I’m voting for the Gary Johnson/William Weld libertarian ticket this fall because I want less government—much less—and because I am sick of career pols and wild men who want to run every aspect of my life. Both Johnson and Weld stand for limited government. This is a concept that is so old that, for many Americans who have forgotten or perhaps never learned about their heritage of liberty and de-centralized government, it is now new.
As the United States government has grown and grown over my lifetime, its blunders have become messier. I’m 63. And, over more than 40 years of voting, I’ve seen the government take more of my money and liberty. But the greatest danger to our liberties, besides the debasing of our currency and the wholesale social engineering of our career politicians, who are perpetually on the make and looking to the next election cycle, has been the tendency of our political elites, both republicans and democrats, to engage in worldsaving.
What Is Worldsaving?
This is a noxious practice that has made America hated in many parts of the world. Worldsaving, which I detailed a few years ago in a series called “The Road to the Permanent Warfare State,” is an imperial policy. It is one in which a small group of American political elites, backed by some in the mainstream media and select court intellectuals, insists that democracy—or our version of it—is best for every nation and must be imposed on them whether they want it or not. This is regardless of a nation’s culture or historical experience, even though they can be quite different from ours. But our worldsavers, in effect, say to other countries that they must do it our way or else.
What Is the or Else?
They are tragic military interventions that Americans were warned about by a maverick “isolationist” senator Robert Taft in the 1940s and 1950s (Taft was a unique republican who voted against NATO). One example of a needless military intervention was the war in Vietnam—Taft spent his last days warning President Eisenhower not to send Americans troops to French Indo-China to bail out the French Empire. (Ike listened. Subsequent presidents did not.
By the way, one book that shows how America tragically reversed itself in Vietnam is the fascinating “The OSS and Ho Chi Minh,” which documents how many American military personnel became friends with Ho during the war and called for the French to pull out after the war).
Other examples were the two recent Gulf Wars. In the last one of 2003, President George W. Bush actually proclaimed that our war would bring democracy to the entire Mideast, a ridiculous, historically flawed, idea then and now.
These worldsaving wars, along with President Obama sending more troops to Afghanistan with little objection from mainstream political figures such as Secretary of State Clinton, are leading to the economic, moral and political impoverishment of the United States. They are a betrayal of the non-interventionist, no permanent military alliances, ideas of our first president. They destroy the decentralized government and leave people alone philosophy of the original constitution.
Hillary Clinton voted for several of these recent wars. She never established herself as a critic of them; that would have required a political fortitude and wisdom that she lacks. Dissent wouldn’t have been politic; it might have hurt her with her fellow Democrats. Thus no one would ever confuse her with George McGovern or J. William Fulbright.
What About the Donald?
Yes, these criticisms are fair, some are saying, but what about Donald Trump? Isn’t he on the side of less government? The problem with Trump is that he doesn’t know what he believes. His beliefs change every five minutes. He’s so cynical I’m not sure he has any beliefs outside of believing in himself. For instance, a recent Trump’s film flam was his cloudy memory of the war of 2003. He now says he was against George W. Bush’s war against Iraq.
There is no public record to indicate that he was. And he has no substantial record—speeches or, God forbid, a book, assuming that he could actually write no less read one—to indicate that he has thought about these issues. The issues of leviathan, of war and peace, don’t seem to register with this strange fellow. On these issues Trump is what he is: a human blank; a zany, who huffs, puffs, bays and screams like a stuck pig at campaign events before the true believers. These hustings howlings are his version of wisdom. And God help our republic if either one of these mountebanks is elected. But, unfortunately, one of them likely will.
But GregoryBresiger.com respectfully asks its readers to pass on the freak show. I ask that you vote for someone rational and someone whose position is not The Clinton Foundation, the Clinton family and high-paid speeches to controversial investment banks first, and the country a distant second.
By contrast, I ask that you vote for someone who respects the rights of individuals; of their dreams to pursue happiness—whether through obtaining property and a free lifestyle—with the fewest number of bothersome government officials who want to “save” us and whose foreign policy usually means waging war to impose American values as defined by these political elites of both the left and right.
A libertarian philosophy, as outlined in the libertarian party’s platform, seeks to rollback the state and stands for individual freedoms.
“We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized,” according to the platform. “Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.”
As an American who has also seen countless war and near wars in my lifetime, I find the libertarian foreign policy approach sensible.
“We support the maintenance of a sufficient military to defend the United States against aggression. The United States should both avoid entangling alliances and abandon its attempts to act as policeman for the world.”
A return to the wisdom of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson—“avoid entangling alliances” —is simply good sense; it a rejection of the worldsaving policies that have led to so many deaths and needless wars. The foreign policy position is part of a healthy worldview that shows respect for human beings in all their diversity.
Ultimately, the case for a libertarian society made by Johnson and Weld is the same one a J.S. Mill or a Thomas Jefferson would make—-liberty is the birthright, as well as the responsibility, of all free people.
“Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and must accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make.” It is also a plea for an important human value that Voltaire championed: Tolerance.
“Our support,” the platform says, “of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government.”
Rolling back the state, ending the worldsaving policies that make countless generations miserable and leaving people alone to find their solutions without political elites imposing what Montesquieu called “a dictatorship of virtue,” these are the reasons why I am voting libertarian and urge you to do so.