Friday, December 4, 2020
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The Groan-Inducing Right-Wing Battle Cry of “SOCIALISM! LOLVENEZUELA!”…and How to Address...

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by Kellen Squire Well, it's a day that ends in "y," so it must be a time for another Republican to cleverly go "LOLVENEZUELA" when...

Meet Your (Possible) 2017 Virginia Libertarian Candidate for Governor

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According to VPAP, it looks like there's going to be a Libertarian candidate (named Jason Carrier) for governor of Virginia, assuming of course that...

What You Should Know About Sarvis Voters, And Why They Matter

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Put away your preconceived notions of libertarians; most Sarvis voters have never picked up "Atlas Shrugged" in their life (and save yourself the trouble too, read something enjoyable!). As the dust settles on this Democratic sweep of the Commonwealth, let us take a look at Sarvis voters and what they actually mean.

Voter turnout was up because of Sarvis
2,000,819 Virginians turned out to vote in 2009, including 2,502 who wrote-in a candidate. Turnout was only 42% of active voters. Four years later, 2,240,178 Virginians voted, for turnout of 47%. But turnout with just the two-major party gubernatorial candidates was just 43%. Most of the increase in turnout came from the 145,967 Sarvis voters.

Most Sarvis voters wouldn't have voted otherwise.
Without Sarvis on the ballot, the race would have been 48% Terry McAuliffe, 46% Ken Cuccinelli, and 5% wouldn't have voted. Do the math and election day would have been McAuliffe 51%, Cuccinelli 49%. Two and a half times as many Sarvis voters would have gone to McAuliffe over Cuccinelli, but most wouldn't have voted at all.

Sarvis voters are overwhelmingly white and young.
Not only are Sarvis voters mostly white, a whopping 15% of the 18 to 29 cohort voted for Sarvis. It was also the cohort that McAuliffe improved the least over Creigh Deeds from 2009. What motivated so many younger votes to reject the two party system?

They are independent.
Helping to explain why they would vote for a third-party candidate or not vote at all, most Sarvis supporters affiliated themselves as independent voters, not members of either the Democratic or Republican Party.

Robert Sarvis: The Image that Defied Policy Substance

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In a perfect world, political candidates running for office in Virginia named Robert Sarvis wouldn't be far-right libertarian ideologues hiding behind the farce of moderation.  As Virginia's very own governor has demonstrated, however, we are far from living in a perfect world.

We are living in a world where the image is rarely the real picture of truth. And so it with Robert Sarvis, the libertarian candidate in Virginia's contest for governor who has slowly captured more attention from the mainstream media of Virginia with his shadowy political positions, his relative youth, and his heavily underdog status.

What is interesting about some of this 'coverage', however, is the lack of political positions that Robert Sarvis is asked to discuss. Instead, the main story is about a plain-ol' Virginian trying to take on two political goliaths. As has been pointed out by Lowell Feld, however, if Virginians knew about some of Mr. Sarvis' political positions (or lack thereof), they probably wouldn't be as enthused about his entry into the governor's race (at least 8 percent).

Mr. Sarvis can prove me right or wrong by letting Virginians know where he stands on issues pertaining to the environment, corporate spending in politics, the social safety net, and so on. In the case of environmental positions, his website doesn't even list the environment on his "Issues" page! Again, it's for the best because we know what the 'free hand' of the marketplace will reap upon this beautiful planet of ours.

The Coming Assault on the 20th Century

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The Republican success in the recent midterm election is being billed as a mandate---- but exactly what mandate do the hubris-filled Republicans claim they have been given? They are running several scenarios up the flagpole, or, if you prefer, they are trying on various costumes and trotting down the runway to see which ones are suitable for the upcoming fancy dress ball they will attend in January. The various factions within the GOP, from libertarian to Tea Party, Wall Street to globalal corporations, religious fanatics to seething bigots, are drafting their wish lists, most of which will turn out to be non-negotiable demands to repeal anything even faintly tainted with a Democratic label, and that basically amounts to just about everything that came out of the 20th century. (Maybe even some of the wars, believe it or not).

Does Charity Breed Poverty?

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Charity breeds poverty, according to most libertarians, if I am reading correctly what many authors of investment news letters say, and what Tea Party-Republican candidates like Rand Paul indicated (before the Republican Establishment muzzled him). Hear what Doug Casey, wealthy investor, said about Gates' amd Buffets' well-publicized charities in an interview by Louis James in "Whiskey and Gunpowder" for 15 May 2010: (sorry, no link available)
"Charities are largely unproductive. Their main beneficiaries are not the intended recipients, but the giver. They get some tax benefits, but mainly get the holy high of do-goodism.  Frankly, the idea of charity itself is corrupting to both parties in the transaction..... they {Bill Gates and Warren Buffet}.... should continue.... accumulating wealth---- as opposed to dissipating it by giving it away.  Giving money away breaks up a capital pool that could have been used productively by those who built it for making new wealth (which increases the amount of wealth that exists in the world).

Worse, giving money away usually delivers it into the hands of people who don't deserve it. That sends the wrong moral message.... You deserve things because you earn them..... Endowing groups, or individuals, because they happen to have had some bad luck, or are perpetual losers, is actually immoral."

"The wrong moral message?" This puts one in mind of the popular Republican stereotype of the Welfare Queen, and of the implicit corollary to the Republican conflation of God with earthly benefits: the righteous are due wealth ("God wants you to be rich"); it confuses affluence with righteousness. In other words, if you are poor or down and out---- well, you deserve to be. This is the Republican form of entitlements.