The Shotgun Blog
Thursday, February 18, 2010
U.S. Libertarian Party criticizes CPAC conservatives
The U.S. Libertarian Party has sent out the following press release. They sound like fighting words to me, but they also highlight an interesting inconsistency in so-called "small government" conservatives. Read the release, and you'll understand:
WASHINGTON - As the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) holds its annual conference, Libertarian Party Executive Director Wes Benedict offered the following statement:
I'm sure we'll hear an awful lot about "limited government" from the mouths of CPAC politicians over the next few days. If I had a nickel every time a conservative said "limited government" and didn't mean it, I'd be a very rich man.
Unlike libertarians, most conservatives simply don't want small government. They want their own version of big government. Of course, they have done a pretty good job of fooling American voters for decades by repeating the phrases "limited government" and "small government" like a hypnotic chant.
It's interesting that conservatives only notice "big government" when it's something their political enemies want. When conservatives want it, apparently it doesn't count.
If a conservative wants a trillion-dollar foreign war, that doesn't count.
If a conservative wants a 700-billion-dollar bank bailout, that doesn't count.
If a conservative wants to spend billions fighting a needless and destructive War on Drugs, that doesn't count.
If a conservative wants to spend billions building border fences, that doesn't count.
If a conservative wants to "protect" the huge, unjust, and terribly inefficient Social Security and Medicare programs, that doesn't count.
If a conservative wants billions in farm subsidies, that doesn't count.
It's truly amazing how many things "don't count."
Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh can't ever be satisfied with enough military spending and foreign wars.
Conservatives like Mitt Romney want to force everyone to buy health insurance.
Conservatives like George W. Bush -- well, his list of supporting big-government programs is almost endless.
Ronald Reagan, often praised as an icon of conservatism, signed massive spending bills that made his the biggest-spending administration (as a percentage of GDP) since World War II.
Some people claim that these big-government supporters aren't "true conservatives." Well, if a person opposes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, opposes the War on Drugs, opposes border fences, and opposes mandatory Social Security and Medicare, it's hard to believe that anyone would describe that person as a conservative at all. Most people would say that person is a libertarian (or maybe even a liberal).
Obviously, most liberals don't want limited government either. It's just that their support for big government leans toward massive handout and redistribution programs.
The fact is, liberals and conservatives both want gigantic government. Their visions sometimes look different from each other, but both are huge. The only Americans who truly want small government are libertarians.
An article posted at CNS News, linked prominently from the Drudge Report, noted that the Obama administration is on track to beat the Franklin Roosevelt administration in terms of average federal spending as a percentage of GDP. However, the article failed to note that the Reagan Administration already beat the Franklin Roosevelt administration easily. Roosevelt's average was 19.4 percent of GDP, while Reagan's average was 22.3 percent of GDP. (Source: White House OMB data)
The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.
Obviously opening the borders will mean national suicide.
I oppose all forms of corporate welfare and cronyism. I oppose farm subsidies and quotas and cartels. I oppose the bank bailout and the "stimulus" bill.
I think the only things the federal government should do is national defense, protect the borders and coasts, ensure the states don't violate the Bill of Rights (federal court I guess), make sure all the states use the same weights and measurements.
That is all...
..oh and find and execute child molesters and kiddie porn merchants.
That is all. Everything else belongs to the states or to the people. It'd be a 94% reduction in the federal government.
Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2010-02-18 7:52:23 PM
Firstly have a government that can force its will upon the people.
Secondly have a system whereby the people can vote as to who will populate the government offices.
Thirdly have a means whereby the people can complain about the actions of the persons they voted to operate the offices.
Fourthly have a reasonably short period of time until the people can vote again.
Let the Libertarians win if they can,
Posted by: Agha Ali Arkhan | 2010-02-19 12:21:44 AM
Mitt does not want to force everyone to buy insurance. He has made the point very clear that every state should come up with their own plan. The federal government does not have the power to mandate coverage on the states.
Posted by: Dan | 2010-02-19 1:45:20 PM
Libertarian grandstanding may feel good to the recently enlightened but in reality is like saying: being a libertopian is never having to apologize for enacting legislation because you will never hold office.
Wouldn't it be more politically astute to lure support by offering a road map that reflected the reality of the status quo and a direction rather than the all or nothing libertopian end game dogma as if a single piece of legislation could do it all at once.
Example: open unfettered immigration within the current welfare nanny state is suicidal, as is isolationist defense non-policy.
Unfairly castigating Rush Limbaugh may feel good and appease your (modern) liberal buddies but it turns off about 20,000,000 potential allies that could lean libertarian on some issues for strategic support. Libertarians should be trying to enlighten conservatives not piss on them.
Posted by: John Chittick | 2010-02-19 11:32:42 PM
Wes Benedict is an embarrassment to our Libertarian movement and our Libertarian Party.
We Libertarians do not support Islamo-Fascism or a weak foreign policy/defense as Benedict implies. Most of us Libertarians are Pro-Defense and support a strong Military.
Yes, Bush backed some big government policies. He also called for the privatization of Social Security, which Benedict neglects to point out, and appointed former Libertarian Party of Colorado Chair Gayle Norton as Interior Secretary, among at least 12 other LP members to his administration. Of course, Benedict conveniently neglects to mention that fact.
Benedict should resign. He's mis-representing the Libertarian Party and libertarian beliefs.
Eric Dondero, Fmr. Libertarian National Comm. member, Fmr. Ron Paul, Libertarian for President 1988 staffer, and 25+ year member of the Libertarian Party
Posted by: Eric Dondero | 2010-02-20 12:55:51 PM
Interesting article i admit. i am a rusty reader to your site *^* i will before long replace my home page with your web site.
Posted by: Wedding koozies | 2010-02-21 8:40:07 PM
Just goes to show, most people don't know what they are. They just go with the flow. The whole concept of right and left is divisive and destructive. Just how our masters like it. Now go bow to your bank....
Posted by: Steve Bottrell | 2010-02-22 12:53:57 PM
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