Tomorrow, Virginians will be going to the polls to decide who will be their next governor.
For the last few weeks, Republican Ken Cuccinelli trailed Democrat Terry McAuliffe, sometimes by a large margin. But the polls have tightened and Cuccinelli is poised to pull off an upset tomorrow night.
But because there are no guarantees in life, especially not in politics, I write this as a way to help anyone on the fence at this late hour to make their decision.
I am not a Virginian, so it is assumed I have no dog in this hunt, but this race has national implications. People used to understand that Virginia is a bellwether state. This is especially true this year with Hillary Clinton gearing up for a 2016 run.
That’s why it’s important to keep Terry McAuliffe out of the governor’s mansion. He is a Clinton-stooge who has no ties to Virginia in any way. He’s a carpetbagger the same way Hillary Clinton was in her Senate races.
If McAuliffe wins, this will be seen as a huge step forward for Hillary’s presidential candidacy. He will use his perch as governor to push her closer to winning. Make no mistake, he is running to help her run in 2016, which is why both Hill and Bill have endorsed him and are pulling for him to win.
If McAuliffe succeeds, it makes it that much harder to stop Hillary.
These are but a few reasons not to vote for McAuliffe.
But there is another hindrance to a Cuccinelli victory, and his nation is Robert Sarvis. Sarvis is the Libertarian Party candidate, but he himself is no libertarian. Sarvis is about as libertarian as McAuliffe, which is to say, not at all.
When you look at Sarvis’ policy position, you have to wonder why the Libertarian Party would put him up at all.
Sarvis told Chuck Todd he didn’t actually favor more tax cuts, but finding savings through more “efficiency”. In that interview, he also endorsed expanding the Medicaid program in the state under Obamacare – which most libertarians in Virginia have been fighting tooth and nail (even Chuck Todd seemed mildly surprised at Sarvis’s willingness to trade vaguely defined “flexibility” for expansion, which the candidate described as “ideal”).
Another “little” deviation from libertarian philosophy Domenech notes:
Despite going through George Mason’s program, he doesn’t sound like he shares their views, telling Reason: “I’m not into the whole Austrian type, strongly libertarian economics, I like more mainstream economics and would have been happy to go elsewhere.” That makes sense, given that he’s endorsed more transportation taxes, too – including higher gas taxes and instituting a vehicle-miles driven tax in the state.
So we have an anti-tax cut, pro-Medicaid expansion, pro-WMT candidate, who is not fond of Austrian economics, running as the Libertarian Party candidate.
Robert Sarvis is NOT a libertarian, but a social liberal, or progressive.
Looking through his platform, one is left with the impression that what Sarvis really means to say is that he is a social liberal. He is in favor of gay marriage, is (radically) pro-choice, and supports the legalization of marijuana. In this regard, he stands in stark contrast to the Republican candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, who is campaigning for a state marriage amendment, is staunchly pro-life, and, although critical of the War on Drugs and of the current sentencing rules, seems to be broadly against the legalization of pot.
The question, then, for anyone interested in taxonomy, is, Do Sarvis’s social positions make him a “libertarian” in any meaningful way? In my view they do not. Whatever America’s media class would have you believe, social liberalism does not equal libertarianism — and it never has.
Social liberalism equals social liberalism. Indeed, even if you accept that “pro-choice” and “libertarian” are consistent bedfellows, which I absolutely do not, the social positions held by Sarvis are really just standard progressive fare, held also by millions of Americans who wouldn’t dream of cutting taxes, expanding gun rights, or rejecting a Medicaid expansion. (Note that Sarvis wants the state to recognize gay marriages and not to get out of marriage completely. His is the progressive preference.)
So for you libertarians who are considering voting for Sarvis to stick it to the GOP, not only are you helping to elect the Democrat, but you are throwing your vote away on someone who is not even a libertarian. And for you in the GOP who are voting for Sarvis because you think the GOP isn’t “socially tolerant” enough, the same goes for you.
It is also worth noting that while Sarvis is the the Libertarian Party candidate, Ken Cuccinelli is the true choice of libertarians, which is why he has been endorsed by both Ron and Rand Paul. They have both been in the state recently to campaign for him.
Cuccinelli is a friend of libertarians, if you get past libertarian support for same-sex “marriage” and drug legalization (although worthy of note, Cuccinelli has been open to legalizing pot). He would be great for both conservatives and libertarians, as Philip Klein noted in the Washington Examiner:
Virginia’s Ken Cuccinelli would arguably be the most libertarian governor in the United States if he wins on Nov. 5 — which makes it odd that he’s become a top target for many libertarians.
Cuccinelli has libertarian bona fides: As attorney general he led the states aiming to kill Obamacare, with all its mandates, taxes, regulations, subsidies and intrusions. He wants to cut the state income tax rate by 15 percent for individuals and 33 percent for corporations.
Cuccinelli has an A rating from the NRA — earned while representing Fairfax County in the state Senate. He opposed smoking bans as a senator. To a libertarian, all of the above looks good, but not extraordinary for a Republican. But there’s more.
Republican governors who sing paeans to the free market almost always make exceptions in order to be more “pro-business.” Cuccinelli, meanwhile, has angered much of his state’s business lobby by running against corporate welfare, opposing the tax hikes that Northern Virginia developers are seeking to pay for roads and public services and pledging to put special-interest tax credits on the chopping block.
Cuccinelli also often chooses government restraint over “law and order.” When Virginia’s GOP tried to expand the death penalty in 2009, Cuccinelli was the only Republican to vote no — during a competitive GOP primary for attorney general. Although not ready to support drug legalization like Sarvis, Cuccinelli has criticized the drug war as overzealous, and he said jailing marijuana dealers is a waste of taxpayer money. He told me he’s open to legalizing pot in Virginia if things go well in Colorado and Washington.
Cuccinelli has something to offer both conservatives and libertarians.
This is why I, as a New York conservative watching this race, am rooting heavily for him to win.
We on the Right need to bring these various factions together and play nice with each other if we are to defeat the statist Left. Once you get past all of the belly-aching of Ken Cuccinelli attempting to bring back sodomy laws (which he isn’t), and complaints that he is “socially intolerant,” you have to notice that Cuccinelli is far more libertarian than Robert Sarvis.
And since Sarvis has no shot of winning, who does that leave you with?
It has often been said that in order for the Right to win, we have to get social conservatives and libertarians to come together. Once that happens, the rest of the coalition will be a lot easier to unite. Ken Cuccinelli is a man who can and has attempted through his time in political office, to do that.
And that is why we need everyone in Virginia who values individual liberty, economic, religious, and personal liberty, to turn out for Ken tomorrow.