Friday, September 10, 2010

Political autobiography

I’ve been an on-and-off libertarian since voting for Ron Paul’s ’88 running mate André Marrou in ’92, charting a course apart from both the peer-pressure left and friends on the culture-wars right (I regret not voting for Paul in ’88 — I didn’t know about him! — but even back then I suspected the pro-life movement on the GOP leash was feel-good dead-end politics, which is why at first I didn’t follow the the latter to join... libertarianism’s big tent has a chance as the misguided Tea Party, Paul’s and even Perot’s movements suggest); been consistently one (after getting over Christians’ understandable fears of a false gospel of selfishness AFAIK à la Rand and becoming a daily LRC reader like Paul) since a few months before 9/11 so I ‘got’ the latter (blowback not Islam or envy). Nine years now. IIRC Elena Maria Vidal’s husband first sent me links to LRC.

Since first voting in ’84 (Reagan) until a few years ago I usually was functionally a Republican with an independent streak; once became a Democrat briefly on paper to vote for somebody at the state level I liked and in ’06 was functionally (but not on paper) a Democrat for the first time, trying it as a tactic in the great referendum on Iraq, taking control of Congress from the GOP. (Going for our good friend gridlock like when Gingrich’s Congress caged Clinton, a boom time with the best functionally conservative president in recent memory.) Essentially being an Obamacon before there was Obama. It didn’t work. So I finally joined the Libertarian Party only to become a Republican on paper again for Paul’s sake in the ’08 primary (like I did for Pat Buchanan in ’96); when the LP ran the fakertarian Barr I didn’t re-up. So Pennsylvania thinks I’m a funny Republican again. That’s fine. Political-party membership like a passport is just a piece of paper. (Besides Paul the last good Republicans were probably Alf Landon, Bob Taft and early-’60s Goldwater.)

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