Should Ron Paul Voters, Libertarians Choose McCain?

Some free-market folks have big problems with the probably GOP presidential nominee.

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John McCain ' s campaign knows it can't afford to have many disgruntled Ron Paul supporters either sit home or instead vote for Libertarian candidate Bob Barr. Those voters could be the difference in tight western states such as Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. Right-wing radio-talk-show host Glenn Beck, for example, has said he just can't bring himself to pull the lever for McCain. Libertarians have a host of problems with McCain. Some are against the Iraq war. Others view his climate change policy as the biggest government power grab since the New Deal. With all that in mind, I asked investment strategist (and friend of this blog) Donald Luskin, a Ron Paul guy who is now advising Team McCain, why libertarians should vote for McCain. Here is what he E-mailed me:

It's a question of game theory, and whether you consider yourself a passive player or an active player in the game. As a passive player, that is, a mere voter, it probably doesn't matter what you do. Unless there is a perfect tie without you, your vote is irrelevant. If you are a passive player who wants to make a "statement," then you should cast your symbolic vote for Barr or Paul (unless the statement you want to make is that you think that Obama is so bad, you will vote for an imperfectly libertarian McCain, in which case McCain's very imperfections add power to your symbolic snub of Obama).

As an active player, that is, someone who hopes to influence what the candidate's policies will be, you want to exert that influence over a candidate who has a chance of winning. Why waste your input on someone with no chance? Further, as an active player, you want to give advice to someone who needs it. Paul doesn't need my advice. He's already a libertarian. But maybe I can nudge McCain a little in that direction.

Well, that's his take. Any libertarians or Ron Paul voters out there who see things differently? Please comment below!

McCain, John
2008 presidential election
Paul, Ron

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