Poll: Third Party Wins with Beefed Border Security

Rasmussen pollRasmussen has a rather interesting poll for 2008 that’s been perking up a lot of ears in the blogosphere:

The survey also asked respondents how they would vote if “a third party candidate ran in 2008 and promised to build a barrier along the Mexican border and make enforcement of immigration law his top priority.”

With that option, support fell sharply for both major parties. The Democrats still come out on top with support from 31% of Americans. The third party candidate moved into a virtual tie at 30% while the GOP fell to 21%.

The report goes on to say how natural it is for third party ideas to get co-opted by the two main parties (while failing to mention the sad but true difference between stealing a message and actually um… delivering once elected).

Personally, I think the border security issue is one easily tackled by a Libertarian candidate while still keeping with open immigration ideology. Build a wall and promise to use our military on actual border security (because duh… that’s why we have a military). And bring the hammer down on those who want to throw the baby out with the bathwater by using that increased security and manpower to better screen those who wish to legally immigrate here. Hell, why not offer to build one on the Canadian border too in order to keep out future Celine Dions and Tom Greens? (Yes, that’s a joke)

Update: Yes, I know we’ve run this poll before, so why not go check out the blogs that are talking about it instead of emailing me?

Another update: Rasmussen himself blogs:

1. Most Americans in all states want a welcoming national immigration policy that lets our nation assimilate new people into the national melting pot. Our polls have consistently found strong support for a policy goal that welcomes everybody except criminals, national security, threats, and those who want to live off our welfare system.

2. Just as important, most Americans also want a policy that emphasizes enforcement first. They want the nation to gain control of its borders and enforce existing laws before other reforms are considered.

3. As a pragmatic step to support the first two points, most Americans want to build a barrier along the Mexican border.

Once again I would suggest the libertarian tie-in with non-interventionalism: put all those troops abroad on our borders.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. Not a pleasant vision. How many people died at the Great Wall of China and the Iron Curtain?

    This kind of idea might get the LP taken over by bigoted zealots, til we’re less libertarian than the Democrats are democratic or the Republicans republican.

    What new party will we start then, and why should anybody believe it will stand up for its principles?

  2. I’m saying we let the peaceful Mongolians immigrate if they like. We can’t claim to want to have troops pulled from all over the world and put to use actually protecting our borders and then turn around and say “SIKE!” because someone wants to allude to regimes where the guns were pointed inward.

  3. Rolf: I beg to differ. You see, they’ve been building walls of regulation and identification laws that makes anyone who is illegally here a threat to the system of documentation and tracking of Americans (I’m being a tad facetious here).

    While I’d love to see the internal regulatory walls torn down, I simple don’t see that happening until there is a real Libertarian majority elected… so the most pragmatic step is to at least introduce our ideas into mainstream topics where we can at least get voted in.

  4. Alas, my impression of the Libertarian Party in much of the West is that, especially at the grassroots, it’s very much anti-immigrant, pro-barrier, and pro-deportation. If that crowd gains much more legitimacy within the LP, I’ll leave before I find myself lumped in with the xenophobes.

  5. Seth — I think you are misinterpreting. Most of us are open border, and SVD was reporting news and trying to figure out how to make it work with an open border policy.

  6. The costs of illegal ( and yes, there is such a thing ) immigration to the states and cities are huge. It’s no myth, and wishing that open borders would work post 9-11 becuase it is acccepted LP dogma wont make the fact that it wont go away.

    There’s a middle ground, and we should be going about finding it as a political party to maximize our chance to win elections. You may consider that there is no “founding father” in American history that would have dreamed of not securing the nations borders. These are the same people that libertarians claim would be libertarians now if they lived today. I think many of them would look at the current platform and the force pledge and ask if we were high on meth.

    I just dont see Washington, Jefferson, Adams, et al advocating “open borders” where anyone may walk across and back. I’ve also never haard a peep from libertarians about how open borders is also a favorite topic and a goal of the one world government crowd – the biggest statests of all.

  7. Yeah… one of the rules of politics is that you have to meet the people where they’re at and work with them, even if they’re wrong.

    We can find ways to increase legal immigration while protecting our borders. What people care about is American sovereignty, not who flips their burgers.

  8. As I’ve been saying — we can increase the militarization of the security of our borders… and then put the standard that if you’re a known felon you can’t come in. ‘course, that requires you prove you’re not a felon or what-have-you.

    “Identification is the tool of the state.”

    It’s also a reality of the modern information era that such exists.

    There are so many different possibilities involved… but what I posit is quite possibly the most lax requirements “feasible” in the world today — given how restrictive most other nations are.

    It’s one of those things.

  9. The legal immigration process is a bureaucratic nightmare… true. It needs to be fixed… also true. And people who just waltz in without even signing the guestbook aren’t even acknowledging those processes.

