At least, the CEO of the Orange County Register is for Obama.

Both men cited the teachings of various libertarian heavyweight philosophers, most notably John Stuart Mill, whom I heretofore believed to be an inventor of breakfast cereals. There was some back-and-forth over the practical vs. the philosophical approach to politics, and Flanders said that in this election, for him, “the No. 1 issue is who will get us out of Iraq.”

OK, I’m thinking, if you really mean that, there’s only one major candidate you can support. But there’s no way you are going to stand there and say you support him.

Editorial writer Steve Greenhut told Flanders he thought he was really making an argument for not voting. Not true, Flanders said, and then he did it. He said the words, “Barack Obama.” As in, that’s who any true freedom-lover should vote for.

At that moment, I thought the wailing ghost of R.C. Hoiles would burst through the ceiling and the floor beneath us would split into a ragged, cleaving maw we’d all tumble into – swallowed whole by the earth. Better no company at all than one whose CEO supports a Democrat for president.

But there was a hush as Flanders reasoned that Obama is the best candidate to work on four top libertarian reforms: 1) Iraq withdrawal, 2) restoring the separation of church and state; 3) easing off victimless crimes such as drug use; 4) curtailing the Patriot Act.

As someone whose intellectual position in college was “left-leaning libertarian”, I can totally relate. Liberals, in general, are a lot better at protecting the liberty of the individual than conservatives. I just wish more libertarians would manage to figure that out.

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