As analysts of the exit polls in the Virginia gubernatorial race have it, Robert Sarvis, the libertarian lite, third-party candidate is not to blame for "siphoning off" votes from conservative Ken Cuccinelli and spoiling an election in what was once a reliably red state.
"In a straight two-way matchup," contended one such analyst at FoxNews.com, "voters preferred McAuliffe to Cuccinelli by two points. That’s almost identical to the [race's] final outcome."
This is unconvincing. Is it not possible that without Sarvis, those energized "independents and moderates," whose support Sarvis garnered might have turned out for Cuccinelli? There are those who are convinced that Sarvis cut into Cuccinelli’s support. The tea party's Steve King, R-Iowa, for example.
Indeed, a jubilant CNN reporter—the nitwork could not conceal its collective glee over the victory, in Virginia, of Democratic fundraiser Terry McAuliffe—conceded that "self-described independents broke for Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli." Clearly, there was overlap between the Cuccinelli and Sarvis constituencies.
We all recall another Libertarian Party clown's perennial struggle to get on the ballot as the party's presidential nominee. Unlike wacky Gary Johnson, whose "ballot access" was impeded by "Republican operatives," somebody greased the skids for Sarvis, helping place him on the Virginia ballot.
Good old-fashioned (and near-obsolete) shoe-leather journalism, conducted by The Blaze, revealed that Sarvis had help from "a major Democratic Party benefactor and Obama campaign bundler." A software billionaire named Joe Liemandt, who acted as one of Barack Obama's super fundraisers in 2012, galvanized on behalf of Sarvis.
Incriminating as this may appear, evidence of a dark, Democratic scheme it is not. In fairness to Sarvis' sponsor—who hobnobs with Obama acolytes like Warren Buffet, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein—he was in the habit of splitting "political giving between libertarian third-party efforts and liberal Democrats."
That a political contributor would have no compunction about supporting both the Democratic National Committee and the Libertarian Action Super PAC is not surprising. Politicking in America precludes staking out principled positions.
Besides, the gulf between establishment libertarians and left-liberals is not that wide. The Libertarian Party is a party of "isms," not individualism. When it comes to playing manipulative politics with hot-button social issues—matters of “racism,” “sexism” (blah, blah)—there’s no daylight between left-libertarians and leftists.
True to type, Sarvis' same-sex marriage sanctimony is not only pious, but specious. By Wikipedia’s telling, he “supports same sex marriage and says it is a personal issue for him because his own marriage, which is biracial, was illegal in Virginia 50 years ago.” (By the same token, why not support affirmative action, on the ground that it, too, wasn’t the law “in Virginia 50 years ago”?)
True libertarians toil to keep the state out of marriage altogether. In furtherance of liberty, Uncle Sam's purview must be curtailed, not expanded. On this score, let our gay friends and family members lead the way. Let them solemnize their commitment in contract and through church, synagogue and mosque (that will be the day!). Once interesting and iconoclastic, gays have become colossal bores who crave nothing more than the state's seal of approval. Go back to the days of the Stonewall Riots, when the police's violations of privacy and private property were the object of gay anger and activism.
Invariably deployed to encroach on private property and police subversives, the political construct that is "discrimination" ("sexism, racism, blah, blah") ought to be opposed by the party of individualism. So long as the individual keeps his paws to himself, let him think, speak, associate and dissociate at will.
Unsurprisingly, the Libertarian-Party candidate is for open borders, framing the matter with yet more illogical, liberal argumentation. (Here: I know immigrants, therefore immigration should proceed unfettered.)
The immigration vexation has pitted governors like Arizona's and attorneys general such as Cuccinelli against the Feds in a heroic fight for the right of state representatives to protect their statesmen from trespass. On immigration, left-libertarians come down foursquare on the side of the federales. (Rest assured that the latest, statist amnesty Bill is Sarvis' dream come true.)
"Insane" is how Mr. libertarian himself, Ron Paul, characterized a vote for a candidate (Robert Sarvis) who was willing to consider a mileage tax on Virginians, complete with government-accessible, GPS surveillance in vehicles.
"Insane" is also an apt description of running a gubernatorial candidate against one of the most libertarian attorneys general a state has had. Ken Cuccinelli's attempts to nullify federal health insurance mandates in Virginia go back to 2010, when he launched a legal challenge to “shield Virginians from paying any penalties for not purchasing federally-approved health care.”
Cuccinelli, attests Timothy Carney of The Examiner, "wants to cut the state income tax rate by 15 percent for individuals and 33 percent for corporations," "has an A rating from the National Rifle Association—earned while representing Fairfax County in the state Senate," contested "smoking bans as a senator," is known to "choose government restraint over 'law and order'"; has opposed expanding the death penalty, has criticized the drug war and crusaded to exonerate the wrongly convicted.
Also on target was Cuccinelli’s campaign against Northern Virginia's consummate carpetbaggers and their land-development schemes. I'd hazard that because he vowed to stop taxpayer subsidies to these crony capitalists, Attorney General Cuccinelli lost the GOP's financial backing and was, consequently, outspent by his rival.
Lamentably, Beltway libertarian Ed Crane and his Purple PAC backed the insignificant Sarvis partly because this lot is every bit as committed to superfluous social cause célèbres as the "theo-conservatives" they abhor.
Prosperity and penury do not turn on gyno-centric and gay matters. But leftist statists and libertarians of the left place these wedge issues at the forefront of the fight for freedom.
Every bit as bad as liberals, "libertarian" political operators are prepared to shed political blood over any imagined sign of bigotry.
ILANA Mercer is a classical liberal writer, based in the United States. She pens WND's longest-standing paleolibertarian column. ILANA is a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. She is the author of "Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa." ILANA's website is WWW.IlanaMercer.com . She blogs at www.barelyablog.com
Copyright 2013 Ilana Mercer