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Voters’ Dilemma

The relevant choice in primaries and general elections is between Progressives and constitutionalists. Vote for constitutionalists every time.

James Anthony
June 17, 2022

Every primary and general election, each voter faces a dilemma.

If he votes for the candidate he thinks would govern best, other voters might not join him. If instead he votes for the candidate he thinks is the best alternative and more likely to win, then at least the presumed lesser of two evils more-likely will win.

In the latter case, though, not only is the candidate who would govern best unlikely to win in the current election, but also such candidates are unlikely to run or win in future elections. Current elections narrow the choices in future elections.

Voting strategically in the current election is what will bring better choices in future elections.

Two Coalitions: Progressives and Constitutionalists

We effectively have two parties, but they’re not the two we know by name.

One is the Progressive coalition, which is made up of all elected Democrats, all current elected independents, around 70% of elected Republicans, Libertarians on certain issues, and the Green Party.

Elected Democrats and independents cast at least 1 major vote for liberty for every 4 major votes for tyranny, so they earn Conservative Review Liberty Scores [1] that hover around at most 20%. Liberty Scores of at most 20% have been low enough for Progressive majorities consisting of Democrats and independents to advance tyranny quickly.

Elected Republican Progressives cast less than 4 major votes for liberty for every 1 major vote for tyranny, so they earn Liberty Scores of less than 80%. Liberty Scores of less than 80% have been low enough for Progressive majorities that include Republican Progressives to advance tyranny slowly but surely.

Elected Republican constitutionalists cast more than 4 major votes for liberty for every 1 major vote for tyranny, so they earn Liberty Scores of at least 80%. Liberty Scores of at least 80% will be high enough for constitutionalist majorities to advance liberty quickly.

Most Libertarians are part Progressive and part constitutionalist. With respect to life, on abortion and illegal immigration they’re Progressive, while on war they’re constitutionalist [2]. On liberty from addictives [3], they’re Progressive. On liberty in other matters and on property, they’re constitutionalist.

The other party of sorts is the constitutionalist coalition, which is made up of around 30% of elected Republicans, Libertarians on certain issues, and the Constitution Party.

The Progressive coalition currently holds 86% each of the House and Senate, and after Grover Cleveland [4] has included almost every president [5].

Vote for Constitutionalists Now

Voters show repeatedly that they prefer constitutionalists. Constitutionalist voters drove wave elections in 2010, 2014, and 2016, and are coming on strong in 2022.

Two things stop voters from getting constitutionalists elected: the parties’ candidate-selection processes, and enough voters’ failures to think and act strategically over modest time horizons.

The parties’ processes, although outside voters’ control, need to be appreciated by voters, since these processes strongly influence both voters’ perceptions and election outcomes. Most processes of current parties work to reward name recognition, limit information, inject misleading information, and prematurely declare winners.

Party processes do these things by making use of crony donors, media-controlled debates, primaries not caucuses, open primaries, winner-takes-all or winner-takes-most awarding of delegates, awarding of delegates from Progressive states, brief primary schedules, multiple contests on Super Tuesdays and on other days, primary schedules that include relatively-Progressive states early on, and platforms.

In these ways, most current parties and their media heavily-manipulate voters and then turn around and use the results to falsely claim that voters favor their flavors of Progressives. Voters need to be ever-vigilant about what information they take away from the parties, media, and election results, and need to decide for themselves what this information really tells them about these sources and about reality.

Various voters’ failures to think and act strategically are low-hanging fruit that’s ripe for harvest.

Strategically, the first principle to keep in mind is that nearly always, outcomes are determined by incumbency. Incumbents typically are extremely hard to beat. They have name recognition, and they make challengers sound unelectable.

Term limits would eliminate Progressive incumbents. But term limits would still bring us an endless supply of Progressive new candidates who, using crony funding, would quickly build up name recognition, pretend to be the people who voters want, and mischaracterize their opponents.

Also, term limits would eliminate constitutionalist incumbents. These are harder to get elected, and their numbers need to be built up over time.

But where term limits wouldn’t eliminate the problem of Progressives, strategic voting will.

