Anatomy of a Cuckertarian

Over the past several weeks, the mainstream conservative media has been in an uproar over the epithet “cuckservative,” a portmanteau of “cuckold” and “conservative” that is used to denigrate those who are perceived as insufficiently conservative. Typical targets of the term are those who pay lip service to the defense of traditional conservative values, but have policies which work against such values. Other targets include those who will back down as soon as leftists accuse them of racism, classism, xenophobia, sexism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, and/or transphobia out of fear of ostracism by the establishment media. Still others may be called a cuckservative for engaging in the same minority identity politics that leftists do.

Much of the backlash against the term comes from its supposed origin among white nationalists as a slur against more mainstream conservatives, whom they believe to be race traitors. But its true origin is the online form 4chan, and the use of the term “cuckold” as an insult dates back at least to the Middle Ages, when it referred to a man with an unfaithful wife, especially a man raising children who were fathered by another man. By Shakespeare’s time, it also referred to an emasculated man who had no backbone about him. The shortened form “cuck” is frequently used on 4chan as a term of abuse for people who cave in to criticism and sell out their supporters, and it is this sense of the word that has led to the term “cuckservative.” Thus, it may be considered a synonym of RINO (Republican In Name Only), coward, or beta male.

Unfortunately, the legitimate problems identified by the term “cuckservative” when not used by racists are not confined to conservatism. Many of the same problems are also present in libertarian circles, thus it is worth examining the anatomy of a cuckolded libertarian, or “cuckertarian.” This is best done by starting with symptom lists that define cuckservatism, then comparing and contrasting them with similar phenomena within the libertarian movement to get a general picture of a cuckertarian.

Open Borders and Immigration

The cuckservative supports open borders and amnesty for illegal immigrants, even going so far as to call illegally immigrating an act of love. Lesser cuckservatives may give lip service to the ideas of border security and immigration restrictions, but will not discuss or act on the matter unless pressured into doing so. This is in contrast to traditional conservatism, which supports protecting that which separates a nation from that which is outside of it. The cuckservative also exhibits conspicuous compassion while advocating that others be forced to pay the cost.

Unlike conservatism, libertarianism rejects enforced nationalism and tribalism as forms of aggression. Instead of embracing these notions, the cuckertarian supports open borders and free immigration even when they stand athwart private property rights and freedom of association. A cuckertarian may also support letting refugees into a country, even though refugee problems are nearly always caused by governments and exploited by other governments to grow the welfare state and create new sympathetic voting blocks. While libertarianism permits one to bring in a foreigner to one’s private property and provide for them, this is not the nature of government refugee policies. Like the cuckservative, the cuckertarian is conspicuously compassionate.

Israel and America

The cuckservative believes that the state of Israel can do no wrong, must always be supported, and that criticizing it or any Jewish organization is tantamount to anti-Semitism. This stands in stark contrast to the cuckservative’s leniency concerning America’s borders, as Israel is quite strict on border security and promoting its ethnic interests.

The cuckertarian may exhibit such behavior, but it could be toward any nation-state which is believed to be a bulwark against something even worse which might replace it. This may lead to support for military actions or support for overseas regimes which a consistent libertarian should oppose.

Free Trade

The cuckservative claims to support domestic workers while undermining them through “free trade” agreements with other nations which result in jobs moving overseas. But those who use the term tend to misunderstand free trade. Free trade means that there is no government interference in the marketplace. This requires anarchy, which conservatives of nearly every type are adamantly against.

The cuckertarian rarely commits an error on this subject, though it is not unheard of.

Race

The “cuckservative” epithet is frequently used by racists to deride those who are not racist. But there is a discussion to be had on race and cuckservatism without delving into hatred and bigotry. The cuckservative is so afraid of being called a racist that he or she avoids any discussion of racial issues. A cuckservative will also accuse social justice warriors and leftists of being the real racists, with varying degrees of accuracy. The very possibility of human biodiversity is anathema to a cuckservative, as is the use of identity politics among whites in general and white cisgendered males in particular to defend against similar tactics by minorities from the left.

