Libertarian vs. libertarian

There is quite a lot written about L(l)ibertarians these days – and most folks don’t really understand why those with a libertarian philosophy (note the small “l”) are often not members of the Libertarian party and disagree quite often with those who are.  I’ve been thinking about this over the last few days, and it would be an interesting study to really crunch some numbers from each state once all the counting is actually finalized.

The best way I can think of to describe the differences goes along with a Milton Friedman quote:

I am a libertarian with a small ‘l’ and a Republican with a capital ‘R’. And I am a Republican with a capital ‘R’ on grounds of expediency, not on principle.

What he is saying, is he agrees with the libertarian philosophy, and if voting for a Libertarian candidate would actually get a small government candidate into office, that would be grand.  But as a realist, and being pragmatic enough to recognize that the Libertarian party has never garnered enough interest to actually provide a challenge to the Republican and Democrat parties, he is a Republican.  While not agreeing with many republican principles, he fully comprehends what many Libertarians fail to grasp – their “protest” vote for their Libertarian candidate may send a message, but it also does incalculable damage when it results in the election of a candidate who will do untold damage to our public policies and distance us further from our constitutional roots. Those who vote the Libertarian candidate at all costs tell me a lot about their character; and it also tells me a lot about the character of their candidate if he is willing to be a spoiler to one who could be a good candidate if given the chance.  That alone tells me all I need to know – and I guarantee I would not vote for such a person as he has said from his own mouth that he’s happy to spoil the election for a good candidate in order to get his own agenda some coverage.

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