Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Ken Matesz: Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Ohio
I must admit to being torn about the upcoming gubernatorial election. Here in Ohio we have Republican John Kasich challenging Gov. Ted Strickland. I have generally supported Republicans, but for the past few years I have been rethinking that. What I have come to realize is that, when dealing with the Republican Party, one cannot count on them to come through with their promises of smaller government. Eight years of George W. Bush have given free markets a bad name and President Obama his opening to spew his nonsense that free markets caused our recession. What the Republicans can be counted to push through with are precisely those creepy anti-science anti-personal liberty initiatives that they usually just hint at and for which I have needed to work very hard at "hear no evil, see no evil" for. (I am no longer willing to accept candidates who dance around the evolution as I close my eyes, cover my ears and tell myself that they are not Young Earth Creationists.) Whatever problems I have with the modern liberal intellectual tradition, it is at least an intellectual tradition. Modern conservatism has sold itself out to a talk-radio tea-party culture that is fundamentally against intellectuals, whether liberal or just simple academics like me. If the Ohio Republican Party had the decency to nominate an outsider I might have been willing to go along, but John Kasich is the personification of the establishment. You want a Republican who failed to fix government spending; Kasich was on the House Budget Committee during the 90s. Want a Republican in bed with our conservative anti-intellectual culture; Kasich had a regular stint on Fox news. I actually voted for Strickland four years ago, since he struck me as a relatively moderate guy and the Republican candidate, Ken Blackwell, made me nervous, particularly the fact that he opposed abortion even in cases where a mother's life was at risk. If Strickland supports wasteful government spending at least he supports the kind that benefits me, government funded universities. At the end of the day, though, Strickland is a high profile supporter of the Obama stimulus program, which I cannot support.
Thankfully for this libertarian, there is a Libertarian Party candidate for governor of Ohio, Ken Matesz. Matesz is the kind of candidate, from what I can tell so far, supports the kinds of things that I can affirm wholeheartedly such as bringing government down to its basic functions and getting rid of government service programs such as welfare and education.
I recognize that Matesz cannot win. So why bother voting for him? Am I not simply wasting my vote and helping the candidate I disagree with the most, Ted Strickland, to win? I struggle with the issue, but I have come to believe that, on the contrary, voting outside of the two party system is actually making good use of my vote. If John Kasich is going to win he is likely going to win without my vote. Matesz can actually use my vote. If he can crack that 1% barrier maybe he will get some actual attention from the main stream media. My vote brings him that much closer to receiving just a few minutes to talk to the general public about libertarian ideas. If Matesz actually costs Kasich the election even better; that will bring attention to the fact that Republicans do not represent libertarian ideas and make them take us seriously for next time.
Addendum: For those of my readers living in New York there is Warren Redlich running as the Libertarian Party candidate for governor. Yes he looks and sounds like someone who got his underwear pulled over his head in high school, but on the issues he is solid. I can understand and accept that my liberal readers will vote for Andrew Cuomo. Under no circumstances, though, could I accept someone voting for Carl Paladino.