The cuckertarian will sometimes seek to avoid discussions of racial matters for fear of being called a racist, but may also do so by claiming that any such discussion is collectivist and therefore anti-libertarian. The concept of human biodiversity is also rejected by the cuckertarian as a form of racism and collectivism, even when the available data supports the idea that there are measurable genetic differences between groups of people and that these differences do not make people objectively superior or inferior. Additionally, some cuckertarians will express a belief in free will unfettered by genetic makeup, life experiences, expectations of consequences, or physical laws to support their rejection of facts. Cuckertarians do not generally oppose the use of identity politics by other libertarians, but this is probably because few libertarians support such tactics.

Corporate Power

The cuckservative opposes anything that threatens the power of corporations, even going so far as advocating a form of fascism. However, those who use the term frequently fail to understand that higher taxes, environmental regulations, and minimum wage increases do not limit corporate power but rather enhance it by destroying the smaller competitors of mega-corporations that cannot afford the cost of such government interferences.

While corporations are not forbidden by libertarianism and it is possible to construct such an entity in a private law society, the incentives of such a society lean toward arrangements where everyone is fully responsible for their actions. The cuckertarian will support corporatism instead of pure capitalism and may claim that the state is necessary to rein in corporate power, despite the fact that corporate power is ultimately derived from state power.

Police and Military

The cuckservative believes that men and women in uniform are beyond reproach, calling all of them “heroes” regardless of the deeds they have done while claiming to represent the entire society and be the finest members thereof. The cuckservative will also decry any criticism of American foreign policy as isolationism.

The cuckertarian will be more critical of government police and military personnel than almost any conservative, but will denounce any acts of violence in self-defense against their aggressions as illegitimate, thereby placing some people beyond the scope of the non-aggression principle just because they wear costumes and are affiliated with the state. The cuckertarian will seek to reform such statist institutions rather than abolish them, and may even advocate for their temporary expansion in order to combat some threat du jour.

Moderation and Radicalism

The cuckservative spends more time attacking other conservatives for being too extreme than attacking leftists. The cuckservative supports establishment Republicans and believes that Obama won two terms as President because his major party opponents were too far to the right. Cuckservatives routinely denounce movements like the Tea Party and the Ron Paul Revolution as being too extreme and polarizing to win general elections.

The cuckertarian denounces anarchist libertarians as utopian idealists, preaching instead a form of limited statism that contains obvious contradictions. Cuckertarians prefer to moderate the message of liberty to reach a wider audience, but in the process they corrupt it into something that a consistently principled libertarian would barely recognize. In the Libertarian Party, this results in moderate or even fake libertarians gaining the presidential nomination.

Right and Wrong Thinking

The cuckservative may articulate a set of principles, but will seldom stand by them in the face of criticism from the left. As mentioned above, the cuckservative is so afraid of being called a racist that this is all it takes for a social justice warrior to make a cuckservative back down and ask for forgiveness from the politically correct establishment. This motivates cuckservatives to stay in line and attack more ardent conservatives. A cuckservative will accuse those who call them a cuckservative of being racists, and will occasionally even sell out allies to virtue signal to the left.

The cuckertarian can be somewhat more resilient, but will still crack under pressure if the leftist backlash is strong enough. While the cuckservative merely kowtows to social justice warriors, the cuckertarian frequently is one. Both the cuckservative and the cuckertarian are motivated partly by avoidance of conflict and shame as well as a desire to keep money flowing in, but the cuckservative is motivated more by the former while the cuckertarian is motivated more by the latter. Advertisers tend to pull their ads from controversial programming, as they do not wish to be seen as promoting wrong-think. This motivates cuckertarians to stay in line and attack more consistent libertarians, especially if the cuckertarians have a wider audience on television or radio. Cuckertarians are fond of telling more consistent libertarians to check their privilege, even as they refuse to check their premises and ignorance. A cuckertarian would accuse those who call them a cuckertarian of being racists if the term were in more common usage, and selling out allies to be seen as a right-thinker is more common for cuckertarians than for cuckservatives.

Desire for Establishment Favor

The fundamental motivator of cuckservatism is the desire to be part of the establishment. A cuckservative would rather be a cog in the machine of statism than rock the boat in any meaningful way. In fact, many cuckservatives would rather see an establishment Democrat in a congressional seat than a strong conservative. Being seen on television, heard on the radio, and read in popular books is more important to the cuckservative than being correct or being true to conservative principles.

