It must be tough to be a French libertarian, if there even are any. Ive never met one, but maybe they exist. I like to say that French politics consists of ten socialists parties, a globalist party, and a nationalist party. The country itself is a mix of deep socialism and traditonalism. So deeply tangled up in regulations and taxes that several books could be written about, its a wonder they even have an economy. What ever happened to the land that gave us the great Frederic Bastiat?
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced an early election last week to help her with Brexit negotiations. She currently has a slim majority from David Camerons 2015 victory and polls show she would go from 330 seats to over 430 seats, out of 650. This will ensure more flexibility in negotiations and getting the withdrawal approved. Additionally, many remainer MPs could be ousted by voters who wanted Out, which means it will be smoother sailing. Conservative candidates will have to say they support the Prime Minister and leaving the European Union.
After it became clear that Donald Trump would become president on the night of 8 November 2016, Democrats and related leftists began organizing a California secession campaign. The idea has lengthy roots, but gained massive steam when the election dust settled. By now, about a third of Californians, mostly Democrats, support the idea. And a group is beginning to gather signatures to put an advisory referendum on the ballot in 2018. But why would anyone oppose it?
One problem that seems to vex libertarianism is its inability to accomplish much. We have been advocating for various reforms and repeals for decades. The Libertarian Party was advocating for marijuana legalization and expanding government marriage licenses since the 1970s. Both issues are taking root in American society, but who is getting all the credit? Socialists/Progressives/Leftists/whatever. Ron Paul was a major candidate in 2012 and a loyal Republican who went as far as advocating the legalization of heroin on a South Carolina debate stage. Yet, more recently Bernie Sanders supporters (who apparently have no memory of anything) claim that the independent turned Democrat was the first candidate to advocate legalizing marijuana. In a sense, we should at least be pleased that our ideas are starting to be accepted and implemented, but that isnt enough. As much as most of us oppose intellectual property, its frustrating to get no credit for anything.
I planned to write this post a month ago, but as always, I got distracted and the uproar faded.
On one side, Bernie Sanders supporters were freaking out that Hillary Clinton technically got the same number of delegates as him thanks to superdelegates. Superdelegates are elected Democrat officials in each state who are automatically delegates to the convention. They were implemented in large part after the George McGovern and Jesse Jackson campaigns. Both put a scare in the establishment that a far left rabble rouser might get the nomination. Neither did in the end because they were too narrow, not because of superdelegates.
Libertarians, with a small minority of exceptions, have an almost universal hatred of the 2016 Donald Trump campaign. Time and time again I will see a random vicious anti-Trump comment, squint at the profile picture, and see that its from a Rand supporter. The two traits seem to go together, even more than the establishment hates Trump. Indeed, the feud emerged in the first debate and second debate, not to mention in between. Perhaps the Rand supporters are just taking cues from their fearless leader (dont get me wrong, I do like him). I am not convinced of this playing any more than a minor role.
Switzerland held elections yesterday which saw the nationalist Swiss Peoples Party win a second election in a row and gain seats. The invader crisis from the Middle East likely played a big role and this should be a warning to other leaders such as Angela Merkel. Additionally, the classic liberal party FDP.The Liberals also gained seats. Most other parties lost an assortment of seats.
Today, Canadians head to the polls in what may be incumbent Stephen Harpers last term is Prime Minister. At the helm of Canada since 2006, Harper is a mixed bag of conservatism. He ended the long gun industry, cut taxes, and helped keep Canada stable thru recession and the recent resource crisis. Recent polls have shown the Conservatives, Liberals, and New Democratic Party (socialists) in the lead at some point or another, but currently the Liberals have the lead. The Liberal Party is led by the son of Pierre Trudeau, Justin, who is a Hillary Clinton type. He has made a big show of his inevitability, but has little actual experience or posture. The New Democratic Party faces a question of if they can hold onto Quebec, the principal source of their seats, and what finish they will make in the race for the top three.
Presidential debates mean debate watch parties. I had the choice of staying at Americans for Prosperity (conservatives) after phonebanking, where we would cynically play entitlement bingo, or I could go to a Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton watch party in an attempt to troll. I opted for Bernie, also being curious about the campaign, since libertarians agree with him on a few issues.
There has been a lot of sweating going around as Donald Trump rises to the top of the Republican primary race. Why ever they would be upset that someone is clearing the field and becoming a strong and consistent frontrunner is beyond me. Certainly, the polls now show Hillary completely destroying him in the general, but they also show her winning Arkansas and Texas against more standard candidates, which is patently ridiculous to anyone. With every attempt to eliminate Trump failing, and grave fears that he may pursue a third party run, the Republican establishment is going thru back channels and pulling out all the stops to discredit him. Along with all the smears, the latest accusation is that he is a Hillary Clinton plant.
Today, Scott Walker came to a pizzeria/diner in Manchester, New Hampshire to meet with supporters and potential supporters. I have previously noted my support for Walker over Rand Paul. Walker is more electable and has a record of success. He also is a governor, while senators have brought us problems. Not to mention that we really need Rand in the Senate and he can do more there than as President. Walker has views that should concern us, but he is no Chris Christie or Jeb Bush. He would be an ally to a libertarian Congress.