Americans voting in the last elections had four options.
Two authoritarians, one libertarian and a “greenhorn”.
I really like Dr. Stein but her lack of ‘high level’ political or business experience made her an unlikely choice.
The authoritarians have generated much hype but so little real enthusiasm that many voters have chosen to stay home.
In this situation, with so many voters – who had shown up in 2004 and 2008 – dissatisfied with the mainstream parties, how come the libertarian candidate – who had both a solid experience, as a two term Governor, and a reasonable electoral platform did not manage a better score?
He did ‘rake in’ a little over 4 million votes – more than trebling his 2012 result – but he is still shy of the 5 % needed to qualify the Libertarian Party for federal funding in the next campaign.
Could it be that the libertarians need to ‘clean up their act’?
Judging by the antics performed by the current winner some ‘pundits’ might counsel them to ‘increase the pressure’ but I don’t think that that would be a wise thing to do.
Yes, today’s 2016 President-elect did display a rather unusual behavior for a presidential candidate, and ‘won’, but I’m afraid this was due to a certain set of ‘co-incidents’ rather than the American political scene undergoing a massive upheaval.
Trump is, we must admit that, a great ‘comedian’.
He does have a huge fortune – and presently enough Americans are sufficiently obsessed with ‘financial success’ to forgive his rather unorthodox ways of amassing that fortune.
And we must not forget that there is a sizable number of Republicans so eager to regain power that they did tolerate his antics – precisely because they have perceived him as a ‘winner’ AND because he has successfully led them to believe that he will uphold their values.
Therefore I’m afraid that Trump’s performance would not be that easy to reproduce nor do I think that America should really go down this path.
Coming back to the Libertarians, they present to the general public such a wide spectrum of ideas that the ordinary American voter is actually bewildered.
For instance, everybody hates paying taxes but give them up altogether?
The business tycoons – those who successfully avoid paying taxes, as private individuals or through their corporations – won’t give up this system simply because being able to avoid paying taxes constitutes a huge competitive advantage. Actually it would be rational for them to try to increase the ‘fiscal burden’ that weighs down everybody else but them.
The ‘man in the street’, the one who pays little to none income tax but who contributes hugely to the GDP formation simply because he buys the stuff sold by the business tycoons, won’t give them up because he knows that taxes pay for the roads he uses to go to work, for whatever emergency health care he gets, for his children’s schooling, for his meager pension, etc., etc….
It so happens that only the middle class would have any direct, even if highly debatable, benefit if the state would give up collecting taxes. They have private medical insurance, they send their children to private schools, they don’t rely on public pensions in order to have a decent retirement, and they think they have enough money to pay the tolls whenever they’d need to use the roads.
I’m not going to discuss here the practicality of the arrangements proposed by the ‘anarchists’ – private fire-fighters and private police, among others.
What grabbed my attention was the concept of ‘voluntary taxes’.
“I work with the Catholic Church (on a consulting basis) and all payments are voluntary. If people don’t like what the church is doing, they either stop participating or stop donating. Similar idea for the government. If it performs a useful function at a friendly cost, people would support it.”
This makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
OK, I won’t bother reminding you what would have happened up to two or three centuries ago to the brave enough guy who decided to stop paying the tithe.
But I will mention the fact that there still are countries in Europe who continue to collect taxes in the name of the church.
And, because of that – where possible, many people leave their churches.
Which reminds us that in modern days belonging to a church is optional.
People who actively engage in church life constitute a subset of the entire population, a subset of people who have selected themselves into this (mental)state.
One can leave America at will and most Americans have enough money to live like ‘princes’ almost anywhere on Earth. Not as safely nor enjoying the same degree of civilization… no wonder that very few of them actually leave while so many ‘aliens’ try to get in there…
But why don’t they reform the tax system AND the (wasteful?) way the taxes are being spent, instead of dreaming of a tax-less world?
‘What’s the use to submit my children to a risk, however small, if all the other children are being vaccinated?’
Well, people believe what they want to believe.
Even the defenders of Dr. Wakefield do not pretend that he is against vaccination as a principle but only that he still is, to this day, preoccupied with the safety of the ‘triple vaccine’ (MMR) involved in the initial paper.
“He did not advise his patients to stop vaccinating, but instead to vaccinate for these three diseases with single vaccines, rather than the combo.“
Until then the authoritarians will divide the spoils amongst them.
Not before staging a heated, but fake, fight for our benefit.