by Steven Maloney
It appears like the next President of the U.S. will be either John Sidney McCain or Barack Hussein Obama. As good a man as Bob Barr is, he will not become President in 2009 – or any other year.
When it comes down to actually voting, the vast majority of Libertarians will reject the more liberal candidate (Obama) – and vote for the more conservative one (McCain). That’s because Libertarians reject the liberal narrative and generally accept the conservative one.
George Will recently described the liberal narrative as portraying “most Americans [as] victims of this or that sinister elite or impersonal force – and are not content to cope with life’s complexities without government supervision.”
That nanny-state-narrative is completely at variance with the libertarian view of life.
What is the conservative narrative? Here’s how “Lexington,” a super writer for The Economist (and a libertarian) describes it: “American conservatives tend to believe that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can succeed. This makes them more optimistic than liberals, more likely to feel in control of their lives and, therefore, happier.”
Conservative is not exactly the same thing as libertarian, but the two are compatible, as William F. Buckley, Jr. found 50-plus years ago when he staffed the National Review with a combination of economic libertarians and social conservatives. In contrast, liberalism, the friend of Big Government, generally is the polar opposite of libertarianism.
If you listen to Barack Obama (and Hillary Clinton) on the campaign trail, you hear some scary things. They portray “too many Americans’ as one step away from economic and social disaster. They see as people badly in need of major assistance – their assistance.
John McCain, imperfect as he may be, sees a very different America. It’s the same country whose liberties he was willing to give his life for in Viet Nam. We may not agree with him on every issue, but we can’t disagree that a love for liberty is at the central core of this man’s being.
Even Bill Clinton has said of McCain: “He’s given everything he has to his country – except his life.” President Clinton has never spoken truer words.
In contrast to McCain, Obama essentially portrays America as something resembling Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach,” where “ignorant armies clash by night.” As “Lexington describes Obama’s world-view, America is “a coalition of groups that define themselves as victims of social and economic forces, and . . . [where] its leaders encourage people to feel helpless and aggrieved . . .”
If Obama becomes President, we would become a society of “victims,” all of us clamoring for the government to bail us out of our misery. That would be a disaster not only for libertarians, but for all Americans.
I hope all libertarians do the right thing: voting for John McCain. Also, ask your friends and family members to do the same thing. The future of liberty in this society depends on free people standing up and supporting a man who has devoted his entire life to defending American values and liberties. John McCain is the right man for our cause.
*Note - Steve Maloney is a writer and political activist living in a small town near Pittsburgh, PA. He’d like to inform Senator Obama that he is not now – and never has been – “bitter.” He blogs at http://stevemaloneygop.blogspot.com. And his blog has become a gathering point of sorts for the still informal group "Libertarians for McCain."