November 11, 2020

ROGER SIMON: Libertarian Ideas Are Great, Voting Libertarian Self-Defeating.

As of this writing, the votes separating Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are less than the numbers gained by Libertarian Party candidate Jo Jorgensen who garnered close to 1.7 percent of the popular vote.

As Joel Pollak wrote on breitbart.com, “If Jorgensen’s votes went to Trump, instead of allowing Biden to win these states, the president would win re-election, with 289 Electoral College votes.”

Whether this is absolutely true is, of course, unknowable, but given the current leftward-lurching Democratic Party that seems about as libertarian as Chairman Mao, if push came to the proverbial shove, the majority of Ms. Jorgensen’s voters likely would have gone to Trump.

She seems like a decent person but Jorgensen—interviewed here by Jan Jekielek for his compelling American Thought Leaders series—is a textbook example of what I termed a “moral narcissist” in my 2016 book “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. “

What the moral narcissist claims she believes (in this case Jorgensen, but there are many similar self-described liberals and progressives as well)—not the actual results of those beliefs—is what defines her as a person and makes her good.

Joel Pollak made those results in Jorgensen’s case painfully clear in the link above, but they are arguably even worse in the long run.

The more libertarian ideas are debated within the Republican Party, the more that party’s candidates will have to respond to them and, potentially, espouse them. They will have real world implications.

When you waste them on something as inconsequential as a fringe and almost entirely ignored Libertarian Party candidacy, particularly in something so hotly contested as a presidential election, you vitiate them and are ultimately self-defeating, not to mention, as we have seen, sabotaging the only viable candidate who best carries your ideas.

Trump is far from a pure, or even relatively pure, libertarian, but compared to Joe Biden—especially given what surrounds him from Bernie Sanders to Kamala Harris to AOC—he’s a veritable Ron Raul.

Moreover, the “deplorables” who are, oddly, more libertarian than Trump on the street level—they wish more than anything to be left alone by government—could push or could have pushed Trump more in their direction during a second term, especially after the pandemic.

Exit question from Roger: “Which leads to the ultimately more important question of the efficacy of ideological purity. Is it self-defeating in and of itself?”

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