by Tom Rhodes, 12/29/2011
The fundamental reason libertarians don’t win a lot of elections is not based on their ideology, but based on the fact that they live what the preach. Studies show that libertarians are as individuals more charitable than conservatives and liberals. Economically, philosophically, and morally, libertarian ideas have been proven to be what is best for the vast majority of people. The fundamental problem libertarians have is that they are good libertarians. They actually live by the standard of “live and let live.” The other basic principle is the one that says “effort should be rewarded as much as possible.”
The general desire to be left alone and to leave others alone, to oppose aggression against others, to allow others to succeed or not succeed based upon their own effort, and to voluntarily help your neighbor as you best see fit, are the fundamentals of libertarian ideology. Good Libertarians don’t seek power, nor to control others, as a result libertarians make bad politicians.
Libertarians are not demanding, which explains our political weakness. Self reliance, responsibility, the ability to not meddle in other’s affairs, and the live-and-let-live independence and the respect for the rights of others that permeate libertarian political positions are also considered to be the characteristics of emotionally mature adults. In general grownups content to live our own lives and willing to let others do the same? Meddling in the affairs of others, is synonymous with teen-age drama and angst, and is incompatible with grown-up (libertarian) behavior. Thus Libertarians by their very nature are not political animals.
Now liberals, statists, socialists, communists, etc, all have third grade mentality on fairness, thus love to meddle. Every desire becomes a right, every difference becomes a cause, and they cannot resist creating a new law, regulation, or dictate to “fix” things. Though outnumbered by a vast majority (liberals make up only 20% of the US population), they have learned to use the maturity of grown-ups who prefer not to meddle against liberty. They know that businesses and governments will make concessions to radical demands to avoid a scene and get back to business. They accumulate these capitulations over time to increase their power.
The TEA Party’s libertarian message, defensive in nature, basically a message of “Stop Spending” and “Leave Us Alone” has been morphed and distorted by Republicans, who are just statists with a dedication to big business not liberty. That defensive message won’t win elections. Just as in sports, it is offense, not defense that scores points. It’s hard to make a basket while defending your own hoop.
The liberal minority dominates American politics because liberals have a strategy for eroding liberty and promoting statism. Libertarians do not have an effective strategy of promoting liberty. Where is the libertarian strategy to ensure that every high-school student in America can give a spirited defense of liberty or free enterprise? Our defense has resulted in a win for leftists who have virtually removed the Declaration of Independence for our schools. Where is the libertarian strategy to ensure that immigrants assimilate and believe in liberty over socialism? There is no coherent strategy to return our culture to its libertarian roots.
We have failed to do as our founding fathers exhorted us to do. We have not been vigilant to protect liberty. Unless we actively work at and convert the main stream media to believing in liberty not statism, we are lost. The message of liberty cannot stand if we continue to “live and let live” and no longer hold the press and our politicians accountable for clearly anti-liberty, anti-freedom, anti-American ideas, actions, and direction.
The problem with libertarians, is we live by our creed, and by not meddling, leaving liberals and others to do as they please, and by compromising in order to get back to our businesses and lives. The result is that we have let a small minority of leftists control and set the direction of the country. We must to be effective start meddling, start telling people that the idea of equality of outcome will result in countries like Korea where everybody is equally poor, instead of our country where even the poor have color TV, cars, AC, indoor plumbing, and an obesity problem. Statism, as the left continuously promotes, has never worked, will never work, and we change our ways and meddle in the lives of our fellow Americans, if we want to succeed. Sorry America it’s time for Less not More Government.
The statists whether Demican or Republicrat will ignore all the caustic consequences of the policies of the liberal welfare state. Libertarians will be branded as selfish, racist, or worse. Statists will name their policies “compassionate conservatism”, or “social justice,” but the sad truth is welfare state policies lead to moral decay and narcissism. Compare the moral standards of those who love liberty and those who want a welfare stare. It is clear that those who want a welfare state, hate individual rights, hate property rights, hate any moral standards, hate individual responsibility, and all the traditional standards of western civilization, but it’s taboo to talk about that.
The good news is there is a paradigm shift, as John Stossel noted in his December 28, 2011 column, “This spring, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan presented a timid plan that would have slowed the growth of government slightly. Even Republicans went bonkers. Newt Gingrich called it "right-wing social engineering."
But now, just seven months later, the country's in a different place. Newt's apologized. Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans praise Ryan's plan. The Republican Study Committee wants to go further. Now Ryan agrees that his plan was "mild." Today he says he'd go farther.“
When you hear anybody tell you that the people must be regulated, they are not smart enough, or too foolish, to be left to their own decisions, and that the government must “protect” the people for their own good, be loud and proclaim that “We the People” not some ruling elite, have the power and authority. That we established a government, not to supply everybody’s needs but one limited to do only what we’ve authorized it to do. We must take back our government and restrict it to only those functions we originally granted it. Otherwise we will have an unlimited government that has the ability and authority to dictate every aspect of our lives, from what we eat, to where we live, to what we read, and what we can say. A government that has the power to supply every need, has the power to take every liberty.
We are clearly seeing a libertarian shift in American politics, maybe seeing the logical consequences of liberal policies, as clearly demonstrated in Greece’s riots, have helped America realize what happens when liberty is replaced with statism. Now is the time for Libertarians to be heard, to meddle, to get involved. The alternative is the destruction of our country and way of live in exchange for living at the hands of the ruling elite. Hopefully we as a party can take advantage of this shift, and elect libertarians.