The cuckertarian is much the same in this regard, minus the political power aspect as Libertarian candidates hardly ever win elections for major political offices. The cuckertarian is also distinguished by a desire to reform rather than abolish the state, an acceptance of centralized government, and Beltway insider status. Cuckertarians care more about distracting more consistent libertarians with visions of a brighter future than about doing what is necessary to end statist oppression.

Conclusion

Just as cuckservative may be considered a synonym of RINO (Republican In Name Only), cuckertarian may be considered a synonym for LINO (Libertarian In Name Only). The cuckertarian may or may not qualify as a fake libertarian, but he or she is a destructive force regardless. As hypocrites and entryists frequently do more damage to a cause than infidels, cuckertarians are in many cases an even more problematic foe of liberty than unrepentant statists because the cuckertarians can ensure that even if libertarians win, we will still lose.

There Is No Such Thing As Security

Every year around September 11, the establishment media dedicates many hours to remembrance of the terrorist attacks of 2001. There is nothing wrong with this in and of itself, but true to form, they never let an opportunity to push statist propaganda go to waste. Interwoven in the memorial shows are calls for continued and expanded measures to combat terrorism (except ceasing to arm, train, fund, and motivate them, of course) and provide national security, all of which can supposedly be done only by the state. As such, it is a good time to discuss not only how the concept of national security is misguided, but why there is really no such thing as security.

National Security

National security is the idea that a state should protect itself and its citizens against all types of dangers through all available power projections. This encompasses cyber security, economic security, energy security, infrastructure security, etc. But the idea of national security implicitly assumes that there exists such a thing as a nation. If existence is correctly understood, this assumption is false. Existence requires a concrete and particular form in physical reality, for without such a constraint, a thing may be said to exist without anything more than a base assertion. As such, a nation does not exist; each person, each building, each trade good, etc. exists. Thus, it makes no sense to speak of national security apart from the security of each person, each building, each trade good, etc. We should therefore individualize the subsets of national security as much as possible and realize that national security is not achieved unless every person, every building, every trade good, etc. is secure.

Subsets of National Security

Cyber security is the protection of electronic information systems from damage, theft, and hacking. But any expert in the field knows that cyber security does not really exist; there are only various levels of insecurity. Measures can be taken to encrypt data or make passwords more difficult to hack, but a hacker with enough time, resources, and luck can get into any system. And of course, a system is only as strong as its weakest point of attack, meaning that hackers will always have some way in.

Economic security is the condition of having stable resources to support a standard of living. This requires continued solvency, continued income, and security of resources. But this cannot be guaranteed. A source of income may disappear at any time; a job may be lost, a donor may stop giving, a resource may run out, and so on. There is also no certainty that resources in one’s possession will stay there. Even with the best security measures, thieves and scammers can still find ways to plunder people.

Infrastructure security is the protection of transportation networks, essential services, and utilities from contamination, decay, and sabotage. This is necessary for modern life to continue, as disruptions to critical infrastructure would cut off the flow of goods and services to people who could not easily manage without them due to the effects of interdependence. Yet again, there is no way to prevent all natural disasters, cyber attacks, and terrorism that may threaten the grid.

Personal Security

Each of us is not even secure in our own physical bodies. This fact alone would negate any possible security mentioned above, as security is meaningless to the dead. Speaking of death, there is no guarantee that a reader of this article will survive long enough to finish reading it. Even if one has taken care of one’s health and acquired means of protection, there is no reason why one cannot expire of a medical condition that has gone undetected by doctors, an assassin’s bullet, a wayward car that crashes into one’s room, or even a falling meteor. As none of these are completely preventable, there is no such thing as personal security.

Liberty, Not Security

It is clear that security cannot really exist, and that which cannot be done should not be attempted. But this is not to say that we should leave our doors unlocked, give up our guns, and generally do nothing to defend ourselves. There is no such thing as security, but there is temporary and limited protection from particular dangers. What can be done, and what should be attempted, is to defend people against attacks upon life, liberty, and property without violating said lives, liberties, and properties in the process. (For if they are violated in the process, then the terrorists have achieved an important victory without even lighting a fuse or firing a shot.) To quote Tom Robbins, “There’s no such thing as security in this life sweetheart, and the sooner you accept that fact, the better off you’ll be. The person who strives for security will never be free.”

