As I write, Donald Rumsfeld has resigned. More details in the news media.

Pew Research Center says that libertarians make up 9 percent of the U.S. Electorate. About 2 percent of the electorate vote for the Libertarian Party, which means that about 7 percent of the electorate are what we call ‘small-L libertarians’; people who believe in libertarian principals but who, for a variety of reasons, don’t vote for Libertarian Party candidates. It is my perception that most of those people feel that, since the Libertarian candidate won’t win in any case, a Libertarian vote is a waste.

So I wasn’t expecting much in the way of success for the Libertarian Party. (That said, one wonders what would happen if all the small-L libertarians decided to actually place their votes; they could have theoretically huge swing power in U.S. elections.) What did surprise me, however, was the degree to which the nation appears to have swung to the Left this morning. With both the House and potentially the Senate going to Democrats, there has definitely been a shift in the balance of power.

Let’s first deal with a speculation: that George W. Bush will now be in danger of impeachment or being ousted from office in some other dramatic fashion. This is pure fantasy, the wet dream of Bush-haters, who are fixated upon him as an object of hate and see politics almost entirely in terms of pro-Bush / anti-Bush dynamics. The margin of victory was fairly narrow, especially in the Senate, and no matter how much these morons hate the President, there is absolutely ZERO evidence that Bush did anything wrong on the issue of the war in Iraq, which is what much of this election is really all about. It’s about Iraq, first and foremost, and it’s about a few other things too.

For example.

Voters here in Arizona have voted for some really, really stupid measures. State propositions are both a blessing and a curse. They constitute the most direct form of democracy in existence, by means of which they also constitute the biggest chance for the electorate to screw things up. Stupid measures approved by voters in Arizona: to ban smoking in restaurants and bars, thus infringing on the rights of private business owners to do the hell what they want. To raise the minimum wage; thus placing debilitating shackles on the small business economy. To allow jail terms for first time personal drug users, thus stepping up the war against the victimless crime of people putting substances in their own bodies. To place an extra 80 cents tax on each pack of cigarettes to fund preschool programs, thus stealing from some people to give it to others’ kids. What a skewed, backward sense of justice these people have.

The propositions weren’t all bad. The people have also spoken on some other issues, such as restricting the government’s power of eminent domain, whereby they could take private land for public purposes. That’s to be welcomed, as is the electorate’s rejection of the proposition which would have banned same-sex marriage and civil unions. Arizona will also be curtailing the amount of property tax the government can impose year-on-year. But America in general appears to have swung to the Left, and there are a few consequences we can expect from the news.

Firstly, there will be new expectations in Iraq. It seems that former CIA director Bob Gates will replace Don Rumsfeld today as Defense Secretary, and, along with the new Democrat majority, this will likely prod a change of direction and a new sense of urgency to come up with a good exit strategy. I have always maintained the need to see Iraq through to victory first, and peace thereafter. But I am one of the few that also sees that I really know very little about how to proceed in Iraq, and the need for good leadership in the Pentagon is essential. Bob Gates will be a fresh face, and hopefully a fresh voice in that endeavour.

Second, European morons will revel in an orgasm of glee over the news of President Bush’s black eye. In an incredible joint statement, over 200 Socialist members of the EU called the election results “the beginning of the end of a six-year nightmare for the world.” These asswits wouldn’t know what’s good for the world even if Ayn Rand’s “Capitalism: An Unknown Ideal” flew out of nowhere and hit them in the nuts. In the great Amphitheater of Political History, socialism never won any prizes for actually doing what it purports to do: take nations out of poverty. Only CAPITALISM has ever done that. Presently, under the presidency of George W. Bush, we have record highs in the American stock market, the best economy since Ronald Reagan, the largest middle class in the world, a thriving jobs market and record low unemployment rates across the nation. Oh, wait- I’d rather live in France.

(That’s sarcasm.)

Third, Republicans should at this point acknowledge the voters’ disillusionment and go on to work closely with the new Democrat majority for the good of the nation. This sounds like typically fluffy political rhetoric and not what you’re used to hearing from Libertarian Reason. But in this case what’s best for America is to see some balance and some stability, particularly where the fate of the troops in Iraq is concerned. A polemicist like myself isn’t used to making such calls, but there is much at stake right now and perhaps some sensible, non-confrontational dialogue will yield some good results. To the President’s ultimate credit, he seems in today’s press conference to acknowledge with grace the will of the U.S. electorate in this regard.

Finally, it seems likely that the election results here will set the stage for the 2008 presidential election. My dream ticket was Condi Rice up against Hilary Rodham Clinton, thereby granting the Republicans the honour of electing the first black, first female President. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich would have also made a decent presidential candidate, but that appears to be out of the question now. Since a real conservative could be unelectable by 2008, Arizona Senator John McCain will have to do – a Republican, sure, but a moderate, with few small-government credentials. Watch now for a face-off between Hilary and McCain in 2008… they’ll be lining up as we speak.

As a (fairly) pure libertarian, I take issue with both conservatives and liberals, both left and right, both Republican and Democrat, on freedom-crushing measures that are favoured by both. But I’ve often found it easier, in general, to agree with conservatives than with left-liberals: they at least at one time understood that a smaller government was a better government. Today we’ve had an election that replaces many conservatives with many left-liberals in the legislatures of this country, and I can’t exactly see that in positive terms, as so many European morons are.

If I’m to take something positive from these election results, it is that perhaps now America will rediscover a sense of freedom in decency standards of broadcast media, which has been all but stamped out following the Superbowl Boob a few years ago. Do one thing for me, House and Senate: restrict the powers of the FCC to enforce backward moral standards on the rest of us, and you will have done something I can support.

(‘Always look on the bright side of life,’ I’ve heard it said.)

John Wright