The Village Voice: Nation: Atlas Rising  

The Village Voice: Nation: Atlas Rising  
Posted by FoM on September 28, 2000 at 16:35:04 PT
By James Ridgeway
Source: Village Voice
Libertarians claim their presidential candidate, Harry Browne, who is now polling at 3 to 4 percent in Colorado, Illinois, and Georgia, is becoming "the new Ralph Nader," with a chance to swing the election if the race remains tight. But while Nader stands to draw left-leaning voters away from Democrat Al Gore, Browne is bleeding support from the right-wingers who support GOP candidate George W. Bush. If the race remains tight and Browne does well enough in key states, his backers say, the Libertarian could deny Bush the election if the race remains tight. 
In Georgia, where Bush leads Gore by six points, polls show Browne pulling in 4 percent of the vote. In Illinois, where Bush and Gore are deadlocked, one survey has Nader and Browne tied at 3 percent. In Colorado, where the race is also too tight to call, Nader is running at 5 percent and Browne at 3. With slender margins between the major-party candidates, even a relatively weak showing by the upstarts could affect the outcome. For years, right-wing Republicans have been stealing Libertarian economic rhetoric, but in an e-mail interview with the Voice this week, Browne said he is not a carbon copy of Shrub. "George Bush wants to run your life," Browne wrote. "I want you to be free—free of the income tax, free of Social Security, free of the drug war, free of people like George Bush and Al Gore." Such classic Libertarian laissez-faire stumping has long made prominent guest appearances on Republican platforms, though the GOP has left the Libertarian social policies safely in the closet. Browne and company are running hard against the war on drugs, for example, which the right-wing GOP has unsuccessfully tried to build up as a major foreign policy issue to replace the fight against Communism. And Libertarians generally support free movement of labor across national borders, which would lead to the demise of U.S. immigration enforcement and restore much of the Southwest and California to a Spanish-speaking annex of Mexico. Libertarians were the first and most-prominent opponents of the income tax, an issue which has riveted the Republican Party over the last decade. They even forced Clinton to talk about simplifying the existing tax system. Browne is on the ballot in 49 states, and his party has congressional candidates in 44 states, running for 245 seats, half of all House districts. Though the party has a spotty record at the polls, many more people seem to share Libertarian beliefs than vote for Libertarian candidates. A recent Rasmussen Research Survey shows 16 percent of Americans—one in every six voters—back Libertarian positions on issues, compared to 13 percent who identify as liberal and 7 percent as conservative. More than a quarter of those polled said drug laws do more harm than good, and 36 percent want to get rid of the income tax. What follows in an edited version of the Voice's cybertalk with Browne. Voice: Aren't you like Nader and Buchanan—just a spoiler? Browne: I am running to help build a Libertarian Party big enough to win the presidency and Congress. By your definition, we could never have anything but the Republicans and Democrats, because anyone else would be a "spoiler." Voice: Give three simple things you'd do first if elected: Browne: (1) Pardon every federal prisoner convicted of a nonviolent drug offense. (2) Tear pages of regulations out of the Federal Register. (3) Bring U.S. troops home from abroad and announce that the United States will no longer meddle in other countries' affairs. Voice: Why won't you take federal election money? Browne: I don't believe you should be forced to support my campaign. And you certainly can't believe that anyone who feeds at the federal trough is serious about reducing government. Note: Forget the Nader Threat. Libertarian Candidate May Tip Election—to Gore. Source: Village Voice (NY)Published: September 27 - October 3, 2000Author: James RidgewayCopyright: 2000 VV Publishing CorporationContact: editor villagevoice.comAddress: 36 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003Website: Articles & Web Sites:The Libertarian Party Browne For President Stands His Ground Nominate Browne from Peter McWilliams
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Comment #5 posted by J.R.BobDobbs on September 29, 2000 at 13:33:38 PT
None Of The Above
  In Russia, they have an option on the ballot for "none of the above", and if that option recieves the most votes, they have to have another election! It took them less than ten years to come up with this idea which we haven't picked up on for 200!!
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Comment #4 posted by Rainbow on September 29, 2000 at 06:31:59 PT
I learned here
One thing I have learned here is that we can speak on mind (1st amendment) and not get put in prison. Yes I was fearful of the police and others to think that I could not even mention the m word.So if going into the politicians storefronts might just awaken the solid hardline people working for the dastardly pols.I asked that kid to do some research. I am not sure if he is even capable of understanding the word research but even if I put doubt in his or others minds the seed of civil disobediance and anti-sheeple is furthered.Grams office is next. Sure wish I had the strength to do it at county fair time when more crowds would be around.This will be LOL (that is until the cops pull me away for speaking the truth, which might happen.Pax,Rainbow
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Comment #3 posted by Kanabys on September 29, 2000 at 05:35:17 PT
Hi Rainbow....
It's a noble effort you made, but I have to agree with the congressman here. Our general public is still too narrowminded to vote third party to any extent. But don't give up hope, some wonderful day I think things will turn. They have in the distant past and they will again. I don't mean to give up the fight by any means; let's keep on trying to pound sense into them, but just don't expect a big change soon. Of course, I've been wrong before and I sincerely hope this is one of those times. Keep on keeping on man..... Pax
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Comment #2 posted by CongressmanSuet on September 29, 2000 at 00:42:14 PT:
Im taking a realistic stand...
I have been planing on voting Green or Lib for some time. They expouse the principles I believe. But, I am also a realist. Its Gore or Bush. Until the third partys are able to get a strong foothold on local governmont, get included in the debates, they will never have a realistic chance. Carlos, please dont trash me too much, but the thought of Bush appointing maybe 3-4 Supreme Court Justices really scares me..
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Comment #1 posted by Rainbow on September 28, 2000 at 17:07:53 PT
Too bad they can not get together and kick some perverbial a**. If Browne takes from shrub (this is great the news media has caught on) and Nader from Algor then we might be able to make a huge statement.Push. I think I will put both there names on my front lawn.I went to a DFL office here in Rochester and caught a young man with his pants down. He wanted me to vote for so and so and I ask him how so and so would deal with the Failed WoD? He did a great job of hemming around looking for me to lean one way or not. I did not and it was so much fun playing with a would be pol. So finally I told him and he went on his high horse about being against illegal things and not knowing much about the failed wod. So i tried to teach him a littl all the while with an older lady croaming close to use. And then not voting for something directly related to the wod. he should have heard his own contradictory statements.The sad thing is he was probably brought back into the fold and fed a few lines to get him back on course. I was that old bearded hippie who drives a neat little honda, but has no sense since I am against the establishment. Ah the 60s and 70s were great. I think I will walk into the Grams headquarters next and see what kind of trouble I can cause.he he he he he LOLRainbow
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