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October 28, 2004

On the right, conflicted

The Right is conflicted about Bush. The social conservatives are mostly for him, though they really don't get much from the Republicans. The flag-wavers are for him. Even Pat Buchanan, who has disagreed vehemently with Bush on the war, on immigration and on trade, has “come home” to Bush.

His magazine, The American Conservative, however, is split. Taki, his back-of-the-book columnist, is for the Constitution Party (“God, Family, Republic”) candidate, Michael Peroutka; Executive Editor Scott McConnell is for Kerry (on account of the war); one of the writers is for the Libertarian candidate, Michael Badnarik; one is for Ralph Nader (the war, again), and one refuses to vote at all.

The largest libertarian magazine is Reason. That magazine did a survey of all its favorite people, and found them divided.

Humorist P.J. O’Rourke and sociologist Charles Murray were for Bush, as was libertarian law blogger Eugene Volokh, but gay right-winger Andrew Sullivan came out for Kerry, as did supply-sider Jude Wanniski and civil libertarian Nat Hentoff.

Bob Barr, the former right-wing congressman from Georgia who joined the American Civil Liberties Union after leaving Congress, has come out for the Libertarian candidate, even though when he was in office the Libertarians targeted him for his support of the war on drugs.

One reliably conservative paper, The Detroit News, was so disgusted with Bush’s volcano of spending and imprudent foreign policy that it refused to endorse anyone, coming out boldly for “none of the above.”

My sentiments are generally libertarian. I voted for Bush in 2000, and recommended him in my column, though one of the two major things I recommended him for (the other was Social Security private accounts) was his espousal of a "humble" foreign policy. What we got was an imperialist foreign policy. Bush has been the president the Left warned us against: the Republican who starts a war.

I don’t have high hopes for a Kerry presidency. I do hope Bush loses, because his defeat will tend to bring about a fight within the Republican Party, which is what it needs. The Rs need to fumigate themseves of warmongery and return to a historic conservatism in support of a bourgeois, mind-your-own-business and peaceful America.

I will vote Libertarian for president, for the first time in many years.

Respond to Bruce

Read his latest column

 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at October 28, 2004 01:55 PM



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