Blogs > Jim Collins' Editor's Notebook

Jim Collins is editor emeritus of The News-Herald and also serves as executive in residence at Lakeland Community College. His popular weekly column appears each Sunday in Comment in The News-Herald.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Are Libertarian's views mainstream enough to win election?

You’d think that after sitting before the TV cameras for 32 years and recording interviews with political candidates of all denominations, I would get it right.

Well, I do my best. And so do my cohorts from The News-Herald who sit alongside me on the firing line and join in asking questions of officeholders and wannabes who seek to replace them.

It’s just that it is so simple when we are facing only two candidates (an R and a D) and so much more complicated when an L is added to the mixture.

The latter is a Libertarian. You are all familiar with the designations R and D, so I won’t have to go over that familiar ground.

This year, we have three candidates running for Congress in the 14th District, and because I become easily confused, I have a hard time remembering whose turn it is to respond to a question and whose turn it is to ask the next question when we are faced by, not two, but three candidates.

It is easy to keep the R and the D straight in my mind. Dave Joyce, the incumbent, an R, is a traditional Conservative.

He has all the Conservative values and his answers are easy to follow.

His main challenger, Michael Wager, a D, I would classify as a traditional Liberal. His answers are equally as easy to follow. They don’t happen to fit very well into my particular set of values, but that is just me, and when I pose questions I am totally non-partisan, or should I say, un-partisan.

In other words, I don’t allow my sentiments enter into the discussion. That is for the candidates to do.

But then along comes David Macko. He is a Libertarian, and may I say, a hard-line Libertarian.

We invited David this year. He has a solid background. But I am not certain his views are congruent with a majority of those I hear on the street.

I could be wrong. There is a Libertarian I hear often on TV who articulates his positions in a manner I find quite appealing. Maybe it’s that I can’t take a full load of them in one sitting.

Some years ago, there was a third party candidate I wouldn’t allow on the program. He insisted. He said he had a First Amendment right to state his views. I told him I was not denying his First Amendment right to speak. I was merely telling him that he was not invited to be on our program. He could go outside, stand in front of the Clocktower at Lakeland, and speak for as long as he wished.

He filed suit. Lakeland’s attorney, Jim Hackenberg, filed a very persuasive brief. We prevailed.

In recent years, several third party candidates have accepted our invitation to participate. So this year I invited David Macko.

He is a nice man. He made all of his points quite forcefully.

But David has as much chance of winning as I have, and I am not on the ballot.

(Please do not call me, David. I know what I am talking about.)

I will acquaint you with some of his views. First, he wants to impeach Barack Obama. (So does Sarah Palin, but never mind that.)

I am sure there are millions of Americans who agree with David’s distaste for Obama. David says of him, “like all communist and other socialist would-be dictators, Obama seeks to destroy our God-given rights...”

A few other quotes from David’s literature:

“Macko proposes to end the police state.” I wasn’t aware we lived in one.

“Macko wants to stop World War III.” There are a lot of problems in the world, but I have not heard them defined as WWIII.

“End the Federal Reserve System.” Easier said than done.

“Repeal Obamacare.” He would have a lot of company on that one.

“Equal rights for everyone, even white people.” That kind of talk will get him branded as a racist.

His other proposals are too lengthy and too complicated to get into here.

David, obviously, has done a lot of homework. I learned some things from his literature about the Oathkeepers Oath, Jury Nullification and the Skull and Bones Class of 1895.

But at bottom, his is not a mainstream campaign. But who knows? Maybe the mainstream is not where we want to be this year.

We will find out in November.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Macko is NOT a mainstream libertarian.

His conspiracy theories are far-fetched and in no way representative of most libertarians.

August 29, 2014 at 2:14 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it depends what state they are running in. For example, their stance on legalizing drugs would play well in Colorado. I'm not sure they could win on a national level. Not yet.

August 30, 2014 at 9:21 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Succinctly, Libertarians believe in smaller government, lower taxes, personal freedom, and a strong national defense. I cannot imagine anything more mainstream.

I haven't voted for a Demokrat since the 60s.

David Joyce talks a good game (I've visited "hundreds" of employers and workers). My question was, "...and as a result what great innovation have you introduced resulting in more jobs in your district?" Answer was a resounding silence.

I'll be voting libertarian in November.

August 31, 2014 at 9:51 PM 
Blogger David Macko said...

Thanks to Jim Collins for his accurate presentation of some of my major positions. Despite our differences as to my electability, the conservatism of the incumbent and a few other matters, which is his right as a blogger and columnist, I appreciate being treated fairly. It is as satisfying as it is unusual.
In response to Anonymous 1, I study and discuss conspiracy facts and believe that I have an obligation to be ahead of the crowd, even among my fellow Libertarians.
To Anonymous 2, I favor ending the Drug War, abolishing the FDA, the DEA and all federal drug laws, since they advance the police state and are unconstitutional.
To Anonymous 3, thank you. If you would like to participate in my campaign see and contact me.

September 7, 2014 at 8:52 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For one thing, Dave Joyce most certainly is not as you state "a traditional conservative." Not by a long shot. He consistently only scores at about 50% conservative according to how he votes in congress by several organizations that measure such things. So his claims are false, and the talk is cheap. He also accepts plenty of funding from several unions and other nefariously more liberal leaning sources. So basically we are faced with a choice between two liberal candidate's in district 14, or David Macko who is in fact probably more conservative than Dave Joyce in most regards. I firmly believe that the Libertarian platform is by far more mainstream and in line with what American's believe in this day and age than either of the two establishment parties who by virtue of their own corrupt leadership have been selling out our once free republic to corporate greed and a globalist agenda set on the destruction of our liberty and our very way of life. It most certainly has been destroying our constitutional rights in an ever increasing trend towards socialism. I intend to support David Macko, and will vote for him in November. But then, I always support the best candidate regardless of their party affiliation..

September 7, 2014 at 6:55 PM 
Anonymous carey masci said...

I find this article in error for one big reason. Jim Collins calls Rep. Dave Joyce a traditional Conservative. Dave Joyce has a Conservative rating hovering around the 48% mark. Dave Joyce is a BIG government establishment Republican.

I may not agree with everything Macko stands for but the things I do agree with Dave on, I strongly agree and I have no reason to believe Macko would renege on any of his pledges or promises.

September 7, 2014 at 10:09 PM 
Anonymous Jim Bridgens said...

Jim Collins is right, Dave Joyce is a traditional conservative Republican...talks small government during elections, votes big government during the cycle. Very traditional. If we want things to change, we must get out of the D-R paradigm. Both are the same on most all issues.

September 20, 2014 at 8:15 AM 

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