Politics: How people think about other people

The famous Nolan chart, which puts Libertarians where they belong. HT: http://wmbriggs.com/pics/nolan_chart.png

We’re hearing more and more about candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. President. We have read comments on the Internet which show that many readers know little to nothing about how the process works. Some think the winner of this race will become US Pres. They are not sure where Hilary fits in.

Let’s start at the beginning. The primaries. Members of various political parties nominate one person to run against nominees from all the other parties for the position of US Pres. The media rarely covers the so-called minor parties, like the Libertarian Party, the Green Party, the Constitution Party, the Communist Party, and many more in the U.S.

Not all parties end up with candidates on the ballot in all 50 states. The nominating process can take place at a personally-funded convention for most of the smaller parties, but the two big guys have taxpayer funding and often there is more than one candidate for that party’s nomination.

People aren’t actually voting for the candidate at the primary election, contrary to what the media will tell you. They are voting for delegates committed to one of the several candidates for the nomination. When these delegates get to the national convention they MUST vote for the candidate they were representing on the ballot.

There are numerous other rules which we won’t go into, mainly because those rules seem to change every convention. In fact, there is often a pre-convention convention to decide on rules for that year. Unless there is a clear-cut choice for the party, this is where the real power plays take place. Usually out of the public’s eye.

Here’s IFO’s summary of what ideas are really floating around in political circles. What makes a liberal? What makes a conservative? Where do Libertarians fit?A few decades ago, when IFO was more active politically, she was invited to a county-level Democratic think tank meeting to explain the Libertarian Party principles and platform.

Needless to say, she knew most of the people there, so the atmosphere was friendly. Here are her notes:

“I was there to disabuse them of the notion that Libertarians were part of the New Right. They just hated Libertarian ideas – there were both liberals and conservatives there, too.”  [Note: those were the days when Dems could be, and were, both. No more.]

“Very discouraging, but the only good part was a young civil engineer who seemed to be open-minded and non-totalitarian. I imagine that a LONG conversation would find her agreeing with much of our platform.”

The rest of the group was clearly divided in their attitudes.

“The conservatives thought nobody would be willing to pay for government “services” such as roads without coercion. I countered that 1) almost everybody has TVs, shoes, cars, and so on – yet on one forced them to buy them, and 2) oil and car manufacturers would be able and willing to pay for lots of good roads. They were not moved.

“The liberals pointed out to me that there were bad people in the world and in their view only government could keep them under control. I replied that bad people would, of course, show up in government,too. They were not moved.

Does this paint a picture of people who could “cross the aisle” to work “with the other side?” We don’t think so, even though both sides leaned toward “statist.”

Does anyone have a solution to this puzzle? We haven’t found one yet. We can’t join either side, so we remain The Few, The Committed, The Rational.

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About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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