Defending The Reservation Scalper

On Sept. 9, the Orlando Sentinel reported that a new company called DiS Dining Agent is helping people obtain reservations at restaurants in Disney World. But unlike other such services, it does this by making registrations under false names and transferring them to customers for a price, currently around $15. The company also offers to cancel its reservation and immediately notify the customer for a fee between $6 and $10 so that a customer can quickly call the restaurant to claim the newly vacant time slot. A company in San Francisco called ReservationHop also operates in this manner.

Of course, such methods have their detractors. Anna Skamarakas, a Disney Parks Mom panelist, tells the Sentinel, “It just infuriates me… They are doing something to circumnavigate the system, which isn’t fair to the rest of us who are trying to play by the rules.” Disney says that it is “aware of the site” and is “currently reviewing the situation.” Other criticisms are that reservation scalpers create artificial scarcity and needlessly raise prices. But let us consider an alternative view based on Walter Block’s defense of ticket scalpers in Defending the Undefendable. This will show why such criticisms are unfounded, as well as how reservation scalpers are actually performing a beneficial market function.

First, we should point out the inconsistency of the outrage of those who oppose reservation scalpers. The grocer also buys large amounts of finite, potentially scarce products and sells them for a profit. So does the hardware store owner, the jeweler, and so on. But no one seems to be outraged by the idea of a business selling food, tools, or jewelry in the event that supplies are low and the particular item that a customer wants is nowhere to be found. This sort of logical inconsistency cannot be rationally advanced in argument.

Second, there is the fact that the very nature of restaurant reservations makes scalping possible and profitable. Any reservation price above the market clearing price will result in empty seats, which Disney would prefer to avoid. Any price below the market clearing price will invite scalping, and trying to calculate the exact market clearing price in advance is impossible. As restaurant owners would prefer to err on the low side of the market clearing price, there tend to be more people demanding seats than there are seats available. This leads to rising prices, which correct the imbalance. The act of scalping is simply a market force acting to correct imbalances in supply and demand.

Third, the reservation scalper acts as a risk mitigator on behalf of both a restaurant’s customers and owners. If the scalper makes a reservation and fails to sell it to a customer, then the scalper loses the entire cost of the reservation and the restaurant owner loses potential secondary sales, such as alcoholic beverages and extra side dishes. (Note: there is no alcohol served inside the Magic Kingdom, but other areas of the Walt Disney World Resort do have restaurants that serve alcohol.) If the scalper makes a reservation and sells it to a customer, then the scalper makes a small profit and the restaurant gets customers who might not otherwise find a reservation. The scalper is thus strongly incentivized to connect restaurateurs with customers who want their services.

Some people will argue that scalpers are responsible for higher reservation prices and lower availability, but this is merely a result of arithmetic, and would happen with or without dedicated scalpers speculating on reservations. Suppose, for an example similar to the case at hand, that restaurant reservations are selling for an average of about $50, there are 20,000 reservations for sale every day, and 25,000 people want a reservation. To avoid distributing reservations without price rationing, which would result in reservations being made available in an arbitrary and discriminatory manner, prices must rise to a level where only 20,000 people still want them. This level may be around $65 in this case. How this $15 per reservation increase is distributed is what will vary from case to case.

Finally, there is the argument that reservation scalping benefits the rich at the expense of the poor. The opposite tends to be true. For poorer people, scalping is an easy way to make a large return on a relatively small investment. For richer people, paying a scalper a higher price is the overt cost, but there is also the hidden cost of not having to spend extra time trying to make a reservation.

In conclusion, it is clear that the reservation scalpers are not only not harming anyone, but are fulfilling a market role that helps everyone involved.

The economic illiteracy of Liberty Mutual

Every insurance company has a target demographic. For Geico, it is government employees. For State Farm, it is farmers. For Liberty Mutual, it appears to be people who are economically illiterate. The company recently released a series of nine advertisements, most of which commit economic fallacies. Let us analyze each one and find the fallacies therein.

Makes You Wonder

The narrator says to a video of cars in a junkyard, “No one thinks they are going to be in an accident. Which is why no one wants insurance. So we go cheap. You know, because we’re never gonna need it. Until one day, we do. Now that cut rate policy is costing us big. Makes you wonder if there’s something better out there.”

Perhaps economically illiterate people do not want insurance and think nothing can happen to them, but smarter people understand that there are dangers in life which should be prepared for in advance. This is why insurance exists; to mitigate unpredictable circumstances which are relatively unlikely to happen to a particular person, but are devastating for those who do suffer such misfortune.

