State Department is disturbing.

    Risks of severely negative outcomes have shot way up in the Trump years.

  23. Thomas Knapp

    “I don’t know how anyone can deny the overwhelming and daily mounting evidence of the still ongoing collusion at this point.”

    And until and unless such evidence is actually publicly presented, I don’t know how anyone can pretend that it has been.

    Politicians have been race-baiting and asserting increasing executive power for pretty much since 1789. Trump is not notably different than Richard “southern strategy” Nixon, Ronald “announce my campaign in the town where civil rights workers were murdered” Reagan, Bill and Hillary “super predators” Clinton, et al.

    Granted, most of them weren’t as entertaining as Trump, but he hasn’t gone off the rails with respect to actual POLICY yet.

    Yes, RC, the Muslim ban was ugly — just as ugly as when Obama implemented a more limited version of it (same original seven countries, not quite as restrictive as to conditions) in February of 2016.

  24. Thomas Knapp

    “Putting a person with no background in diplomacy in charge of the State Department is disturbing.”

    Sort of like John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, or Colin Powell?

  25. robert capozzi

    Amending…diplomacy and affairs of state.

    Tillerson probably was impressive in his knowledge from the outside, but his predecessors had knowledge from the inside.

    He does seem discerning enough, since he is apparently unimpressed with DJT’s intellect. I find the way DJT speaks and writes to be embarrassing, disqualifying.

  26. dL

    ROFL. I don’t know how anyone can deny the overwhelming and daily mounting evidence of the still ongoing collusion at this point.

    Russia wouldn’t even make my top 30 list with respect to foreign collusion. One of the few governments on the globe that is not in active collusion w/ American policy.

  27. mARS

    At least one county (Morgan) has already tabulated its results. Bishop got 29 out of 671 write-ins, placing 5th out of them, behind Luther Strange (who was not running) with 215, Lee Busby (who WAS running) with 152, Mo Brooks (not running) with 72, and Arthur Orr (not running) with 64. There were 30,756 votes in Morgan County, meaning that Bishop received 0.09% of the vote there.

  28. robert capozzi

    mARS,

    If this is reasonably representative of the rest of the state, it would indicate that the LNC’s claim is false.

  29. robert capozzi

    TK: Yes, RC, the Muslim ban was ugly — just as ugly as when Obama implemented a more limited version of it (same original seven countries, not quite as restrictive as to conditions) in February of 2016.

    me: Of course we all have our subjective take on what an ugliness scale looks like, but for me Trump made a YUGE deal about banning Muslims during the campaign IIRC and after one unconstitutional attempt, he got one implemented. That to me is far more ugly than BHO’s more prudent security measures that were not surrounded by overt Islamophobia.

    Substance matters, but in politics, so does tone and intention. It seems that if Ls ever want to come in off the fringes, they’ll need to take rhetoric into account. Undoing the State requires a sense of what can sell. Diagnosing where State policies are especially injurious also requires a sense of what is most offensive, and calibrating sober responses and not OVERstating the areas where government is over-the-line.

  30. Steven R Linnabary

    “Incumbent Luther Strange, who lost to Moore in the Republican primary, led the write-in race with more than 5,800 votes, Al.com reported . He was followed by former White House aide Lee Busby; U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who also ran in the GOP Senate primary; Libertarian write-in candidate Ron Bishop; Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who left the Senate when President Donald Trump appointed him; and Alabama football coach Nick Saban.”

    http://www.dispatch.com/news/20171222/alabama-senate-write-ins-god-bugs-bunny-chuck-norris

  31. dL

    Substance matters, but in politics, so does tone and intention. It seems that if Ls ever want to come in off the fringes, they’ll need to take rhetoric into account. Undoing the State requires a sense of what can sell. Diagnosing where State policies are especially injurious also requires a sense of what is most offensive, and calibrating sober responses and not OVERstating the areas where government is over-the-line.

    In other words, lip service. Well, Bob, the lip service might make you feel better, but it probably doesn’t make those who have had their lives ruined by the actions feel any better. Hypocrisy doesn’t taste the same to everyone…

  32. robert capozzi

    dL: Hypocrisy doesn’t taste the same to everyone…

    me: Thanks for the feedback. Being on the fringes also doesn’t taste the same for everyone. For NAPsters, it may engender a kind of sanctimonious self-satisfaction. For most, however, fringe positioning assures irrelevancy and ineffectiveness.

    Of course, I believe that non-NAPster lessarchists need not be hypocrites. If asked whether I advocate, for ex., abolition of 95% of the State tomorrow, and the last 5% within a year, I can say, no, that in my judgement would be unwise. I do believe it’s vitally important and right to begin rolling back the State tomorrow, but such hasty abolitionism is potentially more dangerous than even the current path we’re on. The risk of severe dislocations are unacceptably high, plus it’s plain that there is no support for such an extremist approach, anyway.

  33. dL

    Of course, I believe that non-NAPster lessarchists need not be hypocrites.

    Well, I would hope so, Bob..after all, you are the god, priest and congregation for that movement. You should manage to find a way to absolve yourself.

  34. robert capozzi

    Perhaps, although I’m not sure there’ve been enough observations to be an established idiom.

  35. dL

    Bob, since you’re so skilled with google, I assume you noticed it’s around 100-1 in favor of happy vs merry vis a vis festivus. Ordinarily, it would be an innocuous distinction, but given that “merry” these days has become a fervent part of the right-wing politically correct lexicon, it’s usage as an adjective decoration for festivus would at best be tone deaf. You know, if you are being fucking serious…

  36. robert capozzi

    dL,

    I do my best not take anything too seriously. It appears to me that you are taking this WAY too seriously. But, no, I’ve not noticed that “merry” is a right wing PC word.

    I have noticed that “Happy Holidays” was the PC (lefty) statement for the last few decades. In fact, I use it most of the time. Happy is also used with Hanukah, I suspect because of the alliteration.

    I found Festivus quite amusing when I saw the Seinfeld episode, but I almost never refer to it. I did so here to neutralize your religious allusion, given it’s apparent lack of metaphysical dogma.

    Yes, I think Happy is preferable with Festivus.

    You win, my anonymous friend. Good for you!

  37. dL

    It appears to me that you are taking this WAY too seriously

    bah humbug…

    But, no, I’ve not noticed that “merry” is a right wing PC word.

    I would have this spot would have run on Tucker Carlson. The observation overton window superpowers of the LessAnarchists are less than impressive…

  38. Krzysztof Lesiak

    “The Libertarian Party also stands in opposition to the strain of populism that dominates in the United States today, which seeks to restrict people’s ability to do business with someone on the other side of a line in the sand drawn by dead politicians decades ago.”

    I really hate to admit it, but this makes so much sense. This is like a perfect sentence encapsulating the open borders position, which I do not support, by the way.

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