Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 537, September 20, 2009

"I have a big question for neoconservatives:
what's worse, a 9/11 truther or a 9/11 liar?"

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The Next Best Thing to Coulter
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Late last week, I went with my family to see Dennis Miller onstage. Let me say truthfully up front that he was often extremely funny, and occasionally offered insights that approached genuine wisdom.

You may remember Dennis. He had a couple of successful talk shows on TV, and is presently to be found lurking here and there around the Fox News channel. He's also been in a couple of movies. He played a police colleague of Wesley Snipes' in Murder at 1600, and he was Sandra Bullock's shrink and ex-lover in The Net. I seem to remember that he was a liberal in the distant past, but now he's a full-fledged neoconservative.

Naturally as a full-fledged neoconservative, Dennis hasn't learned a goddamned thing that the past eight years have had to teach him, and he still doesn't have a clue why people were willing to vote for Barack Obama—even when they had a fairly clear idea of what he is—rather than an extension of George Bush by other means like John McCain.

If you total up all the nonsense Dennis purports to believe, it soon becomes obvious that he's livng in a fantasy world, crazy as a bedbug. He loves to talk—to thundering cheers and applause—about killing people. It seems to be his one and only policy when it comes to foreign affairs—or to domestic affairs, for that matter. His understanding of justice, the presumption of innocence, and the rule of law is a little fuzzy, to be charitable, and he's ready to dismiss out of hand—and condemn—any individual the government claims is a threat. In doing so, of course, he condemns his own political party—and almost certainly the United States of America—to death, as well.

Why would I say that?

Because if Obama continues to rule this country like the absolute, almighty pharaoh he mistakenly believes he is, America will crumble and fall apart, probably not in any peacable way. His power must be broken, and the place to start is by taking control of the Senate and the House of Representatives out of his hands. Unfortunately, because of the way the system is rigged, the only hands they can be placed in at the moment are those of the Republicans. And, contrary to popular belief, the enemies of our enemies are by no means necessarily our friends.

Neocons—whom I will define simply as Republians who dismiss the Bill of Rights as "just a piece of paper"—may not be aware of it, but they desperately need all the help they can get, if they wish to strip Obama of his power. They need our help—libertarian help—more than any other, and they have done absolutely nothing to deserve it.

On the contrary.

Please don't misunderstand me. They don't need our numbers, which, as the saying goes, are vanishing and slight. What they need—what they absolutely cannot do without—is our opinion leadership, and our ideas. Republicans haven't had an original idea of their own for the better part of a century. Even the very best among them have fed off the ideas of libertarians for decades, usually without admitting it.

Regrettably, neocons mistakenly believe that what libertarians have to offer them is an a la carte menu, from which they pick and choose what they like and leave the rest on the tray. (This is also the way they—and their mirror images on the left—see the Bill of Rights.) They have no concept of internal consistency, or of the dynamic, if you will, by which we gain and keep individual liberty. An example of that dynamic is the way all of our rights are supported by the Second Amendment, while it is supported, itself, by the First Amendment.

They also refuse to understand that these rights are inherent in all human beings, simply by virtue of their being human, and that you don't have to be an American, or be on American soil, to have the same rights every American does. The first ten amendments do not confer rights on anyone. They simply promise to protect pre-existing human rights.

All of these failures to understand, willful or otherwise, mean that, even if Obama is successfully contained in 2010 and removed in 2012, a decade after that or less, we'll be right back where we are now.

There are certain undeniable truths of life* Republicans will have to acknowledge before they can count on the help of libertarians. The first is that George Bush is not a great man, unappreciated and martyred in his own time. He is a drunken incompetent, a blithering idiot with no more regard for the Constitution and the rule of law than Obama, and the hapless tool of murderous villains like Dick Cheney and the howling pack of neocon predators who formed what might be called his "dungeon cabinet". In his two terms, he set Western Civilization back 500 years, breathing life into the Inquisition which continues to this day at Guantanamo and hidden places all around the world.

The second undeniable truth of life is that, whatever happened on September 11, 2001, it did not happen because benighted foreigners "hate our freedom". If we choose to believe the government's story about 9/11—and that's a mighty big if—it clearly happened because of what this government and its friends and allies did to these foreigners for almost a century before they found a way to fight back.

Regarding those who have had the temerity (and the understanding of history and human nature) to doubt the word of an institution—government—which has demonstrably been steeped in self-serving falsehoods since at least the War Between The States, I have a big question for neoconservatives: what's worse, a 9/11 truther or a 9/11 liar?

But I digress.

Many more questions remain to be answered and many undeniable truths of life Republicans must acknowledge. The important point here is, what can the Republicans do to convince us to help them take back the House and Senate? Why—given the GOP's past perfomance—should we expect our lives, liberties, and property to be any safer under their dictatorial rule than under the dictatorial rule of the Obama regime?

They should understand that a willingness of voters—who clearly despise Barack Obama and everything he stands for—to vote for him nonetheless, rather than put Republicans back in power, represents a judgment and a death-knell. Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, Rush, Sean, and Glenn. It tolls for thee and thine every wish, hope, and expectation.

It might help if each and every Republican would pledge himself or herself to the complete eradication of even the minutest traces of socialism in the policies and activities of government at every level. They will be shocked when they discover that this means the separation of science—especially medicine—and state, and abolishing public schools and every other tax-supported "service" that we are presently expected—at bayonet-point—both to underwrite and avail ourselves of.

Maybe we should insist on written pledges, signed in blood.


*I owe this happy turn of phrase to Rush Limbaugh—thanks, Rush!

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of more than 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas is currently running as a free weekly serial at

Neil is presently at work on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Where We Stand: Libertarian Policy in a Time of Crisis with his daughter, Rylla.

See stunning full-color graphic-novelizations of The Probability Broach and Roswell, Texas which feature the art of Scott Bieser at Dead-tree versions may be had through the publisher, or at where you will also find Phoenix Pick editions of some of Neil's earlier novels. Links to Neil's books at are on his website


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