New Car Replacement

A man says, “You drop 40 grand on a new set of wheels, then WHAM! A minivan T-bones you. Guess what? Your insurance company will only give you $37,000 to replace it. Depreciation, they claim. ‘How can my car depreciate before its first oil change?,’ you ask. Maybe the better question is, why do you have that insurance company?”

This man fails to understand the subjective theory of value. A car, like anything else, is worth what people are willing to pay for it. People are not willing to pay as much for a used car versus a new car, no matter how little used the car is. There are several reasons for this. Dealerships sell at retail price while used car owners sell at wholesale price, meaning that one would lose money just by buying a car from a dealer and selling it back as soon as one drives it off the lot. Used cars buyers usually cannot afford the price of a new car, and that which cannot be paid will not be paid. Wear and tear begins as soon as the car is used for the first time, meaning that a car’s value begins its descent from new car price to scrap metal price as soon as it is driven for the first time.

Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with a New Car Replacement policy, but it will cost more, and for good reason. When the potential payout for a claim increases and all else is held constant, the insurance rate must increase in kind so that the insurance company can remain profitable. There is also the matter that an item insured for more than its value is worth more to its owner destroyed than intact, and the incentives involved in such a situation open a new can of worms.

Accident Forgiveness I

A woman says, “You pay your auto insurance premium every month on the dot. You’re like the poster child for paying on time. And then, one day, you tap the bumper of a station wagon. No big deal, until your insurance company jacks up your rates. You freak out. What good is having insurance if you get punished for using it? Hey, insurance companies, news flash. Nobody’s perfect.”

Does this woman want a cookie? Paying bills on time is what a person is supposed to do because that is what a person agreed to do upon signing up with the service provider that is sending the bills. Paying bills on time is also a separate matter from one’s risk profile. Speaking of risk profile, damaging other vehicles makes a driver a greater liability for an insurance company because it makes the insurance company pay claims. As past behavior is a useful predictor of future behavior, an insurance company raises rates on drivers who have had accidents recently in anticipation of having to pay more claims caused by those drivers in the future. Having insurance is still good even if one gets punished for using it because it keeps one from having to pay for all damage one causes while driving out of one’s own savings. It also means that any civil suits will be directed at the insurance company rather than at the driver.

As above, there is nothing inherently wrong with an Accident Forgiveness policy that does not increase rates for the first accident, but it will cost more, and for good reason. The money required to keep the insurance company afloat must come from somewhere, and it can only come from raising rates on accident-free drivers, raising rates on drivers with two or more accidents, lowering claim payouts, or some combination of the aforementioned.

Better Car Replacement

A woman says, “You owned your car for four years. You named it Brad. You loved Brad. And then you totaled him. You two had been through everything together. Two boyfriends, three jobs, you’re like, ‘Nothing can replace Brad.’ Then Liberty Mutual calls, and you break into your happy dance.”

Aside from the silliness of anthropomorphizing one’s car, this is the only passable advertisement of the bunch, as it is the only one that does not contain economic fallacies.

Blindsided

A man says, “You’re driving along having a perfectly nice day when, out of nowhere, a pickup truck slams into your brand new car. One second it wasn’t there and the next second, boom! You had your first accident. Now you have to make your first claim. So you talk to your insurance company and, boom! You’re blindsided for a second time. They won’t give you enough money to replace your brand new car. Don’t those people know you’re already shaken up?”

Only the economically illiterate would be blindsided by the concept of depreciation. This man commits the same fallacies discussed above for the New Car Replacement video combined with a logically irrelevant emotional plea. Being “shaken up” does not affect the monetary value of an insurance claim.

Easy Claim Filing

A man says, “You park your car. As you walk away, crunch! A garbage truck backs into it. So, you call your insurance company, looking for a little support. What you get is a game of a thousand questions. ‘Was it raining? Were your flashers on? Was there a dog with you?’ By the time you hang up, you’re convinced the accident was your fault. Then you remember you weren’t even in the car.”

Like any other business, an insurance company is not in business to lose money. The way that they avoid losing money, aside from keeping insurance costs high enough to make the business profitable, is to avoid paying out claims unnecessarily. To the economically illiterate, what the man describes may sound like a game of a thousand questions designed to attack the insured, but it is necessary to determine who is at fault so that the proper liability in a case may be established.

