By Alan Pell Crawford
Terry Michael, a self-styled “professional Democrat” most of his life, won’t be backing Barack Obama in November. A former press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, Michael writes that despite his long political history,
I am about become an apostate. I am going to do what I think the founder of the Democratic Party, the classical liberal Thomas Jefferson, might consider doing this year. I am going to vote for former Republican New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, now the Libertarian Party candidate for president.
Michael isn’t changing his registration. In fact, he thinks many of his fellow Democrats, if they troubled themselves to look into the matter, might see the sense of his decision. As a small “l” libertarian Democrat, he yearns to teach other members of his party that they have much in common with libertarians.
Among the three issue frames of politics—economy, social, and foreign—most rank-and-file Democrats share much in common with modern libertarians.Most libertarians want to keep government out of our bedrooms, away from our bodies, and out of the backyards of the rest of the world. On the economy, while we are for limited spending, taxes, and regulation, we favor free markets—not oligarchic capitalism that uses government to redistribute tax revenue to the military-industrial-congressional-media complex, the behemoth pharmaceutical companies, or to other lobbyists along Washington’s K Street who seek benefits from government and regulations that put competitors at disadvantage.
Michael’s disenchantment with his party is shared by millions of people, Republicans as well as Democrats. That’s one reason over 40 percent of register voters now consider themselves independents. The fortress erected by the Democratic and Republican establishments is beginning to look like what the real estate business calls a fixer-upper. This old fort might even need your TLC, though more and more of us doubt that the mercenaries still inside deserve it.
Source: Terry Michael, “Former Democratic Party Press Secretary Supports Gary Johnson for President,” Reason.com, June 22, 2012.
*Photo CC courtesy of Frydolin.