Reader Mail

Taking Libertarians

Preferable to Democrats? Plus: More on Tucker and kindness, on very bad Keller, on post-Torricelli Lautenberg, and other signs of the good times.

10.31.04

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STATE YOUR PURPOSES
Re: John Tabin's The Libertarian Menace:

Funny thing happened in my turn at the voting booth -- I voted Libertarian (with an "l"). I also voted Bush on the big "R." But the oddest thing I noticed this time was the lack of Democrat challengers in many of the local races here in North Texas. A state supposedly thick with 'em. Not being one enamored with a lot of the local political shenanigans around here, I voted for the local Libertarian candidates as a protest vote. I could do no worse.

Personally I wish we could all vote "no confidence" on the ballot if we think none of the candidates are worthy and force a new slate and special election. It has to be the best protest vote of all. It would have prevented the likes of David Dukes from winning. It would also force incumbents to run against their own record. If "no confidence" wins a plurality of the vote; incumbent and your challenger are outta here!

To the Libertarians, I think they have some things to offer. Sure their planks on aspects of defense and security need modification. But go read some of the party pronouncements of the major parties in the past and they had some positions just as absurd. But the Libertarians need to concentrate more on the local and state races. Win a governorship or two and get a track record built up in the next two or three election cycles. Given a little pluck and change in positions nationally they could be the party that replaces the Democrats. The Dems are ripe for the plucking at the local and state level.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

I just read your online article on Libertarians at The American Spectator. I enjoyed it immensely. I am 34 and used to think that I was a Libertarian although I never voted for anyone in their Party. However, as I learned more about them, the further I distanced myself from them ideologically. Interestingly enough, probably the best essay ever written about them was done by Leonard Peikoff -- a follower of Ayn Rand. He wrote the essay, "Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty." I say, "Interestingly enough" because although Ayn Rand and her followers are considered "right-wingers," they are pro-abortion and atheists -- much like Libertarians -- go figure. Thanks for the great article.
-- Edward Dentzel
Las Vegas, Nevada

In the past I have split my vote between Republicans and Libertarian since I respected a lot of their views and I really hated the RINOs. I tended to vote for them at the lower office levels to at least help them at the grass roots level. Not this time, however. Their leadership seems to have no concept of war and what it takes to win it. They don't understand how dangerous Kerry is and could become. I voted straight Republican party ticket during early voting. I have the feeling that a lot of people have lost sympathy with the Libertarians because things are too serious to throw away any vote that would keep Kerry out and Bush in. The left wing of the Democratic party must be destroyed politically.
-- Douglas Chandler
Dallas, Texas

John Tabin mocks Libertarians for espousing non-interventionism. He also says that former Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne and the Libertarian Party are "non-traditional" regarding foreign affairs.

I fail to see how subscribing to a Jeffersonian foreign policy of "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none" is "non-traditional." Nor do I see what's "non-traditional" about agreeing with John Quincy Adams that America shouldn't go abroad "in search of monsters to destroy."

Why was it acceptable to warn before 9/11 that a reckless U.S. foreign policy would inevitably cause retaliation, but it's not acceptable to point to that reckless policy after 9/11? Libertarians such as Harry Browne should be applauded for publicly trying to avert another tragedy no matter what the personal costs -- instead of encouraging one by supporting new foreign blunders.

Finally, Tabin says that "there's nothing inherently libertarian" about a nonviolent foreign policy. Wrong. As Randolph Bourne said, "War is the health of the State." And a strong, healthy State is never one that's respectful of individual freedom.
-- Jonathan Trager
Washington, D.C.

John Tabin replies:
The Libertarian Party's fantasy of a foreign policy that stops at the edge of the beach would be alien to John Quincy Adams, who as Secretary of State authored the Monroe Doctrine, and even to Thomas Jefferson, who sent the U.S. Navy to the Mediterranean to fight the Tripolitan War against the Barbary pirate states. (Harry Browne has written, in reference to the War of 1812, that the government had no business in defending American ships during this period because "private companies had chosen to send those ships into foreign waters, and were responsible for the safety of their employees.")

As Mr. Trager has in the past pondered how to correct the LP's "marketing problem," might I suggest that taming the impulse to denounce any deviation from a radical orthodoxy as unlibertarian would be a good place to start?

FROM BAD TO WORSE
Re: George Neumayr's Keller Makes Things Worse:

What a bunch of two-faced political flacks masquerading as journalists.