New Car Totaled

A woman says, “You totaled your brand new car. Nobody’s hurt, but there will still be pain. It comes when your insurance company says they’ll only pay 3/4 of what it takes to replace it. What are you supposed to do, drive 3/4 of a car? Now, if you had Liberty Mutual New Car Replacement, you’d get your whole car back. I guess they don’t want you driving around on three wheels. Smart.”

No, not smart. For the third time, these people fail to understand subjective value and depreciation. One is not supposed to drive 3/4 of a car; one is supposed to either get a different car that costs 3/4 as much, or pay for more out of pocket. An agreement with an insurance company is not meant to coddle drivers, but to pay claims to them according to the terms agreed upon when the insurance policy was purchased.

Accident Forgiveness II

A woman says, “You do all this research on a perfect car. Gas mileage, horsepower, torque ratios. Three spreadsheets later, you finally bring home the one, then smash it into a tree. Your insurance company is all too happy to raise your rates. Maybe you should have done a little more research on them.”

Maybe she should have done more research on how insurance works, as she demonstrates the same sort of ignorance as the woman in Accident Forgiveness I. And perhaps the person being discussed should have done more research on torque ratios, as a better understanding of how power is sent from the engine to the wheels may help one avoid running a car into a tree.

Deductible Fund

A woman says, “You pay your car insurance premium like clockwork. Month after month, year after year. Then one night, you hydroplane into a ditch. Yeah. Surprise! Your insurance company tells you to pay up again. Why pay for insurance if you have to pay even more for using it?”

For the second time, paying bills in a timely manner is not some heroic feat that deserves great praise and adulation upon completion. It is something that a responsible adult just does. This woman then shows the same lack of understanding as the women in the two Accident Forgiveness commercials.

Conclusion

This set of advertisements is appealing to the economic illiteracy and sense of entitlement of the general population, especially younger people. Unfortunately, because economic illiteracy is so widespread, Liberty Mutual might have a winning marketing strategy.

Introducing the Ohio Strategy

For a century and a half, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have maintained a stranglehold on American politics. They have used this position to make life very difficult for anyone who wishes to campaign for public office on a ballot line other than theirs. This has been accomplished by ballot access laws which require exorbitant numbers of signatures on petitions for ballot access, court challenges to such petitions, “sore loser” laws which prevent Republicans and Democrats who lose in primary elections from becoming third party candidates in general elections, campaign finance laws that make it harder for third party candidates to get funding compared to Republicans and Democrats, “top two” primaries which keep third party candidates off of general election ballots, and polling requirements for debate access that limit the ability of third party candidates to bring their message to voters. Several strategies have been proposed to combat this, none of which have been very successful thus far. Here, I propose a new strategy for breaking the duopoly. I call this the Ohio Strategy for reasons which will soon be made clear.

Due to the aforementioned rigging of the American political system, it is nearly impossible for a third party candidate to compete in presidential politics. For most such candidates, the resources to contend with the war chests of Republican and Democratic presidential nominees on a nationwide basis are simply nonexistent. Michael Cloud writes in Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion that “should” presupposes “can,” and it follows that “cannot” implies “must not.” In other words, that which cannot be done should not be attempted. As such, a third party candidacy would be better served by using its smaller amount of resources in a more concentrated manner than by attempting to compete against the two major parties in all 50 states. The most effective way to do this would be to put a majority of a campaign’s money and activists into a single state in an effort to win a plurality of the popular vote in that state, and thereby its electors. (Note that in a three-way race, one can win with as little as 33 percent plus 1, whereas 50 percent plus 1 is needed in a two-way race. In practice, it will be slightly less in each case due to minor candidates getting a small share of the vote.) But which state to choose? The ideal place for this strategy would be a state which has a large number of electoral votes, is a swing state, and is historically necessary for one or both of the major parties to win.

