How Libertarians can balance Congress

Posted on April 28, 2010 by


Image of Martin Elsass from Facebook
Image of Martin Elsass

Written by: Martin Elsass, Libertarian candidate for Ohio’s 6th Congressional District.

I run into a lot of folks who like myself have become so frustrated with the current ‘Marriage’ of parties in Washington. They are looking seriously for an alternative. However the side effect of their frustration often causes them to develop a sense of tunnel vision, seeing only the ‘one congressional race’ – their district. Many people want the incumbent out and someone else in, but they hesitate when they see “Libertarian“.

Many people want the alternative, but because they have become so focused on the ‘One Race’, they come to a point of concern that the Lone Libertarian (as I am often called) won’t be able to make a significant difference, should they choose to elect me. The sentiment often follows the same line of thought, “You’re just one person, how can just one person make a difference up against all those Republicans and Democrats?” I want to remind people about the Big Picture. I’m NOT Alone. I’m not Just One guy.

There are 18 congressional districts in Ohio. There are Libertarian candidates running in 15 of those. I don’t purport to ‘know’ all of these candidates, but I have met or talked with several of them, these are all genuine candidates. – If 10 of us should be elected, right away, that number – TEN – represents MORE THAN HALF the total voting block for the state. Look at the House of Representatives as a whole. There are 435 seats. The magic number for the last year and a half has been “218” – That’s how many votes it requires to pass horrible legislation with a ‘simple’ majority.

As a party, Libertarians aren’t looking to ‘control’ the House of Representatives. We’re not running on a premise of becoming the new majority, but rather to become the lynchpin. If you break apart the 435 seats and allow a mere 35 of them to be filled with True Libertarians, effectively what happens is the Republicans and Democrats are ‘held’ to within a 200-seat barrier. It could be 201-199 or 210-190, could even be a straight 200-200.. but the likelihood of either side holding the necessary 218 becomes much, much less. With at least 35 Libertarians, the Republicans and Democrats alike would be forced to “cross the aisle” as they like to talk about, to get any needed votes for legislation they want to have passed.

As a result, the voters in other districts will see their representative for who they really are. If the Republicans need 10 or 15 votes to pass a bill which tramples all over our civil liberties, they will have to draw those votes from the Democrats, which will show those Democrats as in favor of lesser civil liberties – on the other side of that token, if the Democrats want to increase spending or taxes or create another horrible social program, they will likewise need to draw the added votes from Republicans, who will show themselves in favor of anti-conservative values… The reason they’ll have to reach across those aisles is because their only other alternative would be to try to get those votes from the Libertarian caucus.

We 35… And I defy you to find one True Libertarian who would ever vote in favor of trampling on civil liberties.. I defy you to find one True Libertarian who would ever vote for More Spending, More Taxes or More Government run social programs… 35 is not such an unreachable number. Yes, more would be better, but let’s focus on the lesser number for now. If 10 of the 15 candidates in Ohio should be elected, only 25 more would be necessary – 25 candidates, from 49 states, I think we have our numbers. We just need other candidates to remind their voters, We Are Not Alone.

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