David Lampo | Cuccinelli is no libertarian

Here’s a pop quiz: Who said the following:

“When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.”

A. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad B.Vladimir Putin C. Ken Cuccinelli

Although most folks might guess it was Mr. Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust-denying president of Iran, it was in fact Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for attorney general of Virginia. (Apologies to President Ahmadinejad, who probably wishes he had said it first). Unfortunately, this jarring statement is nothing unusual for Mr. Cuccinelli, who’s made a career of anti-gay comments and votes as a state senator from Fairfax County.

A self-described libertarian, Cuccinelli has smartly tried to ride the growing anti-Obama, anti-government wave that has rapidly developed among Republicans and independents since the president’s inauguration. After barely winning re-election in 2007, Mr. Cuccinelli threw his hat in the ring for A.G., and against a divided field at the Republican Party’s state convention earlier this year, he won a majority of the Republican delegates, including many libertarians.

But beneath his appealing libertarian positions on taxes, government spending, gun rights, the 10th Amendment, and other red button issues, lies a deeply disturbing anti-libertarian view of personal freedom and even free enterprise, spawned by a rigidly theocratic view of social issues, including homosexuality and “family values,” that completely contradicts his professed libertarian outlook.

Libertarians, of course, believe in the time-honored separation of church and state: not just freedom of religion, but freedom from religion for those who so choose. The last thing libertarians want is a government “based on biblical principles,” yet that is exactly what Mr. Cuccinelli passionately supports and why he has won such enthusiastic support from the extreme social conservatives in the Republican Party.

No real libertarian has a record (like Mr. Cuccinelli does) of
· Opposition to repealing the state sodomy law, even though it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court
· Opposition to allowing private companies to offer health and life insurance benefits to domestic partners of their employees
· Opposition to prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for state and local government employees
· Opposition to allowing local governments to choose what benefits they give their local employees
· Opposition to any kind of legal protections for gay and lesbian couples, even the limited rights embodied in domestic partnerships or civil unions
· Support for banning gay/straight alliances in public high schools
· Support for state funding of abstinence programs

The fact is that theocrats disguised as libertarians will never win the hearts and minds of younger voters, who are much more socially tolerant than their elders. Winning them back, along with other disaffected groups like independents, suburbanites, and highly educated voters will never happen when extremists like Mr. Cuccinelli carry the Republican Party banner. The future of our Party demands that Mr. Cuccinelli be defeated.


David Lampo is vice president of the Log Cabin Republican Club of Virginia, a long-time libertarian, and the Republican captain in his local precinct.


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