Which of the two statist presidential candidates should lovers of liberty vote for this Tuesday? That's the question I take up in my column this week.
In the final countdown to what promises to be a close election, the libertarian finds himself without a comfortable home in either political party. Political parties and their presidential candidates offer market baskets of policy prescriptions on a large array of different issues. We do not have the option of picking out from each basket the policies that we like and rejecting the rest. Politics do not come served a la carte in our two-party system.
As an academic, my objective is to analyze each package inside each market basket. As a voter, I don’t have that luxury; choosing between baskets means taking the bitter with the sweet. That means voting for a candidate whose policies I may oppose on many key issues. For most voters, those choices are less painful than they are for libertarians. A typical Republican or Democrat believes in most of the policies that his candidate puts forth. For a libertarian, voting for either candidate causes internal philosophical dissonance.
Unfortunately, neither Obama nor Romney is running as a libertarian on economic issues. So how should libertarians vote on Tuesday? In an age of bloated government, the correct vote goes to the party that is more likely to limit the rate of government growth, if not shrink the size of government altogether. I explain further in my weekly column for Hoover's Defining Ideas.