Monday, March 22, 2010

Scott Brown Was a Hill of Boston Baked Beans

I just received this e-mail from Chris Eddes on the Republican Liberty Caucus group on Yahoo! Wes Benedict, head of the Libertarian Party, is right that the focus on Scott Brown last fall was a dumb mistake. It will not be the last boner (in the bonehead meaning) that the Tea Party pulls. One, incidentally, that I saw through at the time. Benedict's letter is followed by my response.

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Like you, I am upset that the health care bill passed last night. Another huge expansion of government spending and government control is not good for our freedom or our health.

When I heard about the passage, I was reminded of the many hateful emails I received earlier this year demanding that the Libertarian Party make Libertarian Independent candidate Joe Kennedy drop out of the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race and endorse Republican Scott Brown. Doing so, "at this time, for this election, was more important than ever in order to save America from socialism," or so they said. Even though Scott Brown supported Mitt Romney's mandatory universal health insurance for Massachusetts residents, somehow electing a Republican, any Republican, instead of a Democrat was supposed to save America.

Even 30% of poll respondents on our website supported such a move.

I am proud that Libertarian Joe Kennedy stood firm and stayed in that race, despite the nasty messages and threats he received.

However, a lot of people gave in to that argument and voted for Scott Brown. What happened? The health care plan passed anyway. And on top of it, there's now another big-government senator voting for things like "jobs packages."

But if just 20% of Massachusetts residents had voted for Libertarian Joe Kennedy, I bet that would have sent such a loud message that it would have stopped this health care plan in its tracks. I think this is a clear reminder why we should all stand firm and vote for Libertarians, whether or not they're in close races.

I watched just a few minutes of the debate last night on C-SPAN. I could not stand hearing Republicans proclaim in the same sentence that we need to oppose government takeover of health care, and also to protect Medicare! What hypocrites. Medicare is government health care too. It was the 2003 Republican Congress and President George Bush that passed the $400 billion Medicare prescription coverage expansion (that later turned out to cost over $1 trillion).

I was on a radio show this morning and a caller asked me, "Is there even any hope for America?" I want to thank him for asking me that, because I am reminded that America is still one of the freest and most prosperous nations on earth, even though that freedom and prosperity are at great risk. Things are getting tougher, but
America is still a great place and our freedom is still worth fighting for even if we lose some battles along the way.

Somewhat related to this topic, we've had a poll on our website for a couple of weeks, which asks, "Which expensive government project do you support the most?"

Former Libertarian Presidential nominee Harry Browne used to say, "Would you give up your favorite federal programs if it meant you'd never have to pay income tax again?"

I hope you'll go to the poll and pick the Libertarian option: "None of the above. Cut spending on all of them." At the time of sending this message, that option has just 45% of the votes.


Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

My response:

Wes Benedict is right that people overrated Brown's election and he is right that a 20% vote for the LP would have sent a loud message. At the same time, the Democrat would have been elected and she was just as big an advocate of big government as Brown. So the message was sent in either case and we would have gotten big government in either case. In other words, the Democrats didn't care about the message. They care for power, not popular opinion, which they view as misguided and inarticulate. Only they can articulate what the people think in their view.

Also, America is still one of the freest countries, but not the freest according to several groups that rate overall freedom and economic freedom. Most rate Hong Kong and Singapore higher overall and with respect to overall but not economic freedom also rate New Zealand, Australia and sometimes the Bahamas higher. The passage of the health care act brings the US down several notches, and it is getting close to the point where some might consider emigration to a freer country if they have the resources and value freedom highly. The US is not the beacon of freedom it once was. But it is still relatively free compared to the tyrannies and socialist states that characterize the entire world. It is ironic indeed that Hong Kong, a nation ruled by the second most murderous nation in history, is freer than the United States.

Our freedom is still worth fighting for but the union is not, in my opinion. Before the Civil War the question continued to be debated as to whether the states had ceded to the federal government the right to force them to remain in the union. Although the North won the war, the issue need not be viewed as settled. The Tenth Amendment is quite clear and it says that rights not given to the federal government are retained by the states and the people. The federal government has betrayed that principle, and has violated its moral and contractual obligation to the states and the people. The majority of Americans have been willing to sacrifice their freedom in favor of security and the belief that by taxing others they can benefit economically. Hence, the nation's claim to morality based on the rule of non-violence no longer stands. I do not think that the federal government, the United States government, deserves my commitment or my respect, nor is it something that is worth fighting for. Nor is it something that if someone attempts to rescind it or gain freedom from it that I would defend.

Rather, I am on Jefferson Davis's and Robert E. Lee's side now. The federal government in its present form is illegitimate and does not deserve respect or honor.


Anonymous said...

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Greg Goss said...

A great perspective Mitchell. And that is from a registered Libertarian. (It keeps my phone from ringing at election time...)