Post-election views from a Libertarian

Ted Hamilton

So how did the 2008 election fare from the perspective of an Ohioan with a small-government, anti-war, pro-liberty philosophy?

The closest word I can think of is catastrophic.

Ohio went the way of the larger of the two statists – one with a horrible record on gun rights. As far as taxes and government spending, the only way I see them going is up. That is just the presidency, and we all knew where that was going, so I am not going to waste space talking about John McCain or Barack Obama.

Ohio failed statewide and, in my case, even locally. Incumbent (and Wall Street bailout supporter) Zack Space beat Fred Dailey for Ohio’s 18th district seat for the House of Representatives. Space’s nod towards corporate welfare and the banking industry shows whose side he really is on.

On the issues, things could not have possibly gone worse from a libertarian standpoint, barring the environmental issue that I moderately supported. Issue 5 passed, limiting rates on “payday lending” interest rates, which is an obvious infringement on the free market. It is the consumer’s choice to take a payday loan, and they know the interest rates are high. Issue 6 failed, which means other states will continue to take Ohioans’ money and tax dollars. If it is true that there was a tax loophole, I say “too bad.” Our legislature has had years to make it OK for a casino resort set up in our state and has sat on their overpaid hands.

Locally, every tax increase that was up passed – and I still do not understand how. We are in a recession, and there is no true end in sight. Why would Tuscarawas County residents pass so many new taxes? One tax levy that passed was for the Indian Valley school district, which I am a graduate of. This is the same school district that says they need more money after the school board gave the superintendent and high school principal a raise in their salaries – even though they are both double dippers. A double dipper is someone who retires so they can get their pension and social security and then are re-hired.

It is only human to look for the good after the bad, and there is a silver lining to this jet black cloud. Ron Paul was re-elected, thank God. At least one member of Congress will be there to vote no when our politicians try to violate the Constitution. On the issues side, some states did much better at preserving liberty than Ohio. Colorado looks like it will take a step toward ending oppressive affirmative action laws, and, more importantly, Michigan has passed a law that allows medical marijuana use.

Ohio was not the only state where voters were not too informed. Massachusetts and North Dakota voters both chose to keep their state income taxes.

Now we are considered a “blue state,” whatever that means. Red state, blue state, they are just more terms to keep us apart and separated from one another. They are words, nothing more. Living in a red state does not make you any less of a person than living in a blue state. Living in a blue state does not make you less patriotic than someone in a red state. People who continue to claim there is a difference are furthering their own stupidity and ignorance.

I am glad this election is over. Even though it is four years away, the pundits – making sure we know the presidency is nothing more than a horse race – are already talking about who is going to run. I am just glad I do not have to hear about how Obama is bed buddies with Osama Bin Laden or that McCain does not know how to use a computer. It is time for us all to get back to our lives.

Ted Hamilton is a senior magazine journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].