Thomas Berry: Priorities and principlesWritten by Thomas Berry | | email@example.com
There are a lot of clichés being bandied about in the controversies surrounding President Obama’s agenda. One is voter preoccupation with American Idol – as if there are no other distractions from our national distress. Another is the belief that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Republican and Democrat parties.
The latter cliché has been used to argue variously for creation of a third party, changing over to the Libertarian Party (does that make the proposed third party a fourth party?) and, as many people chose to do in 2008, washing one’s hands of the entire process and not voting at all.
But it is an evasion, an excuse from fairly scrutinizing the members and platforms of both parties and to advocate one’s own allegiances on the basis of this blanket prejudice against all other serious considerations. It is also a falsehood. There are numerous proofs of this; as a sample, let’s consider the controversy over Arizona’s immigration legislation.
The conduct of leading Democrats concerning this legislation has been lamentable, to put it mildly. Most prominently, President Obama has engaged in a campaign of outright lies against it. When Mexican President Felipe Calderon criticized the legislation, and by extension the safety and rights of American citizens whom illegal aliens target for crimes against person and property, President Obama sided with him against the people he is Constitutionally obligated to protect. (President Calderon later defended Mexico’s amazingly strict and punitive immigration policies to the American press!) Also, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner apologized to the Communist Chinese regime, which has over the decades massacred tens of millions of its own people, for America so egregiously violating human rights as to pass such a law. Such madness has been repeated nationwide in various forms among Democrat officials who want to make Statements (say the word with the hushed awe and reverence due utterances by the Anointed).
Now pay your dime. Hardly any Republicans sided with the President in this propaganda campaign. But he has unquestioning support from his party, especially in its upper echelons and the gullible among its membership. This contrast has played out repeatedly as most Congressional Republicans distance themselves from the socialist agenda of Obama, Reid and Pelosi, even as Democrats such as our own Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and Senator Sherrod Brown openly embrace it.
It is undeniable that – barring a serious reformation – the Republicans are, by and large, hardly the ideal choice for a return to strictly Constitutional government. The Libertarian Party has that honor, and many voters are being persuaded to vote Libertarian. They’re making this change out of fear for where the Republic is heading under socialist Democrat rule. And this calls up a conflict of principles.
One usually votes for candidates who most closely follow one’s principles. With the rise of the tea parties, many voters’ principles now revolve around faithfulness to the Constitution. This has been lacking in both major parties, hence increased interest in the Libertarians. But another principle is in play: The critical importance of voting the socialists and their supporters out of office. Citing another cliché, the survival of the Republic as we have known it depends on this.
It would be wonderful if the Libertarians sweep to triumph this November and win perpetually thereafter. But the fact is, they are still a small minority; especially in a strongly Democrat area like Toledo, the Libertarians are a very long shot to win any election. If the vote is split – another cliché! – between Republicans and Libertarians so that neither wins, we’ll be blessed with at least two more years of the reckless spending, regional economic malaise, kissing up to the President, unresponsiveness to dissent, unfaithfulness to the Constitution, and other hallmarks of government by the Anointed as practiced by both Kaptur and Brown.
Rather than targeting Republicans, the Libertarians should aggressively seek to convert rank and file Democrats. Surely there are a great many such who so strongly disagree with their party leadership’s support for unrestricted abortion, higher taxes, rights for terrorists and illegals, and expanded government power with attendant loss of liberty that they would switch to a party that limits itself to the powers granted to government by the Constitution. Ideally, the Republicans will return to those limits as well, and Libertarians and Constitutional Republicans will win and the socialists will be stripped of power. But one can only hope.
One last cliché: I do not regard a vote for the Libertarians to be wasted. No vote, cast in keeping with one’s conscience and the founding principles of the Republic, is wasted. The waste is with those who blithely dismiss the future of the Republic as not being worth their attention as they absorb themselves in distractions – including American Idol.
Thomas Berry, for the Children of Liberty.
Tags: Children of Liberty