A few weeks after the primaries, met with the usual fever, Californians have settled into their usual belief that they must make a principled decision, between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman, and despite their often fevered protestations against their parties pick in the primaries, they are beginning to express support for one or the other, usually, and not surprisingly, along partisan lines.
In the game of partisan politics of course, the explanations seem never-ending as to why we should always choose the one or the other, not only "if you don't vote you can't complain", but truisms such as "third parties never win", "if you vote for a third party, you're throwing away your vote" and of course, emphasis on picking the "lesser of two evils".
These admonitions are often used of course as a tool of statist, rather than populist or anarchist rhetoric, intended to demonstrate the importance of compromise, usually to persuade one that the speaker's candidate is the lesser of the two, despite his evils and shortcomings. This rhetoric is in fact so deeply entrenched in the political system that In the 2008 Presidential primaries, it's contestation by Huckabee was met with spontaneous applause even from his opponents.
Yet here in California, the free thinker has always been a peculiarly common breed, whether by virtue of counter culture or commonality of frustration, the hippie and redneck have often agreed on the common grounds of being fed up, the Anglo-American and Hispanic can find common ground in the necessity of grievance, and in recent years in particular, Libertarian views have become common place.
Seeing the commonality of both libertarian views, and the notion that the two party system doesn't serve the people, an interview was conducted with Dale Ogden, the Libertarian Candidate for Governor of California, to see what he thought would help to solve the problems peculiar to this place.
From a humble career as an actuary, engaging in mathematics and statistics for his livelihood, he brings us a unique insight into the extent to which mandatory purchasing and over-regulation have made free trade difficult. He brings the firm conviction to the table that illegal immigration is only a problem because we've made it one, by making business impractical for construction contractors, in particular having rules so contorted that they have previously driven insurance brokers to pull out of the state, and by creating a welfare state. With absolute confidence, he states that litigation cost has created a bureaucratic monster, pointing as one example to the concept of no-fault automobile insurance, a plan which where implemented, has successfully driven down insurance costs by decreasing litigation costs.
And yet, as strong as his platform is, we don't hear his name on TV or radio here in the not-so-great State of California. Rather, we are Bombarded with the Names Whitman and Brown over and over, names not worth investigating as their allegiances have already been established in length.
Another Strong Candidate is Carlos Rodriguez.
Running against Howard Berman for Congress, he is a young Cuban-American attorney, who is successfully bringing Libertarian views to the fore in his district, and interestingly enough, deviates slightly from the Libertarian party's stance on immigration, instead insisting on a system which equally enforces the law regarding both intruders, and visa overstays. Yet there can be no mistaking him for a mainstream conservative when the issues of non-taxation and non-bureaucracy, immediate withdrawal from foreign wars without nation-building, ending crony capitalism in favour of true free markets, and restoring limited government are at the core of his platform. In a district where one's opponent is the man behind the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and resultantly behind corporations being allowed to victimize downloaders below the age of consent, without regard for the actual damages caused by said downloader, economic terrorism from the rich to the poor, one would think that a true free market and limited government advocate would be welcomed with open arms, even, nay especially, by the progressive liberals who prop up Berman, who does not even debate his opponents in the town hall format of controlled dissent that many have become accustomed to in recent years. And yet, we do not see a mobilized Hollywood Culture hand in hand in effort to support Rodriguez. Perhaps time will change that however. At a speech given to a crowd of supporters, Carlos Rodriguez stated aptly: "We are what Berman and Democrats fear the most, I am a Latino Candidate running in a Latino district advocating freedom and limited government! ... I am waking up Latinos and telling them that the way to succeed in America is through free markets, and not through handouts, that they tell us are the way... I'm standing up for real change!" No-one can contest that this is a powerful vehicle for reclaiming California, from one of the most socialist states to one of the freest states in the Union.
Mike Paster, a college-aged yet brilliant candidate in the 49th US congressional district, comprising essentially Northern San Diego and Southern Riverside counties, from Vista and Oceanside, up North to Temecula, Murrieta, and Perris, is campaigning against the war on drugs among other things, as Californians go to the polls to vote on the legalization of marijuana, which will, likely, pass. Yet he also is against the war on terror, summarizing his positions with the assertions that: The war on terror, and our foreign policy, will be the end of America; that the Iraq war's justification had only one piece of solid evidence, namely that Iraq had imported the ever-lethal aluminum tubing. Afghanistan is an unconquerable tribal society, with a different form of government than we are used to, and the notion that the Taliban were in control of all of Afghanistan, at the time of invasion, was a lie, whereas they in fact controlled the regions surrounding Kabul. He believes that all war is a pretext for the erosion of freedom, as he said, "You can replace the word terrorism with communism, and the same arguments were made years earlier." And, in contrast to Afghanistan, he mentioned a soviet document, recently unearthed, whereby the soviets decided by the 1950s that invading America was infeasible, due to the terrain and abundance of mountains, and the large number of Americans who were armed.
These are but a few of the vocal, moral, enthusiastic, and well-spoken options California has from the Libertarian party alone, not to mention other options awaiting those willing to break the two-party paradigm. Here, in a land stricken by rampant totalitarianism, from the lowly city hall which fines those who water on the wrong day, to the state senator (or national one) who pushes to ban any firearm suited to defending against threats to the constitution, we have many choices that will bring us liberty. The question is, do Californians have the courage to make the same choice made by Californios long ago, whose flag remains on our state's capitol, to put our faith in freedom, no matter how strong the tyrant may seem?
November will tell us.