L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 216, March 24, 2003
Shucks and Aw!
Republicans Should be Seen and Not Heard
Special to TLE
Let us forget for a moment about Iraq. The Bush Administration has a domestic agenda, too.
For the first time in God knows how long, Republicans have control of the White House as well as both houses of Congress. Bill Clinton is gone. His wife, Ted Kennedy, Tom Daschle, Richard Gephardt, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Party from the Bowels of Hell are in the minority. Finally, the Republicans can press forward unimpeded with their agenda.
Only a few days after the new congress had been seated, President Bush announced a proposal to eliminate the tax on stock dividends as well as to end the marriage penalty on the income tax. It should have taken only a day or two for our new, unified, pro-limited government congress to pass these proposals and for the president to sign them into law.
In the next few days, it would have been very easy for Congress and the president to:
Republicans keep telling us they are for "less government." Well, let us look at the record.
But Republican presidents had to contend with the Democrats. Well, for six of Ronald Reagan's eight years in office, he had a Republican Senate majority, and government grew. For six of Bill Clinton's eight years, he had Republican majorities in both the House and Senate sending him budgets, and government grew. For 20 of the 22 years since Ronald Reagan took office, we have had some combination of Republican presidents and/or Republican House and Senate majorities, and the size of the federal government has tripled.
But until now Dubya has had to contend with a Democratic Senate. Then why did he not veto one single bill they sent him? (3)
But if Republicans cut government too much, the media would rip them to shreds. No one elected the media. When an elected official takes office, he swears an oath to support and defend the Constitution. This oath says nothing about pleasing the media. The American people are sending Republicans to Washington to do a job. They must either do this job or quit calling themselves Republicans.
When Bill Clinton said X and did not-X, Republicans were outraged. However, when Republicans say X and do not-X, they make all manner of pathetically lame excuses. Republicans say they are for limited government and family values, but they keep voting for socialism. Imagine, for instance, if Bill Clinton had put his blessing on federal funding for stem cell research, the latest campaign finance reform law or last year's mega-humongo education bill! Where is the outrage and indignation? Republicans should be seen and not heard.
I have said a lot of nasty things in previous columns about George W. Bush, and I stand by every one of them. Republicans tell me I should at least give him a chance. I applauded his proposals to eliminate a few taxes. I write now because he and his party never followed through on them and they show no intention of doing so. I do not mindlessly say nice things about people who tyrannize me. When someone takes away my freedom I do not care one iota about his party affiliation.
I was a Republican from 1979 until early 1992. I voted for Reagan twice and Bush the Elder once. (In 1986, when I was living in Arizona, I supported John McCain in his first Senate bid.) All I got was more socialism. All Bush's father did was raise taxes, expand government and start wars, and all the Republicans acted as if it was no big thing. With this in mind, I could no longer put my blessing on Bush or the Republicans. Going Libertarian in the spring of 1992 was not a difficult decision. I held out hope in 1994 that the new Republican majority would just say no to Clintonism. I was gravely disappointed. If I do read of any serious rollback the onslaught of socialism this coming year, it will most likely be in the supermarket tabloids.
But aren't you sick of losing all the time? Well, yeah. But look at what the "winners" are doing. As one old Libertarian friend of mine says, I don't mind losing elections nearly as much as I mind losing my freedom. I am sick of oppressive taxation. I am sick of state education. I am sick of 20,000 gun laws on the books. I am sick of the Drug War. I am sick of welfare. I am sick of Social Security. I am sick of a government that manufactures new excuses every hour for snooping on my private activities. I am sick of intrusive regulations. I am sick of our troops being stationed in over 100 countries around the globe, while the Pentagon and the World Trade Towers stand naked in the face of terrorists and while our border with Mexico resembles a sieve. I am sick of America surrendering its sovereignty to the United Nations and all the other instruments of the New World Order. I am sick of the Federal Reserve. Sick, sick, sick.
Our current form of government makes me want to throw up, puke, vomit, barf, hurl, regurgitate, blow chunks, toss my cookies, flash the hash and do the old technicolor yawn. Therefore, I will not put my stamp of approval on it, no matter who is in charge.
But the Libertarian message hasn't caught on with the majority of the American people. I graduated from high school in 1979. When did you graduate? And when you got that diploma did graduate emotionally as well? If you are no longer in high school, you need to stop making decisions the way you did when you were in high school. You need to think for yourself and do what is right for yourself, your family, your community and your country regardless of what the crowd is doing.
(Not long ago, I got into it with a dittoheaded schoolteacher who insisted I should vote Republican "because they at least had a chance of winning." Is it any wonder we have so many problems with kids caving into peer pressure? If children spend seven hours a day with people who follow the herd, they too will live their lives following the herd. I thank God this woman will never teach my children, should I ever become a father.)
But voting Libertarian only aids and abets people like the Clintons. Whether Republicans or Democrats win, government grows larger, liberty evaporates, and the vise grip tightens on you and me. I will say this on behalf of Bill Clinton: during his tenure we saw the most vocal opposition to Washington, D.C., since 1861. Now that Bush is in office, there is no viable opposition to big, costly, and intrusive government, save for that posed by Congressman Ron Paul. The disreputable side of me almost wishes Al Gore had been elected.
(I recently received an invite from the Colorado chapter of the Republican Liberty Caucus. There are some pro-freedom people along the Front Range here who have latched onto this movement. I will support true freedom fighters regardless of their party. Congressman Paul is a case in point. If we had 218 Ron Pauls in the House and 51 in the Senate—statesmen who voted in accordance with their words—I would not be writing this column. At the same time, I will oppose tyrants and socialists regardless of their party.)
There is only one great debate in politics, and it is not between Republicans and Democrats. It is between less government and more government. It is between freedom and slavery. At one end of this continuum stand the Founders of this nation. At the other end stand Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, the Kim dynasty in North Korea (4), etc. Clinton is not Stalin and Bush is not Hitler. However, we are moving in the wrong direction entirely too rapidly. At some point we have to declare a high water mark. At some point we have to turn back the clock.