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L. Neil Smith's
Number 541, October 18, 2009

"There is no genuinly forward-looking
science fiction left in mainstream America."

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The Brontosaurus in the Broom Closet
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Dear Newt—

It says here somewhere (I can't find it, now that I need it) that you believe the Republicans can take the House back in 2010, and that you're thinking of resurrecting the famous GOP "Contract with America" which you assert was pivotal in the Congressional "revolution" of 1994.

As a libertarian, I have to admit up front that I was never very sanguine about your "Contract with America", not only because (A) I was never invited to sign my copy of it, or (B) to suggest amendments, or (C) I never believed it had much to do with your party taking the congress for the first time in 40 years (the simple truth is, voters were fed up with Clinton, exactly as they are today with Obama), but because, rather than a phony "Contract with America", what you and your party need most (and have avoided for decades) is contact with America.

Whenever you're out of power, you GOP guys talk a lot of brave, fine-sounding talk about individual liberty. Let you get hold of the reins, however, and what we've witnessed to our disgust, instead, is blind carnage overseas and stultifying oppression at home. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the horrors of Guantanamo, Abu Graib, and other places, the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, the gutting of the Bill of Rights, it all got started on the GOP's watch. Never to forget Waco, which was approved, planned, and rehearsed during the George H.W. Bush regime.

Obama's crew are only taking policies like that to their logical extremes.

And all you Republicans can say is that it worked. I thought it was the left who are into situational ethics. What ever happened to "The ends cannot justify the means?" It is not an adequate ethical defense against an accusation of torture, to claim that the torture worked.

And it's also untrue. But let's set that aside and move on.

The embarrassing truth—the brontosaurus in the broom closet that nobody wants to talk about—is that the Republican Party was never the party of freedom. That Goldwater business in the 1960s was a fluke, immediately snuffed out by "older, wiser heads" in the GOP like those of Nelson Rockefeller, Weeping Willy Scranton, Henry Cabot Lodge, and George Romney. The Republican Party was created in the 1850s by northeastern mercantilists just like them, to crush the hopes of poor southerners for individual liberty and independence, and keep them bound in serfdom, paying 80 percent of all taxes collected in America.

The one and only hope you have (and this will work only if you can persuade us to believe you despite what we've seen you do time and time again) is to lay out a detailed and coherent program that, in a clean sweep, will get the vile, disgusting stench of socialism out of the nation's nostrils once and for all—not secrete another layer of it on top of what the Democrats have added to the evil work of the Republican socialists Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. and George W. Bush, and yes, the wise, benevolant god-king himself, Ronald Reagan.

If you ever really open your eyes and look around you, the first thing you'll discover is that Republicans made the mess we live in today. You made the election of Obama inevitable. If you and Rush Limbaugh had wholeheartedly supported Ron Paul, instead of spending enormous time and effort trying to defame and marginalize him, we wouldn't be in any of these messes right now. But you had to choose somebody else—absolutely anybody else—instead. If you expect to get the country back—and if you want help from anybody else—you will have to acknowledge that, and stop doing the things that made it happen.

And start doing things right.

I believe it was you—when the integrity of the 1994 Republican "revolution" was revealed to be paper thin, and the entire facade began to collapse—who revived Voltaire's cynical observation that "The perfect is the enemy of the good". The truth is that the perfect is the enemy of the good enough. Or, not to put too fine a point on it, the perfect is the enemy of the half-assed. If it weren't for those of us who keep insisting on the perfect, there'd never be any good.

It's vital that you understand that folks at the tea parties and the congressional town hall meetings were—and remain today—just as fed up with Republicans who, through a weakness and stupidity that seem almost genetic with them, failed America utterly (it didn't help that a number of Republicans tried to grab credit for these mostly spontaneous events) as they are with insane and evil Democrats who are gleefully destroying what little remains of their lives, liberty, and property.

It's vital in part because, increasing numbers of these people are beginning to understand that, as bad as things have been under the Obama Administration, and as much worse as they are likely to get, enduring them is better than getting screwed over—again—by you Republicans.

If you want that to change, here is what you must absorb:

We are not the cops of the world. Every time we try to be, young Americans die by the thousands, instead of living to discover a cure for cancer, a better mousetrap, a good five cent cigar, a matter- antimatter interstellar drive, or simply getting married and raising their children and grandchildren in peace, freedom, progress, and prosperity.

With each war come further restrictions on personal and economic liberties that somehow never get relaxed again after the war is over. We now have a population who have no sense of individual privacy, dignity, or sovereignty, and will pee in a bottle on command, like a lab animal, instead of pushing in the face of whoever demands it of them.

As to economic damage, in the late 19th century, gold was twenty dollars an ounce. Today it is more than a thousand. The difference—a matter of 5000-fold inflation—is an accurate and sobering measure of the rapacious greed for other people's money, the naked perfidy, and the destructive stupidity of at least six generations of American politicians.

The phrase "enemies, foreign and domestic" includes lunatics, idiots, and villains who have plunged us into one pointless war after another (in the process ingesting and consuming enough real wealth to build a hundred Pyramids, Great Walls of China, or Hanging Gardens of Babylon). The horrific events of September 11, 2001 happened, not because somebody, somewhere hates our freedom, but because for a century, this government failed to respect theirs, in the course of which—as an "unintended consequence"—it encouraged, empowered, and enabled the Middle Eastern equivalents of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazism.

