An Open Letter to Unsatisfied Bush Voters

Dear gang,

I take no joy in saying it, but I told you so. A USA Today/Gallup poll found that Bush's disapproval rating is 65%. I know this means that many of you who voted for him now disapprove. I am in that 65%, but the difference between me and you is that I didn't vote for him.

You knew what he stood for, you knew that the press were reporting his weighty pronouncements with the force of scientific law, you knew his character, yet you still voted for him. Now he's letting the United States down, and we here have you to thank.

Because you entrusted so much to the government and so little to the market, you cannot vote him out with your dollars as people voted out Enron. You are stuck with him until 2009. We are all stuck with him until 2009.

But I would be remiss in my duty if I only scolded you. The damage is done, and once you know how it was done the next step is undoing it. One lesson is simple: don't vote for the next Bush. Don't vote for someone who will wield the heavy hand of the state to serve a narrow set of special interests. Don't vote for your own gradual enslavement.

The next lesson is not as simple, but learning it will be very rewarding. Don't allow your gradual enslavement today, tomorrow, or ever. Break unjust laws that exist, and follow just laws that don't. Call bullshit when you see it. Live a full life outside the petty and corrupting political system. The heavy hand of the state is always working against you, but the invisible hand of the market is always working with you.

Unrest, tension, and dissatisfaction don't have to be your lot in life. It's up to you.

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Yeah, I voted for him.

Yeah, I voted for him. Twice. And I also am not very happy about the way things are. But what were the choices? Kerry? Gore? Nader???
I just hope there is a qualified candidate in the next presidential election.
But all is not bad as I’ve made a little money in the market. Not sure how to keep it however. One more thing to worry about.
Cheers,
Richard

"The damage is done, and

"The damage is done, and once you know how it was done the next step is undoing it. One lesson is simple: don’t vote for the next Bush."

What will that accomplish? Did you get a better president by not voting?

I'm a libertarian who voted

I'm a libertarian who voted for both Kerry and Gore, because even though they're Democrats, I saw them as at least more competent and intelligent than Bush. I think time has borne my vote out. Also bi-partisan compromise (and at times deadlock) can be a lot better for reform than one-party harmony (especially if that party is as pork-ridden and populist as the current Republican Party). What did we get with a Republican Congress and the Democrat Bill Clinton? Welfare reform, and grand presidential public spending ambitions that were happily stymied by the opposition Congress. What did we get with a virtual Republican political monopoly? An increase in pork spending, a vast new bureaucracy (Homeland Security), a mind-boggling entitlement expansion (Medicare), greater broadcast censorship, and more violations of civil liberties. This presidency has been a libertarian nightmare. The only way a Democrat could have been worse would have been if he were so wildly charismatic that he was able use his popularity to bully an intransigent Congress. And you couldn't find two Democrats less wildly charismatic than Gore and Kerry.

Daniel, What did your vote

Daniel,

What did your vote have to do with any of that?

I'm not sure I know exactly

I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean. Are you referring to the statistical insignificance of one vote?

I'm talking about the

I'm talking about the negligible return of your vote. Would any of of what you described have played out differently if you'd voted differently?

Hi! I'm an Italian

Hi! I'm an Italian libertarian activist.
In Italy we haven't a real libertarian party as you have in the US. The only libertarian-oriented party is called Riformatori Liberali (In English this name could be translated as "Liberal Reformers", though the word liberal is considered, in the European meaning, as a "libertarian" synonymous. I'm a Riformatori Liberali supporter.
Riformatori liberali support conservative coalition, lead by Silvio Berlusconi, because they are closer to us than socialist coalition, the Union, that we define as Soviet Union, because it includes 3 COMMUNISTS parties, which have 100 communist members elected in our "Congress".
I've read this post and I've noted a very strange thing.
It seems US-libertarian are moving towards left, while in Italy the situation is the opposite.
The strange thing is that, between Italian libertarians and classic liberals, U.S.-conservative are better considered than U.S.-liberals.
We consider liberals as the natural enemies for a libertarian, why conservative as interlocutors, though we are often in disagree with'em.
What do you think about Italian situation? What about Berlusconi and Prodi?
Thank you. Sorry for my English. See you!

There's no contradiction

There's no contradiction between voting for Bush and disapproving of him if you believe the alternatives would have been worse.

"the press were reporting his weighty pronouncements with the force of scientific law"

Doubleyou tee eff? What basis is there for this?

John, Just because achieving

John,

Just because achieving a goal is difficult doesn't mean you should give up doing what you can to move towards it, however marginally. Your logic is "since my personal efforts make only small changes in the world, I might as well make no effort at all." By that logic, the status quo is eternal.

As someone who desires to see a libertarian world, and who knows that the world can change, I put forth effort to try to change things. I do this even knowing that my efforts will only contribute to the larger sum of all of our efforts, and not make any grand sweeping changes. I don't see how anyone who cares about the libertarian cause can do otherwise.

Yes, Jinzo, it is a very

Yes, Jinzo, it is a very strange thing that happens when words change their meaning. At the time of the Great Depression it was liberalism that was discredited at the same time the Republicans were discredited. So, as a twist of history, the U.S. Liberal party became closer to your socialist coalition than to your liberal reformers. As such, "American Liberalism" is the exact opposite of "European Liberalism".

