L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 275, June 13, 2004
"The Sovereign in this country is the people themselves"
Is This the Battle of Pelennor Fields?
Exclusive to TLE
Just last weekend, I finally got the chance to watch Return of the King for the first time, since I don't go to theaters very often anymore. I enjoyed the movie very much, but saw some disturbing parallels to this election season in it. Now, this might just be because I'm a weird old bear, but hear me out, and let's just see what you think.
First, at the marshalling of Rohan, only about half of the Rohirrim (libertarians) show up. The other half decide to stay and protect their own fields, families, and herds. They don't seem to realize that if they don't ride (vote), and the battle is lost, they are easy prey for the Dark Lord. Massively outnumbered, with all organized resistance gone, they will fall, one by one.
Then, at the shining city, Minas Tirith, the Steward (Congress) has been suborned by the enemy, and takes no action to defend his charge (the Constitution and Bill of Rights). The Steward has been blinded by his own personal use of a power that is only loaned to him, that is not his by right. Yes, I said loaned, and for a very good reason. The Sovereign in this country is the people themselves, and Congress is only the steward of that power, the authorized user, or even the designated hitter, for you baseball fans out there.
When the battle begins, the forces of freedom are vastly outnumbered. The city (constitution and Bill of Rights, remember) is crumbling. It is about to fall. Then the Rohirrim (libertarians) show up, and the tide of battle changes, for a little while, but it is not enough, too few Rohirrim have decided to fight. Finally, the forces of freedom are losing, have lost all momentum, are trapped, surrounded, and about to die.
What saves them? No less than the Return of the King, leading the Host of the Dead. For our example here, who are the Dead? They are the vast numbers of Americans who have forgotten that they are sovereign, that they can make a difference! So many of them say that one person can't make a difference, that no one pays attention to their vote. Well, that may be true, but what about a million votes? Ten million? 25 million?
Now, arguing by analogy is always suspect, and it is easy to go too far with any analogy. Michael Badnarik is not a king, and has no wish to be a king. But like Aragorn, can he be the one to mobilize the Dead? Can he be the one to wake them up, to bring them back to restore the true Sovereign to power? I don't know, but I do know that without them, especially since so many libertarians have decided not to vote, to protect themselves, the forces of freedom have little chance. In the movie, and in the book, if the Battle of Pelennor Fields was lost, there would have been no other, all that was free and fair in Middle Earth would have perished.
Is this election season our Battle of Pelennor Fields?