How Manny Klausner & Mike Rappaport are Voting:
Manny Klausner is the [co-]founder of Reason [Foundation and a founding co-editor of Reason] Magazine, stalwart supporter of the Federalist Society, and libertarian lawyer extraordinaire. When he was representing Matt Drudge, I once watched him brilliantly depose the charming Sid Blumenthal who had sued Drudge for defamation. The memory is bittersweet, however, because the other observer was Barbara Olson, who was murdered on 9/11 in the plane that was crashed into the Pentagon. Here is Manny's explanation of how he will vote this year:
I don't see any good reason for libertarians to vote for either Obama or McCain if they live in a nonbattleground state that doesn't look like a cliffhanger on the eve of the election.Another libertarian who very reluctantly reached a similar conclusion is USD law prof Mike Rappaport over at the Right Coast. I don't think he would mind if I reprint his post in full here:
Not voting at all is always respectable for libertarians, but not surprisingly, it isn't always applauded by others: for a hilarious take on this, see here.
Above all, it seems to me that the WORST move is to vote for a statist candidate who may win the election — which in my view implicates the voter in the bad policies pursued by the candidate once they take office. To me, the only exception to this is a close election where your vote arguably could be decisive, so that voting for the lesser of the evils may be appropriate.
As for me, I'm voting for Bob Barr in California, where Obama will win by at least 500,000 votes if the election is close.
The incremental value of a vote for Barr as an explicit protest of the war on drugs is a major reason for me to vote for the LP candidate. Primarily because of this, and for other reasons as well, I've consistently voted for the LP candidate for president since I voted for John Hospers in 1972.
On the other hand, I'm encouraging those who live in battleground states that still look close on election day to vote for McCain, as the lesser of the evils. As Tom Sowell has said, he's voting for McCain because he prefers "disaster to catastrophe." From another perspective, Burt Prelutsky recently wrote, "Obama doesn’t have a single friend, associate or religious mentor, who isn’t the sort of creep that most of us would cross the street to avoid."
Given Obama's credentials as a far left ideologue who adroitly camouflages his radical anticapitalist views, if the Democrats win the presidency and control of both houses of Congress — and particularly if Iran develops a nuclear bomb — I share Tom Sowell's concerns that we may reach "the point of no return."
No doubt we all agree that these are horrendous times for libertarians.
This has been one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make about how to vote. As readers may remember, I initially leaned towards voting none of the above or writing in a candidate rather than voting for McCain. (I don't find the third party candidates palatable.) While I thought McCain would be superior to Obama in the short term, the long term situation was different. After four years of Obama, there was a decent chance that the country would have seen the results of his policies and might have rejected them big time as they did Clinton in 1994 and Carter in 1980. In any event, being out of power, the Republicans would have had an incentive to reform. In 2012, the Republicans might be in a position to take back the presidency or the Congress.On the other hand, Mike's co-blogger and USD colleague Tom Smith is endorsing Obama. His [satirical] explanation is too long to excerpt fairly here, but you can read it here.
By contrast, if McCain won, the Republicans would pursue big government policies that involve compromises with the Democrats. The Republicans would be blamed for the resulting ills and the party would still be clinging to power without having reformed. In 2012, the Republicans might even be more unpopular than they are today. While a McCain presidency would have the benefits of divided government, McCain is a compromiser who might sign on to lots of bad stuff from the Democrats. It is not clear that a Republican filibuster would be that much worse than a McCain veto pen (although the Republicans may do so badly that they may have a very weak filibuster).
I wish I had the luxury to vote this way. It was always a close case, but I would have been comfortable doing it. Unfortunately, something happened in October to change all that: The financial collapse. There are two main aspects of the collapse that really change things. First, the financial collapse means that lots of new legislation will be passed and the Democrats are likely to pass pretty bad stuff in this area. Second, and more importantly, even if the Democrats do a bad job and the economy does badly, the voters might not blame them now. Things might get so bad that voters might just cling to their government, especially if it is good at speaking to them and reassuring them. Moreover, voters might place the blame on the prior administration, saying that the Obama administration had merely inherited the problems.
Thus, I have reluctantly concluded that I should vote for McCain. It is an awful pill to swallow. I don't particularly like the man, and really dislike his policies. But that is how bad things have gotten. So, on Tuesday, I will "pull the lever" for McCain.