Let us begin by looking at the states with the most electoral votes at present. The top ten by the 2010 census are California (55), Texas (38), Florida (29), New York (29), Illinois (20), Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), Georgia (16), Michigan (16), and North Carolina (15). Some of these are safe states that a third-party campaign will find difficult to alter, let alone win. Georgia has voted Republican since 1996; California, Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania have voted Democratic since 1992; New York has voted Democratic since 1988; and Texas has voted Republican since 1980. That leaves Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio as targets for a single-state strategy. Let us compare these three states on the basis of how frequently they side with the winning candidate. In the past ten presidential elections (1976-2012), Florida has sided with the winning candidate nine times, North Carolina has sided with the winning candidate seven times, and Ohio has sided with the winning candidate all ten times. In fact, Ohio has not sided with a losing candidate since 1960, when John F. Kennedy was elected President without winning Ohio. Most notably, no Republican candidate has ever won the presidency while losing Ohio since the party first ran a presidential candidate in 1856. While this strategy could be tried in any of the three large swing states, the combination of a small enough size to be manageable, a large enough size to be influential in a close election, a history of being vital to a major party’s electoral strategy, and status as a swing state make Ohio the ideal place to implement this strategy.

Next, let us look at feasibility. In the 2012 presidential election, a breakdown of spending by the Obama and Romney campaigns from April 11 to Election Day shows that $148 million was spent in the state of Ohio, compared to $176 million in Florida and $80 million in North Carolina. This also shows that Ohio is the best target for a single-state strategy. North Carolina is considered by the major parties to be less contested, as far less money was spent there despite its electoral votes being almost as numerous as Ohio’s. Florida is rightly considered to be a more valuable prize, but it is accordingly more expensive to compete there. Ohio is in the Goldilocks zone of feasibility; not too expensive and not too uncontested. For reference, the Johnson campaign spent $2.28 million total, and was outspent 922:1 by the Obama and Romney campaigns combined. Had he put all of his resources into Ohio, he would have only been outspent 65:1 there. Of course, it is still an uphill battle, but the climb is far more manageable and the number of activists on the ground could level the playing field far more than the funding levels would suggest.

We should also consider what sort of results to expect. One way to do this is to look at what a successful implementation of the Ohio Strategy could have done in recent elections. The 2012 and 2008 elections would have still been landslides if Ohio’s electoral votes had gone to a third party candidate. (Obama would have defeated Romney by a 314 to 206 margin with 18 going to a third party candidate, and Obama would have defeated McCain by a 345 to 173 margin with 20 going to a third party candidate.) However, the 2004 and 2000 elections would have been far more interesting. If Ralph Nader, the dominant third party candidate at the time, could have won in Ohio, then neither George W. Bush nor his major party opposition would have had a majority in the Electoral College. The result in 2000 would have been Gore 266, Bush 250, Nader 21; the result in 2004 would have been Bush 266, Kerry 251, Nader 20.

2000_ohiostrategyThis is what the 2000 United States presidential election would have looked like if Nader had used the Ohio Strategy successfully.

2004_ohiostrategyThis is what the 2004 United States presidential election would have looked like if Nader had used the Ohio Strategy successfully.

For the first time since 1824, the presidential election would have been sent to the House of Representatives. The procedure for this, as established by the Twelfth Amendment, is that

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.

This would mean that the House of Representatives would have the option, much as they did in 1824, to choose someone other than the person with the most votes as President, and the third party candidate who won Ohio and forced the situation would be an option for them. It is unreasonable to expect that a group of Democrats and Republicans would agree on a third party candidate to be President, but the media coverage of this phenomenon would be non-stop. This would either give the third party candidate a chance to make a case to the nation or clearly demonstrate even to die-hard supporters of the establishment media that they are lapdogs for those in power, depending on whether the establishment media tries a blackout of the third party candidate. This would be an especially excellent opportunity for a Libertarian Party candidate, especially one who has anarchist leanings and is well-versed in libertarian theory, particularly Hoppe’s arguments against democracy.

2016_ohiostrategyThis is what the 2016 United States presidential election might look like if the Libertarian Party candidate uses the Ohio Strategy successfully. In this scenario, the Democrat gets 264 electoral votes, the Republican gets 256, and the Libertarian gets 18. This would force the House of Representatives to decide who would be President.

Finally, there is the possibility that this strategy may not succeed at its ultimate goal of getting attention for a third party candidate by causing a procedural headache for the establishment. Even so, it is more likely to get a third party candidate noticed by pollsters, news anchors, and donors than the typical futile nationwide campaign. Failure of the Ohio Strategy would also serve as evidence that the duopoly is too entrenched to be removed by using the political system, and thus that methods of direct action are required for real change. This concludes my proposal.