In late May, the New York Times published a mea culpa, in which it apologized for some of its reporting on WMDs in Iraq. It said its reporting was "not as rigorous as it should have been." It began a July editorial, "Over the last few months, this page has repeatedly demanded that President Bush acknowledge the mistakes his administration made when it came to the war in Iraq, particularly its role in misleading the American people about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and links with Al Qaeda…"

But now, with almost 400,000 tons of explosives having been neutralized or secured, they go into a full-overdrive assault over 380 tons-or three, as was reported on Wednesday, because the Iraqis may have overestimated the amount actually inventoried-in a war in which they opposed and still do?

Let the Gray Lady apply the standard to itself with which it criticized Mr. Bush in July. Acknowledge its mistake now, fully. Even if they did that, they've disqualified themselves from being known as a news organization. They forfeited that privilege long ago.

As for Rather and his allies, the pajamahadeen are just lying in wait out here in the Internet bushes, waiting to strike.
-- C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia

The fact that President Bush isn't behind by a wide margin in the polls hopefully suggests that the majority of voters see through the fraud that is being perpetrated by the likes of CBS News, the New York Times, et. al.

The fact that President Bush isn't leading by a wide margin in the polls sadly suggests that the majority of voters lack the intellectual honesty to understand that Kerry isn't qualified, by virtue of his record (which speaks volumes, despite his campaign platitudes), to lead our post 9/11 nation. It's our security, stupid!
-- Cathy Thorpe
Columbus, Georgia

I am afraid we conservatives are losing the battle for the hearts and minds partly because of our own shortcomings. Each time we call the media "mainstream" and, when unmasking a lie, hastily add the exonerating qualifier, "well-intentioned," we perpetuate the myth of a media that strives mightily to be objective while occasionally straying from the straight and narrow because of excessive journalistic zeal or otherworldly naiveté. Sort of "they know not what they are doing." I think it is a grave mistake, for the left is quite clear in its intentions. The battlelines have long been drawn, and it's only our fastidiousness that prevents us from calling it like it is. It's high time we stopped giving the enemy the benefit of the doubt and started calling a spade a spade. Rep. Peter King hit the nail on the head when he called the UN-N.Y. Times-CBS nexus "the axis of evil" on Fox News' H & C show. The so-called mainstream media should be mercilessly exposed as the Agitprop, the propaganda arm of the DNC. And as an added bonus, we will enjoy greater respect from the enemy.

Keep up the good work.
-- Eugene Ostrovsky

You write in "Keller Makes Things Worse":

"The Times editorial acknowledged, for the purposes of embarrassing Bush in this case, what the paper had previously denied, the existence of weapons of mass destruction in pre-war Iraq, so that it could open a new line of attack on him: 'It's been obvious for months that American forces were not going to find the chemical or biological armaments that Mr. Bush said were stockpiled in Iraq. What we didn't know is that while they were looking for weapons that did not exist, they lost weapons that did.'"

I don't see how this can be interpreted as the NYT admitting the existence of weapons of mass destruction. In order to do so, you have to ignore basic rules of grammar. You owe your readers a more honest analysis than this. Mis-interpreting the NYT detracts from Neumayr's arguments.
-- Will Daley

The Editor replies: How can 380 tons of materials that can be used as nuclear triggers not constitute a weapon of mass destruction?

TORRICELLI PRIZE
Re: The Washington Prowler's Old News, New Smear:

Now Lautenberg, the illegally elected Senator, is passing info along to resurrect another Halliburton story. When will the press put some print on Clintons no-bids contracts to Halliburton too. When will the press in the few short days to election talk about the military records Kerry never released? When will the press tell the story of Teresa Kerry's philanthropy to liberal causes that are now 527's? What about the Heinz Corp. and its outsourcing of thousands of jobs and print where they are and the pay scales?
-- unsigned

It is blatant election year slime tactics and gross political demagoguery for the Associated Press and major media to mention Vice President Cheney's name in any and every article or story remotely devoted to Halliburton. For years the biased media has mentioned the two synonymously as if they are Siamese twins. He is not associated with and has not been associated with the company in any meaningful fashion while serving as VP. Further, John Edwards' baseless 11th hour comment that the current administration has a long history of preferential treatment to its friends is a complete and utter lie without a shred of substance. He says it and the grateful anti-Bush media dutifully quote him without the slightest caveat emptor. It is shameful. You should know that Americans from the Inland Empire are getting fed up with it. There will be a resounding backlash in the culture of the real American politick.
-- R. Jones
Gulfport, Mississippi