    Hell, Mexico’s tougher on illegals coming over THEIR southern border. Meanwhile, the use in America, of the phrase “illegal aliens”, even if spoken without malice, is now considered a “racist” slur. Orwell’s spinning in his casket.

    What’s the solution? Is there one that at least keeps the Almighty FedGov at arms’ length? Or is that too much to ask?

  10. I might add that I have been through the legal immigration system personally, as my first wife was Canadian. It’s a real mess.

  11. This poll proves the weakness of support for republicrats.

    In 2004, Badnarik polled 43%, when voters were given their 2nd choice for president, demolishing Bush/Kerry:

    Hot Second: Libertarians the New Political Center
    When Americans were recently polled about their number two choice for President, 43 percent selected Libertarian presidential candidate, as opposed to 9 percent for Bush and 7 percent for Kerry.

    A critic denouced this at http://rjhatl.livejournal.com/28308.html#cutid1 , basically saying Badnarik’s good numbers were really a reflection of weak Bush/Kerry support.

    I’ll take that.

    If an unknown Third Party candidate can poll a virtual tie or beat republicrats, then I will believe that the republicrat empire is nothing more than a house of cards waiting to tumble!

  12. “I just dont see Washington, Jefferson, Adams, et al advocating ‘open borders’ where anyone may walk across and back.”

    That is exactly what they had and supported.

  13. I hate to be the party-pooper for everyone channelling the founding father’s views on immigration, but I think they might have a different view if they had crazy religious terrorists like Al Qaida threatening to kill Americans willy nilly back then.

    /just sayin’

  14. Actually, Jefferon was for a draft. He believed every man should recieve military training to serve as the nations militia. That along should prevent him from consideration from inclusion into todays ranks of libertarian deep thinkers.

    And yes, there were no Al-Queda in Jeffersons day, but their were pirates. The idea that He or any of the other supported open borders in the manner that libertarians do today


    There’s no way Jefferson would have agreed with the whole “NO FORCE” concept in any case He believed self government was the truest and freest type of society.

  15. Yes, Know-Nothingism is popular right now. But, in case you haven’t noticed, the GOP and the Democrats are fighting like hell for the Know-Nothing vote.

    The stump-fucking-stupidest thing Libertarians could do would be to fight the GOP and the Democrats for the Know-Nothing vote, when they are both abandoning a huge existing constituency which is amenable to something resembling the LP’s current positions.

    Quoth Wee Willie Keeler: “I keep my eyes open and hit’em where they ain’t.”

    The LP doesn’t an “open borders” position, if by that one means “anyone can cross anywhere any time.” It has a pro-immigration position, and a position putting the burden of proof on government to exclude. It says nothing about whether or not crossings might be constrained to particular locations (where watch lists, facial recognition software, etc., could be used to detect criminals and terrorists and such).

    The LP should be going after pro-immigration votes, not Know-Nothing votes.

  16. I have an idea:

    If we do have 11 million illegals in this country, who want amnesty, to become American citizens (which I doubt), lets hire a percentage of them to help us build a wall. It would be a huge undertaking, and would require support from the skilled American workforce. It wouldn’t hurt to get some cheap labor involved to save the taxpayers money.

    One day a week could be used to take American history, language, and citizenship classes.

    When all is done, those that have worked hard and have shown an effort to fit in would be eligible for citizenship.

    Next, we can deal with how to get other honest hard working people into our country that share American ideals. We could make room by deporting those that have no interest in assimilating.

  17. Quoth Mike R:

    “We could make room by deporting those that have no interest in assimilating.”

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, then.

  18. Tom,

    I think the platform does call for open, as in no borders.


    I think it’s fairly obvious that the platform calls for exactly that. Badnarik called for something closer to what you suggest ergo:


    “The Libertarian position on immigration is to have, not open borders with no restrictions, but to have controlled borders that allow hard-working people to come into America to help raise their standard of living and improve the American economy.”

    but as always, the platform simply does not agree with the candidate, and serves to undermine a politically somewhat OK argument with LP dogma.

  19. Illegal immigration is a victimless crime until you are a victim of illegal immigration. Try living on the border some time; cut fences, wildfires, trashed property, threats at the door, theft of property, traffic accident risks, back country camping areas no longer safe, check point stops daily — to name a few.

  20. Thomas,

    Produce the victim in court, and you may have a case.

    Otherwise, please go back to whatever country you came from.

    America is the land of the free and home of the brave.

  21. Tim,

    You write:

    “I think the platform does call for open, as in no borders.”

    … And then you cite the platform, which says no such thing.

    Badnarik’s position paper on immigration in the 2004 election (it’s been changed for 2006) was very carefully crafted to strictly comply with the platform. I confirmed that by going into the bathroom, looking at the mirror, and asking him.