Those you bomb and torture today will bomb and torture you tomorrow.

Changing the subject, remember that it's small business, not big business, that is the foundation and future of America. The proper balance between the two can be restored—and a great many other problems solved—by tossing out the legal fiction of limited liability.

Likewise, it's long past time to jettison the abusive and ugly medieval practices of Sovereign Immunity and Eminent Domain, the government equivalent of limited liability. We must rebuild America instead, on a rock-solid foundation of inviolable private property rights.

Don't waste everybody's time and energy trying to keep immigrants out, legal or otherwise. People have migrated across the face of the Earth in great numbers for thousands of years. No matter what you do, they'll find a way in. Wouldn't you? Instead of trying to hold back the tide, make these people into genuine Americans once they get here. Post the Bill of Rights—in Spanish—on every lamp post and phone pole within a hundred miles of the border. Broadcast them into Mexico and to other countries on TV and radio so that newcomers will know what to expect. Abolish the welfare system altogether, and restore medicine and other "social" services to the voluntary sector of the economy.

Remember the Bill of Rights and keep it wholly. It's not a set of arbitrary game rules to be gotten around for a "win". It's not an a la carte menu you pick and choose items you like from, rejecting what you don't like. It's the highest law of the land, to be stringently enforced—with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your might.

While we're at it, the rule of law is not a luxury to be suspended in an emergency, it's a dire necessity for our survival and that of civilization.

The War on Drugs is over. Drugs won. It's time to stop wasting money, destroying lives, grinding up the Bill of Rights, and giving greater and greater power to the jackbooted thugs, in an unnecessary and futile attempt to enforce one group's ideas about what chemicals and vegetables some other group ought to manufacture, cultivate, distribute, purchase, possess, and consume. Repeal the drug laws, and prices will drop a thousandfold, driving most participants out of the business.

That pack of grifters, thugs, and spies called the United Nations has to go. Their openly-advertised antipathy toward the American Bill of Rights (take a good look at the Colt Python sculpture in front of their headquarters to see where they stand on the Second Amendment) would be more than reason enough, but the Third World's slavering lust to loot the United States (even further than it's already been looted by the Obama Administration) makes it absolutely imperative. Kick the vermin out, raze their building to the ground, and then construct something useful (an indoor shooting facility would be nice) in its place.

Regarding medical Marxism and the myth of global warming, both of which are valued by so-called "Progressives" solely as excuses to control every moment and every aspect of every individual's life: no matter what abominations are passed into law in the next few days or weeks or months, a genuine opposition party must commit itself now to a Constitutional separation of science—especially medicine—and state.

That's a key concept, Newt. I hope you were paying attention.

Meanwhile, government must get out of the business of designing automobiles and formulating fuels. There is no scarcity of energy, as you know perfectly well. Only the market can create and distribute it properly. If you want to do something congressional, investigate the suppression of new technologies like catalytic fusion and thermal depolymerization.

Above all, keep your religion in your pants. If it makes you happy, I'm happy for you, but—like whatever else you have down there—nobody cares about it but you. If you don't like to drink, smoke, or consume cheeseburgers, then don't drink, smoke, or consume cheeseburgers—and stop bothering those who do. The same goes for drugs. If you don't care for same-sex marriage, don't marry somebody of the same sex. (If you feel that your marriage is somehow threatened by gay people getting married, it must be a pretty weak and fragile thing.) If you don't like abortion, don't have one. If you don't like evolution, then don't evolve—unless you've got that one covered already.

Victim disarmament—what its advocates call "gun control"—is more a matter of projection on their part than protection. They know their own hearts and minds. They fear that they lack the self-control and self-discipline necessary to use a weapon safely, responsibly, and effectively. On the other hand, guns possessed by private individuals who are fed up with police incompetence, corruption, and brutality have reduced violent crime dramatically over the past twenty years or so.

Any politico who's afraid of his constituents being armed, should be. Leaders of the anti-gun movement (for the most part, politicians who enthusiastically advocate confiscatory taxation and government control of everything) realize that a populace is much easier to herd, loot—and dispose of—if it has been stripped of its weapons. The naked fraud and transparent fascism of victim disarmament must be eradicated through the repeal of all gun laws at every level of government.

Do that, and in less than a generation, the great rivalry in this country won't be between Republicans and Democrats, but between conservatives and libertarians. "Liberalism" will be a relic of the past.

The very existence of the Obama Administration is entirely your fault, yours and that of your fellow Republicans, conservatives, neoconservatives, and neolibertarians. Obama and his minions pulled you all through a knothole backwards. They slid you down a 50 foot razor blade into a barrel of alcohol. And you deserved every inch of it.

Now you have just 13 months to convince us you can stop making up excuses, rationalizations, and justifications, stop doing the same old damned stupid things for the same old damned stupid reasons, and do things right this time. I can help you—for a reasonable consulting fee, of course—and so can half a dozen other genuine libertarian thinkers I know. But you will have to pay attention and take good notes.

There will be a test in 2010.

Note from the Editor

I've created a fancy PDF of this article (found here:

which I urge you to download, print, put in an envelope with whatever cover letter you might want (or none), stick a stamp on it, and address the envelope to

Newt Gingrich
1425 K St, NW
Suite 350
Washington, DC 20005

and stick it in your local post-mail box. It would do Newt and his myrmidons good to get a couple hundred or thousand of these.

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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