The voting that’s needed is simple:

  • In primaries, vote for the most-constitutionalist Republican.
  • In general elections, vote for the most-constitutionalist candidate from any party [6].

Use Available Offsetting Powers, Get Constitutionalists Elected in the Future

If this voting leads to a Democrat being elected to a given position, that’s not a problem. Really.

For now, the position will be held by a Progressive. But if a Republican Progressive had been elected, the position also would have been held by a Progressive.

Fortunately, USA governments have multiple layers of protection, so the power wielded in the position can be readily offset [7].

Local representatives have particularly strong powers [8]. Local jurisdictions control most police and, for now, most schools. Local representatives can and should protect people’s rights. That’s what they’re there for—or what their replacements, at least, will be there for.

Local representatives’ actions in office can be swung using fewer calls and letters. Local representatives’ elections can be swung using less money and time.

  • Make yourself heard locally [9].

The next election, the incumbent will be an easier-to-beat Democrat.

Also, his opposition will be stronger. Stronger-constitutionalist candidates will see that stronger support showed up in past primary and general-election voting, and they increasingly will run in future elections.

Progressives make their advances in crisis fits and starts. It has taken them over a century to build up to their current levels of coercion.

Constitutionalists can easily wait them out. In all jurisdictions, the house representatives’ positions will be up for election again in 2 years, the executives’ in 4 years, and the senators’ in 6 years. We can push back against their minor advances for a couple more years at a time.

And then, constitutionalists can repeal Progressives’ advances far-more quickly. Constitutionalists don’t need to create open-ended grants of power to departments and agencies and then wait and see what government people can develop over subsequent decades. Constitutionalists just need to formally repeal the Progressives’ myriad unconstitutional departments and agencies [10], and after that, customers will persistently drive producers to rapidly and iteratively develop what works best [11].

Customers and voters have in their hands the real control that crony money can’t buy—purchases and votes.

To get different results, take different actions. Vote strategically for the future, and use backup power wherever helpful.


  1. “Scorecard.” Conservative Review, libertyscore.conservativereview.com/. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  2. Anthony, James. “Biases Favoring War Are Overcome by Having Good Boundaries.” rConstitution.us, 5 Nov. 2021, rconstitution.us/biases-favoring-war-are-overcome-by-having-good-boundaries/. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  3. Yuengert, Andrew M. “Rational Choice with Passion: Virtue in a Model of Rational Addiction.” Review of Social Economy, vol. 59, no. 1, Mar. 2001, pp. 1-21.
  4. Rothbard, Murray N. The Progressive Era. Edited by Patrick Newman, Mises Institute, 2017, pp. 163-97.
  5. Anthony, James. “Republicans: The Key Progressives.” rConstitution.us, 21 Aug. 2020, rconstitution.us/republicans-the-key-progressives/. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  6. Anthony, James. “Voting Guide for Constitutionalists.” rConstitution.us, 30 Oct. 2020, rconstitution.us/voting-guide-for-constitutionalists/. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  7. Anthony, James. “On the Reading of Old Constitutions.” rConstitution.us, 9 Oct. 2021, rconstitution.us/on-the-reading-of-old-constitutions/. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  8. Anthony, James. “What the Lubbock Sanctuary for the Unborn Shows Us.” American Greatness, 11 May 2021, amgreatness.com/2021/05/11/what-the-lubbock-sanctuary-for-the-unborn-shows-us/. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  9. Anthony, James. “The Right Needs a More Confrontational Politics.” American Greatness, 6 Aug. 2021, amgreatness.com/2021/08/06/the-right-needs-a-more-confrontational-politics/. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  10. Anthony, James. “Triage and Repeal.” rConstitution.us, 8 Apr. 2022, rconstitution.us/triage-and-repeal/. Accessed 17 June 2022.
  11. Anthony, James. “Socialism Kills Freedom.” rConstitution.us, 26 Mar. 2021, rconstitution.us/socialism-kills-freedom/. Accessed 17 June 2022.

James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, publishes rConstitution.us, and has written in The Federalist, American Thinker, Foundation for Economic Education, American Greatness, and Mises Institute. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.


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