In addition, it is quite startling to think that you have communists sitting in your congress. Such a situation here in America would prompt protests in the streets.

Randall, What is the point

Randall,

What is the point of this post?

Do you really think that things would be better if fewer people voted for Bush?

Wouldn't you be in the n% dissatisfied with Kerry?

Who would you scold then?

Are you recommending a vote for the major opponent of the next Bush? Or for the Libertarian? Or for nobody? What would any of these accomplish?

Is this about changing things, or feeling better about things?

You may have told us so, but have you told us anything useful?

@LoneSnark: Startling for

@LoneSnark:

Startling for 100 hundred communist sitting in our parliament?
You have not see anything, yet... :smile:

Listen me:
Today, may the 10th, Italian parliament has elected Giorgio Napolitano as the President of Italian Republic. He is an ex-member of the COMMUNIST Italian Party (PCI), a politic formation which, during the cold war, got funds from U.S.S.R.
Italy has a communist president, thanks to Romano Prodi and Italian socialists.
:bigcry:

This is one of the motives that make impossible for an Italian Libertarian to support Left-coalition.

What do you think about?

What do you think about?

I am in that 65%, but the

I am in that 65%, but the difference between me and you is that I didn’t vote for him.

You are blaming the wrong people. Bush has been a bad President, but even in retrospect I do not look back fondly on the possibility of a Gore or a Kerry presidency.

The people to be blamed are not the voters in the general election, not the ones who voted for Bush over Kerry or Bush over Gore. The people to be blamed are the ones who made Gore, Kerry, and Bush the Democratic and Republican nominees. There's overlap but it includes plenty of Democrats, includes the Democrats who chose Kerry and Gore as nominees, so it includes people who voted *against* Bush.

All, I didn't say to vote

All,

I didn't say to vote for someone else next time, and I didn't say I hate people who voted for Bush (or Kerry, for that matter). I said live the life of a free man outside the state. It might make the general condition marginally better, but it will definitely make your life better. More here.

Matt,

WMDs?

Jinzo,

I am sorry to say that I know very little about Italian politics other than what I see in the news. It seemed to me that Berlusconi was preferably to Prodi, but I wouldn't say too much more. I would be glad to hear more about it from you.

I voted for W twice in the

I voted for W twice in the hopes that with control of Congress and the White House, some real reform would happen. Unfortunately, this clearly has not happened. I fell for the Hagelian dialectic for the last time. I will probably now vote like Daniel - vote for gridlock because these parties are the same.

Jacob, "Your logic is

Jacob,

"Your logic is “since my personal efforts make only small changes in the world, I might as well make no effort at all.” By that logic, the status quo is eternal."

No, I'm saying *your vote* will do nothing at all to modify the national government. It won't cause a small channge, it will cause no change.

Don't forget that it's not

Don't forget that it's not just about not voting for someone like Bush, but about splitting the government. If the president and Congress are from different parties, they will rape the people less than if they are all from the same gang. So regardless of the merits of the particular parties and the particular politicians, if you vote, vote for the split.

"WMDs?" Um, except

"WMDs?"

Um, except that...

1) Most of what Bush said was based on a 2002 CIA estimate. You know, real intelligence professionals (allegedly).

2) Nobody this side of Scott Ritter on the credibility scale was outright contradicting the Bush Admin's assertions on the WMD angle before the war started. Not even the French government. Just about everyone came out with egg on their faces on this point. (Edit: actually now that I think of it, oddly enough Vlad Putin (!) was pretty much the only person in a position to know anything about it who voiced strong skepticism as to Iraq's WMD programs.)

3) As the postwar search for WMD kept coming up almost completely emptyhanded, the press became increasingly critical of the Bush administration on that issue.

Nobody this side of Scott

Nobody this side of Scott Ritter on the credibility scale was outright contradicting the Bush Admin’s assertions on the WMD angle before the war started.

The WMD angle was overblown and it was obvious at the time they had no evidence for same. And every other excuse for going to war against Iraq was mere ass-covering.

Rob, I agree that the WMD

Rob, I agree that the WMD thing got far more airtime than it ought to have; it's sort of the equivalent of busting Al Capone for his tax evasion (or perhaps more accurately, for posession of an unregistered firearm). But saying "it was obvious at the time they had no evidence" is just glib hindsight; if it was so "obvious" how did intelligence professionals in multiple countries get it all so wrong? And it also seems pretty obvious that Saddam (or one of his sons) would have acquired nuclear weapons at some time in the future; better to get him out of the way before that happened.

The bottom line for me was that Saddam was a brutal and dangerous beast who had to go at some point, it was just a question of when and how. Unfortunately the Bush administration thought, rightly or wrongly, that they'd have to sell the war on exaggerated grounds in order to attain a political justification. I wonder a lot about how things could have gone differently if the whole thing had been framed and approached a bit more like the removal of Slobodan Milosovic, rather than as some imperative national security objective. Bush & co tried for a grand slam (or is that a "slam dunk"?) when they should have just gone for a double.