Steve G.

Energy-Communist Conservatives

In Libertarian, Libertarian Politics on July 17, 2008 at 5:03 am

CNN.com has a poll up with more than 200,000 respondents: Should landowners have to give up their property for new oil refineries?

Twenty percent of respondents said YES, landowners should sacrifice their property rights on the alter of energy autarky.

I think it’s safe to assume that the overwhelming majority of these “yes” votes came from self-identified conservatives. After all, as much as the Left loves the collective ownership of property, they hate natural-resource development (favoring poverty) more. Assuming that half of the poll’s respondents are self-identified conservatives (the true number is probably less than that but the difference would be offset by the few liberals who voted “yes”), this means that approximately 40% of conservatives see nothing wrong with Maoistically seizing private property for the nationalist cause.

And this is the type of people we want to bring into our party?

There’s no hope for Reagan idolaters. We’ve scraped the bottom of the conservative barrel and gotten all the converts we’re going to get. That’s why it would have been nice to have had a presidential candidate who would talk to the Left. Bob Barr, of course, is not that man.

  1. I would like to see the property owners refuse to give up any of their land at any cost, just to piss everyone off.

  2. Uh, I think this was overanalyzed…

  3. Assuming that half of the poll’s respondents are self-identified conservatives (the true number is probably less than that but the difference would be offset by the few liberals who voted “yes”), this means that approximately 40% of conservatives see nothing wrong with Maoistically seizing private property for the nationalist cause.

    Did these figures come to you in a dream, or from the voices? This is a Milnesian degree of pulling numbers out of one’s ass.

  4. Um, no. It only makes sense that there would be a roughly even divide among conservatives and liberals taking a poll.

  5. 200,000 respondents….

    An internut poll (yes, spelled correctly), stuffed by someone; not a typical sample.

    And, considering that the price issue is entirely related to the price of crude, with the profit margin on refining not changing, the proposal is likely to increase the price of gas if executed.

  6. Polling issues aside, it’s not news that there are, among both self-described liberals and self-described conservatives, some who lean more libertarian and some who lean more authoritarian. The balance shifts over time, and I would agree that this decade, conservatives have been embracing their authoritarian side more than in other recent decades, and some liberals have been making quasi-libertarian noises in reply.

    I think there is an opportunity there, and I think Barr certainly represents failing to take advantage of that opportunity. As I have often said before, conservatives also tend to be temperamentally conservative, that is, the least likely people to change their party or other affiliation. And, the low hanging fruit on that side of the field has indeed already been picked.

    On all that, we agree. On the relevance of this self-selected sample’s opinion of this particular issue, perhaps not so much…but hey, the rant was right on, so why quibble over jump off points?

  7. How would the results look if the question was “Should private landowners have to give up their land to provide wildlife refuges for endangered species?” Are you saying that libertarians shouldn’t reach out to left or right because some large percentage of them will be statist? Who are we supposed to reach out to for converts? We have to use those issues where we have common cause as a wedge to overcome the cognitive dissonance most liberals and conservatives exhibit.

  8. The question was, “Should landowners have to give up their property for new oil refineries?”

    I voted no, and I’ll tell you why.

    If they want to BUY my property for that refinery, that’s one thing, and the price has to be right.

    But that question implies a “public purpose” use of eminent domain. To which, and being well-versed on the travesty that is the Kelo decision, I say HELL NO.

    “have to give up” is a euphemism for “seize by force”.

    As for the alleged numbers analysis that G.E. comes up with based on a single question (which is both mathematically and logically impossible), they make no sense and assume a ton of evidence that isn’t there.

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