L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 31, July 1, 1997
An Open Letter to Robert K. Dornan
By L. Neil Smith
Special to The Libertarian Enterprise
A while ago, I wrote a column suggesting to Libertarians that we
adopt a strategy which, while not altering our record at the polls
appreciably, would force the kind of change that was our reason for
running candidates to begin with.
I said we should focus our party's meager resources on races
where a Republican had won the last election by 5% of the vote or
less, and abandon every other effort, including our costly and absurd
Presidential candicacy. Winning has always been beyond our grasp, but
we're often able to take 5% of the vote, meaning we can control such
races, ensuring defeat of the Republican incumbent.
A few days later, to my satisfaction, I saw a report that you
were whining about Libertarian candidates doing exactly that. You
complained that seven Republicans in '96 had lost elections to
"flaming liberals" due to Libertarian "spoilers".
Music to my ears.
"Why?", I pretend to hear you asking. Don't Republicans and
Libertarians basically desire the same thing, politically? Aren't we
fellow travellers, maybe even allies, standing bravely, shoulder to
shoulder, against the liberal hordes?
Not exactly, Bob. Libertarians and Republicans are alike in that
we both acknowledge -- unlike liberals -- that "There ain't no such
thing as a free lunch". Unlike Libertarians, however, Republicans
aren't above stealing one, as long as you can claim it's in aid of
"national security" or "public decency".
Time and again, especially over the last decade, while claiming
to uphold individual rights set forth by the Founders in the first
ten Amendments to the Constitution, you've found excuses to help the
liberals -- whom you revile as enemies of liberty on the campaign
trail -- rip the Constitution to bloody shreds. Instead of enforcing
Bill of Rights as the highest law of the land it was intended to be,
you've helped the liberals turn it into a sick, painful joke.
Take the patently unconstitutional junk legislation crammed down
American throats by Mr. and Mrs. Sarah Brady, which would have died
on the floor of congress without Republican first aid. Take the
illegal ban on semiautomatic weapons and high capacity magazines
conceived by William Bennett, and saved at the last minute by Bob
Dole -- betraying millions who voted for Republicans specifically to
stop it, and negating the very reason the Second Amendment was
Take Utah's answer to Pol Pot, Orrin Hatch, committing cultural
genocide by making it illegal to teach our kids to shoot. Take your
party's repulsive yearning to scrap the First Amendment with
travesties like the "Communications Decency Act" that Republicans vow
to bring back even though the Supreme Court -- for once -- did the
right thing. Take all the "stealth" or "Pearl Harbor" legislation
your party recently sneaked through, including a national identity
Take your party's crazed insistence on continuing the infantile,
corrupt, and unspeakably destructive War on Drugs, which has done
infinitely more harm to America and American institutions and values
than drugs themselves ever did.
On the other hand, Bob, take your party's pathetic failure to
reduce the oppressive tax burden which is the only cause of the
erosion of the American family you whine about incessantly, and
probably contributes to alcoholism and child abuse as well. Take your
failure to eliminate the merest fraction of the regulations or the 11
million laws under the weight of which Americans stagger.
Take your contemptible failure to prosecute the animals
responsible for Ruby Ridge, Waco, and elsewhere, and send them to
prison or the gas chamber where they belong, allowing them instead to
be awarded medals for "valor", and -- again, the Orrin Hatch seal of
Cambodian approval -- doubling their agency appropriations.
More generally, take your party's failure to do the nation's real
business -- enforcing the Bill of Rights -- indulging instead in its
sick obsession with denying women control of their own bodies,
supporting a senile old judge who posts religious material in a court
of law, whimpering over females in a military that's only used these
days to deliver international welfare checks anyway, forcing the
terminally ill to die in agony so as not to offend your sadistic
prejudices, or persecuting those whose sexual preference differs from
Now you tell me: do Republicans and Libertarians desire the
same thing? Are we fellow travellers standing shoulder to shoulder?
Or, in terms of what America's all about, is there no discernable
difference between Socialist Party A, the Donkey Boys, and Socialist
Party B, the Elephant Men? Aren't you just the little gang of
vicious collectivist thugs we can do something about before we're
strong enough to take on the big gang of vicious collectivist
Republicans I know are upset with me because of my plan. In every
case I have one thing to say: prove me wrong. Show me some brains,
some decency, some guts.
Prosecute the murderers of Ruby Ridge and Waco and abolish their
Repeal every regulation that encroaches on mandates of the Ninth
and Tenth Amendments.
Reexamine the very concept of taxation. What does it tell a
nation's children when its government is financed by theft,
extortion, and mindless brutality?
End the War against the American people you call the War on
Drugs. Get rid of everything -- like RICO -- that would make the
Founding Fathers spit on those of you who passed it into law, those
who enfoce it, and those who uphold it.
Repeal every item of the "stealth" legislation your party passed
in the last two sessions of congress, and then start in on everything
you stupidly, pusillanimously, and corruptly let the liberals get
away with for the last 75 years.
Defend the First Amendment on the internet. Extend it now to
radio and television.
Expel Hatch, Dole, and their ilk from the GOP. I can provide you
with a list.
Repeal every federal, state, and local weapons law, not one of
which is constitutional.
In short, Bob, enforce the Bill of Rights. It's your duty, get
it? You swore solemly to do it. Why not start now? Don't hand me any
crap about how you can't all at once, or these things take time, or
"The perfect is the enemy of the good." I'm a child of the 60s,
veteran of the antiwar years, I remember the civil rights movement,
and I've heard it all before. In my experience, there'd never be
any good if it wasn't for those of us who insist on the perfect.
Bob, it isn't up to us Libertarians whether we take enough votes
from you to wreck your majority and even destroy your party. Just be
better than we are on the issues that truly count, and nobody will
want -- or need -- to vote for us.
They'll vote for you, instead.
Hey, Bob, it's entirely up to you.
L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of The Probability Broach,
Pallas, Henry Martyn, and Bretta Martyn forthcoming in August of
of 1997. Look for his works at Amazon.com Books http://www.amazon.com
or give Laissez Faire Books a toll-free phone call at 1-800-326-0996
A Juror's Creed: As an American juror, I will exercise my 1000 year
old duty to arrive at a verdict, not just on the basis of the facts of
a particular case or instructions I am given, but through my ability
to reason, my knowledge of the Bill of Rights, and my individual
-- L. Neil Smith
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