The more, the mer­rier

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Hide the women and liquor! The Lib­er­tar­i­ans have been heard from! We kid be­cause we love. Lib­er­tar­i­ans can be some­thing to see and hear— when you can find one. There aren’t many lurk­ing about th­ese days. But when you find one, sit him down and have a talk. They’re won­der­ful peo­ple, bless their small-gov­ern­ment hearts.

Repub­li­cans can learn a few things from their Lib­er­tar­ian half-brothers, but maybe only a few. No telling what you’d get outta one if you bring up drugs and le­gal­iza­tion. But there’s a place for Lib­er­tar­i­ans in this big coun­try of ours. They pull star­board even when Repub­li­cans are mov­ing port. If Greens and mil­i­tant en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists are yelling at the two ma­jor po­lit­i­cal par­ties from left field, the Lib­er­tar­i­ans can be counted on to yell from right.

Most of the time.

Be­cause right and left mean lit­tle to Lib­er­tar­i­ans. The glue that binds them to­gether is the be­lief that gov­ern­ment is best that gov­erns the very, very least. They can make Repub­li­cans look like so­cial­ists. And some­times they can make Democrats look like arch-con­ser­va­tives.

When Democrats are anti-choice on ed­u­ca­tion but pro-choice on abor­tion, and Repub­li­cans want the gov­ern­ment to get in­volved in pro­tect­ing the flag but want the gov­ern­ment to stay away from gun reg­is­tra­tion, you get a lit­tle hun­gry for con­sis­tency. Lib­er­tar­i­ans pro­vide that con­sis­tency.

Now comes Rev. Mark West of Batesville/Oil Trough. He’s a 40-year-old pas­tor who has an­nounced he’s run­ning for gover­nor in 2018 as a Lib­er­tar­ian. Our con­sid­ered ed­i­to­rial opin­ion: Thank you, Rev. West. It takes guts to put your­self on a bal­lot. Ask any­body who’s ever lost. (“It hurts too much to laugh, but I’m too old to cry.”—A. Steven­son quot­ing A. Lin­coln.)

Rev. West said he’d love to get 3 per­cent of the vote in 2018 and thus get the party on the bal­lot in fu­ture elec­tions in Arkansas, as per state law. But, of course, “the goal is to win an elec­tion.”

Maybe. Or maybe just give the rest of us orn­ery Arkies an­other rea­son to tell the ma­jor par­ties how we feel. Mal­con­tents have al­ways been a part of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. In­clud­ing the vot­ers.

And ev­ery once in a great while the Lib­er­tar­i­ans—like any­body in the pro­fes­sional an­tag­o­nist class—are right.

The cur­rent gover­nor, Asa Hutchin­son, has an­nounced he’ll run again in 2018. And con­sid­er­ing his re­sume, de­meanor, and guid­ance of the ex­ec­u­tive branch, let’s just call him the front run­ner who’ll start the game with a three touch­down lead.

But no Demo­crat has stepped for­ward yet to chal­lenge Gover­nor Hutchin­son. If we’re go­ing to have a two-party sys­tem in this state, it may be the Lib­er­tar­i­ans who’ll have to give it to us.

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