2016 U.S. Presidential Election -

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Lincoln Chafee will be jumping in on the Democratic side in a few hours. He served as a Republican U.S. Senator from 1999-2007, was elected Governor of Rhode Island as an independent in 2010, became a Democrat in 2013, and left office this past January. While a Senator, he was the only Republican to vote against the Iraq War, which is what his candidacy seems to be centered around, based on his rhetoric so far (since Clinton voted for it).
 

Dudeofteenage

Mister Standfast
Eh that kind of critique is better for someone who promises a lot but then disappoints once they get in (like Obama). Sanders will never be President so he can promise the world on a platter and still retain a fan following because he will never face the obstacles and oppositions of reality in office. Basically he has nothing to lose because he will never have to deliver.

He doesn't really have much to gain, either, though. Where can he go from here? He's not going to get a Cabinet position, being Governor of Vermont is probably a step down from being a Senator (apologies to any Green Mountain boys here)... I think this campaign is really more about trying to push the Democrats as a whole a bit to the left. Which seems a respectable enough goal, even if it's likely to fail.
 

Zeorus

voilà la guimbarde
True & Honest Fan
Lincoln Chafee will be jumping in on the Democratic side in a few hours. He served as a Republican U.S. Senator from 1999-2007, was elected Governor of Rhode Island as an independent in 2010, became a Democrat in 2013, and left office this past January. While a Senator, he was the only Republican to vote against the Iraq War, which is what his candidacy seems to be centered around, based on his rhetoric so far (since Clinton voted for it).

I ended up watching Wolf Blitzer interview him last night while in the waiting room of my local ER. The man simply refused to give any straight answers beyond "I VOTED 'GAINST DA WAR!" Not that this is surprising, but it's going to be one hell of a boring campaign if this continues.
 
I ended up watching Wolf Blitzer interview him last night while in the waiting room of my local ER. The man simply refused to give any straight answers beyond "I VOTED 'GAINST DA WAR!" Not that this is surprising, but it's going to be one hell of a boring campaign if this continues.
Chafee's pretty nutty. He was an unpopular Senator, he was an unpopular Governor with few (if any) accomplishments, and his campaign's focus is extraordinarily narrow.
 

Dudeofteenage

Mister Standfast
I can see why Chafee is emphasising his opposition to the Iraq war, because it is a position that's been largely vindicated.

The problem is there's already an anti-war candidate in Sanders. So I guess Chafee's relying on support from people who are really unhappy about the Iraq war (so unhappy that it's still a big deal for them ten years later), but who find Sanders too left wing on other issues? That strikes me as a pretty small niche, especially inside the Democratic party.
 

KatsuKitty

Stone-Cold Bitch
It's pretty telling that there's unanimity that the Iraq War was a failure. Bush and Cheney seem to be the last two people who thought it was a net gain.

Asking candidates this question (whether or not they supported the Iraq War in the end) comes down to a reporter's thinly-veiled criticism that the GOP would repeat what is widely construed to be our country's most disastrous foreign policy decision since Vietnam.
 

Dudeofteenage

Mister Standfast
It's pretty telling that there's unanimity that the Iraq War was a failure. Bush and Cheney seem to be the last two people who thought it was a net gain.

The relevant question should be the general one, not the specific one - not "Do you think the Iraq war was a good idea", since almost everybody agrees it wasn't, but "Do you think that pre-emptive wars in third world countries are a good idea"?

Like, if you'd gone around asking American politicians whether they thought the Vietnam war was a good idea in 2000, they'd all have said "no", but they mostly voted to invade Iraq anyway.
 

chimpburgers

Big league
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I'm in the whole I did that quiz for fun crowd. Despite not being a fan of either the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party, one of the quizzes said that a decent chunk of my views could be aligned with that or the Green Party and I laughed.
 
Correct me if I'm wrong, but what's with the recent boom of people (especially my fellow millennials) proclaiming themselves libertarians? I don't see what's so attractive about the party honestly. I feel like there are many people who are libertarians just to sound cool and trendy. They don't like the title conservative, progressive, or liberal because of what they're associated with, so just say that they're a libertarian, even if their views lean more conservative or liberal.

Also, Ron Paul, who libertarians lionized.
 
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Dudeofteenage

Mister Standfast
I said this elsewhere, so apologies to anyone who thinks I'm repeating myself, but - a lot of people use the word "libertarian" as a way to try to signal that on the one hand they are disengaged from contemporary politics, but on the other hand they have firmly held and deeply thought out political principles (even if they are often unable to describe them beyond 'I'm a libertarian'). I've seen self-proclaimed 'libertarians' argue in favour of some distinctly un-libertarian things. To put it more succinctly, they are trying to signal that they are disengaged but not apathetic - to accrue the social capital that comes from cynicism without losing the social capital that comes from being vague or unprincipled.

'Libertarianism' is a word that has definitely become higher profile in the general public sphere in the last twenty years, but I'm not sure that's due to a renewed faith in libertarian principles, let alone a deeper engagement with libertarian thought. It's mostly just a form of social signalling.

"Anarchist" has a broadly similar function to people on the left, but a longer pedigree.
 

chimpburgers

Big league
True & Honest Fan
I said this elsewhere, so apologies to anyone who thinks I'm repeating myself, but - a lot of people use the word "libertarian" as a way to try to signal that on the one hand they are disengaged from contemporary politics, but on the other hand they have firmly held and deeply thought out political principles (even if they are often unable to describe them beyond 'I'm a libertarian'). I've seen self-proclaimed 'libertarians' argue in favour of some distinctly un-libertarian things. To put it more succinctly, they are trying to signal that they are disengaged but not apathetic - to accrue the social capital that comes from cynicism without losing the social capital that comes from being vague or unprincipled.

'Libertarianism' is a word that has definitely become higher profile in the general public sphere in the last twenty years, but I'm not sure that's due to a renewed faith in libertarian principles, let alone a deeper engagement with libertarian thought. It's mostly just a form of social signalling.

"Anarchist" has a broadly similar function to people on the left, but a longer pedigree.
I've often heard that in countries outside of the US, libertarianism itself has different meanings than what Americans first think of. Here, it's obviously most associated with organizations like the Cato Institute, Reason Foundation and the Mises Institute and that whole Ron Paul/Rand Paul crowd, but that doesn't mean that there aren't left-libertarians out there. Even in those groups I mentioned, they have their own degree of how libertarian they are and what they consider to be libertarianism. There are different kinds of libertarianism depending on where people are on the political spectrum like right-libertarianism and left-libertarianism.

Noam Chomsky identifies himself as a libertarian socialist at times though I've also heard of instances where he's called himself an anarchist. Even Bill Maher called himself a libertarian at one point so there's a lot of variation that goes on. I'm sure Milton Friedman identified himself as a libertarian but a pragmatist too and didn't agree with a lot of the views that someone like Murray Rothbard had, and he apparently had a big beef with Ayn Rand, another person I've seen lumped into that whole libertarian movement too. You can see how there's still plenty of debate that goes on in these circles pertaining to this.

I do also believe that there are a lot of people out there that don't really understand the nuances of what these terms mean so they'll call themselves libertarian as you said because they want to sound like they're not part of the establishment.
 
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