Skip to comments.Why I'm not a libertarian
Posted on 06/18/2002 8:09:35 AM PDT by ZGuy
After I wrote my column last week, "Why I'm not a conservative," many libertarians wrote in happily proclaiming me one of their own.
I hate to disappoint them, but that political label doesn't describe me, either.
Here's why I am not a libertarian and why, I believe, that political movement will never resonate with the American people.
I believe a nation's borders are sacrosanct. Without borders, there are no nations. We become one big global village subject ultimately to a new form of tyranny imposed by unaccountable internationalists. Borders are also critical to maintaining the distinct culture of a nation. That's not a racist or jingoistic concept it is a matter of practicality. If anyone and everyone can become an American simply by relocating and without any pledge to our nation's Constitution and political creed then we lose everything our founding fathers established in fighting for our independence, our sovereignty and for the rule of law.
While I agree with libertarians that our national drug laws and the enforcement of those laws are terribly abusive and beyond the scope of our Constitution, I have no problem with states and local governments passing laws prohibiting the sale of narcotics and enforcing such laws. The truth is, legalizing dangerous drugs will surely lead to increased use and abuse a trend that could pose problems as severe or worse than those created by the drug war. I'm all for ending the drug war at the ineffective federal level, but condoning drug use is the wrong prescription.
America needs a strong defense and this is a reality many libertarians don't accept. True, the concept of defense in America has been distorted and twisted. We spend mega-billions not on defense, but on offense. We deploy tens of thousands of troops in more than 100 countries around the world as if America was the world's policeman. That is wrong. We leave Americans at home virtually defenseless against terror attacks and weapons of massive destruction. That is equally wrong.
Libertarians, more often than not, fail to understand the moral dimension so critical to self-government. Read the words of the founders. They all got it. They all intuitively understood that even the best form of representative and limited government would be twisted into coercive tyranny if the people did not have the basic morality necessary to govern themselves.
Libertarians make a fundamental mistake about the nature of man. Man is not inherently good. Man can only learn to govern himself when he understands there is a higher accountability a higher authority. Ideally, that higher authority is not the government, but God. Government can only demand good behavior through force. But when individuals understand they are accountable to God, and that He requires certain kinds of behavior as defined in the Ten Commandments and the totality of scripture, there is a chance for man to maximize his freedom here on earth.
Freedom can only be experienced and maximized, though, when it is accompanied by personal responsibility. Personal responsibility cannot be legislated. It cannot be forced. It cannot be coerced. Libertarians generally understand this, but too few of them comprehend a laissez faire society can only be built in a culture of morality, righteousness and compassion.
Libertarians who expect to build such a society through politics alone make a fundamental error. In a sense, they are utopian dreamers like the socialists, ignoring the importance of human nature in shaping communities and nations.
I don't want to be too hard on the libertarians, because of all the political activists in America, they may have the best concept of limited constitutional government. That's a big start, but it's only a start. We cannot ignore the flaws in their positions. We cannot ignore the fact that they don't have a complete picture. We cannot ignore that a libertarian society devoid of God and a biblical worldview would quickly deteriorate into chaos and violence.
Would this country be better off with more libertarians? Absolutely. Do they have all the answers? Not even close.
The truth is there's more to life than politics. Much more.
Here's the way the father of our country and, as some have described him, "the father of freedom," George Washington put it in his inaugural address:
The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire: since there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity: since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the external rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American People.
When the libertarians add such a provision to their national platform, let me know. I'll be happy to consider the new label.
The Hillerytarians won't like that comment.
However, one qualifier to their position which I think deserves more emphasis is their complete opposition to immigrant welfare.
I think if America really had the moral strength to ensure that no immigrant ever received a dime of US public assistance, Aztlan would be far less of a threat to our country than it is today.
Of course, I will always be in favor of almost any immigration policy that could effectively keep Muslim terrorists out.
The Libertarian Party in California opposed Proposition 187.
Open borders, bad idea.
Re-legalizing drugs isn't condoning drug abuse.
Self defense, good. Meddling with other countries, bad. (Remember what the first "W" said about that.)
Why does evry article like this completely omit any reference or hide any indication that there are church-going, military veteran, pro 2a, anti-IRS, college educated, family oriented, pro-life, libertarians, who, unlike their Republican counterparts, actually believe in a smaller, less intrusive government?
But let's remember, it was the Republican Party that brought the clintons to justice, and is currently leading the way to a smaller and Constitutionally sound government, right?
What is a Hillerytarian?
Well that's just nuts, if true.
But then again, GW Bush signed (and therefore supported) CFR.
What to do?
Accentuate the positive. :-)
I'm actually more conservative than most Freeper Conservatives, yet too enamoured with the Constitution and personal liberty to be a Republican anymore.
One gets to make some choices in life. For me, I'd rather be called a dopertarian, pedophile, etc, etc, etc from the ignorant, than to be identified as a Republican. To me Republicans represent one of two heads of a giant siamese twin that is headed toward global socialism. One head says to-may-to, one says po-ta-to, but they both are headed down the same path joined at the hip, taking 85-90% of the people with them.
Because he's writing about party platforms and the general stance the Libertarian Party takes, not what each individual member may personally believe about each specific issue, same as with any article that discusses political parties, not specific individuals. Farah also makes it clear that Libertarians believe in smaller governement and he calls that a 'good start'.
Don't be so defensive; it's a fairly reasonable analysis of how one man sees the Libertarians. Not all bad of course but flawed and virtually unelectable on a national level. He makes some excellent observations.
That being said, I'm not sure that the party is unelectable on a national level. It's true, I think, that the party is some years off from success (winning federal elections), but I think Libertarians are making gradual progree: a two-steps forward, one-step back type of thing.
As the two major party grow more and more similar, it DOES seem to be moving our country towards a left-leaning, socialist-type economy with individual liberty quickly shoved out the door in the name of safety. I think Americans have tolerated this for a good deal of time, but I am sure the time will come when the people will wake up and realize just what liberties they have lost, and they'll turn to an uncompromising solution--the complete opposite. Right now, that is the Libertarians.
While I may give The People too much credit (like our founding fathers, I feel there is no underestimating the intelligence of the American people), I just can't go to bed every night thinking that this will only get worse; it's barely tolerable as it is.
Just a few thoughts from the far, far right-wing.
I'm debating about staying registered Republican for primaries but leaning toward re-registering with the .067% guys in the hope of sending a message.
I'm afraid we are to far down the authoritarian road for anything to make a difference tho
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