Go Libertarian

To the Editor:

In past elections, Maine voters have demonstrated their tendency for “going rogue” in their support of third party candidates such as Ross Perot and Ron Paul.

Mainers have a fondness for Libertarian ideology, albeit, a fondness that has not produced more than a small percentage of votes. Perhaps that fondness may be credited to the independent nature for which Mainers are known both politically and personally. Whatever the reason, Maine is generally on the list of states that Libertarians can turn to for possible support. Considering the choices in this year’s presidential race and the horrendous turn the campaign has taken away from the nation’s critical issues and toward incivility and personal insults, it would not come as a surprise to find that Maine voters turn out higher numbers in support of former Governors Gary Johnson and Bill Weld.

The party ran its first presidential candidate in 1972. It is the third largest next to Republican and Democrat. While Libertarians have never received more than 1 percent of the vote in a presidential election, this year might be higher. The reason has to do with the depressed state of the voters and their dismay at the two candidates from which they must choose.

The current Libertarian platform appeals to voters both in Maine and around the country who have evolved toward possessing a more socially liberal and fiscally conservative viewpoint.

The Libertarian ticket is closing in on the percentage it needs in order to participate in the debates. It is on the ballot in 50 states.

In Portland just a few days ago, Johnson told a crowd that he and running mate Weld would be “terrific stewards” of the presidency and that as an extra bonus and contrary to other candidates this year, they would be “gentlemen.”

The Libertarians are offering a coordinated platform they believe will bring government to its intended size and effectiveness. Their basic premise is that American government should be to protect and preserve personal and individual freedom. Every American should have the right to pursue happiness and go about their lives any way they chose as long as do no harm to others.

The Libertarian approach would vastly cut the size and scope of government. That has a tendency to scare off many Democrats who believe we need a little more government. And for many Republicans, the Libertarian approach to foreign policy is nowhere near strong enough for them to support.

Libertarians are pro-choice on just about everything. They are for free trade, low taxation, very few regulations or government interference, school choice, open borders (with laws in place to dispose of criminals and enforce legal immigration), noninterventionist foreign policy and above all else, an individual’s right to personal freedom.

They would abolish the IRS, Obamacare and the Department of Education. In their place, would be a new tax code without corporate tax at all, private health insurance, extension of the retirement age, and states and individual control over the education of children. They would scale down the military, provide a balanced budget, cut spending, provide no government bailouts and cut many government programs that have proven to be unnecessary and ineffective.

Legalizing marijuana is on the Maine ballot this year so many Mainers will be giving the Libertarians another look with that in mind as well.

Many of us will stick with our parties, choosing to overlook the deficiencies and hope for the best. The voting populace is unpredictable. With the volatility and adolescent behavior present in this year’s political environment, voters are tired of what they hear nonstop in the media. And they are tired of the economic struggle they face every day whichever political establishment is in power.

Whatever happens, I think it safe to say that all of us will be glad when Nov. 8 comes, perhaps like never before.

Mary Holway

Southwest Harbor

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