The Libertarian Perspective: You decideWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Kenneth Sharp
After eight years of a Republican president, two wars, the Patriot Act, financial meltdown, bailouts and uncontrolled government spending and borrowing, just to start a list, Americans wanted a new course. They wanted hope and change. They elected President Barack Obama and they got expanded military action in at least three other countries (Libya, Yemen and Syria), the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), continued bailouts, more quantitative easing (printing money) and more government spending and borrowing, just to start.
Now we are told that our choices are four more years with Obama or to elect Republican Mitt Romney. Both candidates are openly hawks on Iran. Both openly support the NDAA, which includes the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial. Both support drone strikes, which have been used to assassinate American as well as foreign citizens (though no kills yet on American soil). Both would increase the deficit significantly, even projected over a large time span. Both have gained significant campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and other bailout recipients. Both follow crony capitalism instead of free markets. Both want federal control of health care (your body). Granted, the levels are slightly different. Romney calls for repeal and replace. Both condone mass incarceration for nonviolent offenses that have led us to imprison more of our citizens than any other nation.
A great portion of that includes incarceration for nonviolent offenses like marijuana, which 100 years ago would not have even been a crime and that many Western nations feel is a health rather than criminal issue. Obama has admitted to marijuana and even cocaine use and says he supports the reform of drug laws, yet his Justice Department has conducted more raids on medical marijuana dispensaries than did the Bush administration. So in states where the citizens have voted to allow their neighbors relief from chronic pain etc., Obama is using federal law and agents to stop and arrest them. Obama is using the IRS in a similar fashion.
Both candidates have similar immigration policies. Again, Obama talks one game and plays another. His administration touts a record number of deportations while Obama courts the Hispanic vote with the promise of gateways to citizenship. Both see gridlock as advantageous in blocking the opponent and yet see government as the solution. Both parties like to divide us as it guarantees their election. They win and we lose.
Our future is evident across the Atlantic. California and Illinois will be our first Greece and Spain. Calls will come for more bailouts, printing more money (without regard to the inflation that must accompany it) and for more regulation. The insistence on raising taxes (only on the rich … to start), the need for more or continued wars to improve GDP output and to lessen the labor pool that causes social unrest at home are just the start.
We have become too good as consumers. We accept their marketing. We believe what they say and not what they do. We project our desires onto candidates and do not see how they are part of a bigger machine. I have heard people complain about the loss of jobs, money and liberties and then they turn around and say they cannot support a candidate who will actually obey the Constitution or end corporate/government cronyism like the bailouts. They say now is not the time to vote on principles like illegal detentions, drug reform, TSA at airports, the sale of raw milk, warrantless searches and seizures or the deficit. This I hear from both sides of the aisle.
Guess what? It is still the same aisle. An aisle doesn’t really have sides, just edges.
The time to vote principles, not party, is now. It has always been now. It is how we should have voted in the last election, the one before that and so on. There are more than two viable candidates for president, not that they would let you know. It is up to you to do the research and find who actually supports your values. Then vote for them.
For me that ticket is Gary Johnson/Jim Gray, the Libertarian candidates. I have given you only a short list of how the two major parties are no different. Only their marketing makes them seem far apart. We can continue to be good nonthinking consumers — to be led and be servants of the state — or we can be critical thinkers and act for ourselves, to lead and be citizens of the state. Where is America heading? You decide.
Email Kenneth Sharp at email@example.com.