Libertarian Perspective: Before you voteWritten by Kenneth Sharp | | firstname.lastname@example.org
During the past four weeks I have demonstrated how, on major issues, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are the same. The response has been frenzied ridicule. Yet, critics cannot refute the facts, based on their own candidates’ statements. For example, in the wars on terrorism and drugs, which have killed and maimed tens of thousands of innocents and devastated communities both abroad and at home, the candidates are identical, varying slightly in degree, not policy. In both wars we have had more casualties among civilians and the innocent than among the intended targets. Both have brought this nation to the edge of economic collapse. It does not mean raising a white flag to rethink our practices. It is not weak to admit failure and fault. But, there is no point in covering well-established ground.
I have been told that it is unreasonable to vote Libertarian (or anything other than the big two). Depending on who is speaking, it is called a vote for Romney or Obama. Mine is in fact a vote for Gary Johnson. It is far more unreasonable to vote for Romney and expect him to repeal Obamacare and not replace it with something equally oppressive and tentacled. Likewise, it is highly unreasonable to vote for Obama and expect that he will not have a kill list and include Americans under the National Defense Authorization Act. It is reasonable to vote for a candidate who has proven to uphold one’s morals and values, even when the odds of winning the election are unlikely. Last week I showed that a 5 percent vote for Johnson would end the monopoly of the two party system. There is a lot of reason and rationality in voting for that.
During the past 150 years, the Republicans and Democrats have jockeyed for power and control. During that period some good has come — the abolition of slavery, the right for women to vote, civil rights applied to minorities in a meaningful fashion — but it has come at a great cost to the major parties and thus Americans as a whole. Both parties have moved further from their core values and more toward centralized power at the top. They have moved ever closer to each other in that regard. They still speak of differences as if they still hold their original philosophies. They do not. They are concerned with power and force, the seduction of government. It is why Romney will replace and not repeal and why Obama has expanded, not ended, the Bush-era Patriot act.
Is this inevitable? Are the seduction of power and the use of force so great that good people succumb? Will all Parties eventually fall victim? I can’t answer that, but I know that the Founders were aware of this problem. John Adams said: “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”
But also under our system we have the power to check them, if we let go of our fear. It is generally our fear of the freedoms of others that makes serfs of us all.
Governments, in all forms, are an evil. That does not mean they are populated by evil people; on the contrary, almost all truly feel they are doing a service. So why is government an evil?
Whether you are a believer in a supreme being or just in natural law, you recognize that each individual is endowed with certain inalienable rights.
These rights are at times on loan to governments and then used collectively. If you are a true believer this loan of your God given power to an entity for whom God did not intend it is the first step. When those rights are retained by these outsiders it increases the evil. If you are a believer in natural law it is the same. When you loan some part of your sovereign power to others, without real power to get it back, it goes against natural law. In both cases, when we yield sovereign power we become more childlike to their adult status in our power relations. Under the Constitution, we still retain the ability under both scenarios to take back our power, but we don’t. We fall victim to the fear each major party spreads to keep us from doing so. We avoid the stern parent.
It is up to us to keep our public servants from gorging on our collective rights under the guise of paternal care. All incumbents need to be returned to private life eventually. I think the time is now.