NICE GUYS FINISH FIRST TO LAST
Re: William Tucker's A Plea for Democracy, Reader Mail's Tuckered Out and Shawn Macomber's Barney Frank Valentino:

Mr. Tucker has no understanding of what John Kerry is or the results of his victory 11/2. The Patriots will support the U.S., but Kerry has a long anti-American history that Tucker ignores at the peril of American lives. The only consolation is that after the forces of darkness unleashed by a Kerry victory roll on take affect, most of the 1.5-2.5 million American casualties will be morons for Kerry.
-- J. F. Wind
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Leaving the Ground Zero memorial ceremony this past September 11 I was confronted by left-wing protesters on the east side of the Trade Center site. The parents of my fallen friends were still reading the names of the deceased as I came to an enormously large sign stating, "Bush Engineered 9/11." I admonished a female protester that this was a time and place for mourning, not protest. She started yelling at me. I decided to leave the area since a large number of NYPD were there ostensibly protecting the protesters.

This is John Kerry's and the Democrat's base. Nothing but their agenda matters, everything is political. He has not denounced this behavior by these people, he is afraid of losing their votes. I served in the infantry of the Marine Corps under real Vietnam War heroes. He sure is not one of them.

William Tucker needs to save his moralizing for the Democrats.
-- Robert Lunder

"A Plea for Democracy" by William Tucker is absurd! It wouldn't be quite as absurd if Mr. Tucker would also appeal to the Democrats to please behave and try to be civil should a Bush Presidency occur, but we all know that isn't about to happen! The Democrats have acted like total vindictive jerks towards President Bush the last four years! So, why should conservatives be civil for Kerry! Bah humbug!
-- Kaye Baker

Conservatives should behave well.

Firstly, it is our nature. Or should be. Or, we at least should aspire to it.

Secondly, and more importantly, vitriol is counterproductive. I remember the Clinton years and what went wrong for us. I can also look at the Bush-haters and see what they are doing that is unpersuasive and counterproductive.

A clear, strongly-worded statement carries as much persuasive power as can be had. Sputtering rage is unconvincing. Always has been. Sane people dismiss it out of hand and committed Democrats won't be turned by it. In fact Democrats may be able to use such rage against us. It is a normal and natural emotion to them and they are more familiar with its uses and manipulation.

Should Kerry somehow win, we must set aside the natural and human responses to such an injustice and act effectively instead of emotionally. We can go bang our heads against the wall in private - which would do exactly as much good as publicly assailing the President in personal terms.
-- Ron Bales

I see that the election isn't even over and we conservatives are already being told to play nice. We're supposed to roll over and "let him govern." (Is William Tucker pushing to remain invited to all the right parties?)

Where in Kerry's record is there any reason for hope he wouldn't be a disaster for America? His stabbing in the back American POWs and soldiers? His hugging Danny Ortega or supporting a nuclear freeze? Maybe his vote against the international effort to push Iraq out of Kuwait? Maybe it's calling our allies the coalition of the "coerced and bribed"?

This is why we lose so often.

Conservatives would need to stand up to (a God forbid) President Kerry. We shouldn't mimic Michael Moore and the rest of the lefty haters. We shouldn't lie and curse and act ill-mannered. But a Republican-controlled Senate and House and the conservative media would need to fight Kerry every step of the way. Otherwise we could lose the war and see our sovereignty eroded, possibly beyond repair. I shudder to think what judges a GOP-controlled Senate playing nice with the new president would let through to the federal bench.

No thanks. There should be no honeymoon for a President Kerry. Too much is at stake.
-- R. Andrew Newman

If Kerry wins, I will do all that is humanly possible to subvert, undermine, malign and destroy his presidency. Actually, that won't require anything on my part. He is capable of being a malignant, incompetent leader all on his own. But I will never cease with my little stream of invective against him and his treasonous wife. Until they manage to censor the Internet, which I'm confident the tyrannical libs will make every effort to do.

The office of president can not be rendered respect if occupied by a yellow spine, lying, socialist traitor. You can be damn sure if it come down to a civil war, it will be a Kerry government I would hope to see destroyed.

As a simple citizen, the damage I can inflict is zero. But that will be my heart and will on the matter as I work to destroy every last vestige of third world, UN worshipping "liberals" infesting our government and schools.
-- A. Walker

Please have William Tucker read Shawn Macomber's column and issue a retraction of his "A Plea for Democracy" column. Like Tom Cook of Raleigh, North Carolina -- I was speechless yesterday after reading his piece.

It's about more than mere politics -- it's about the soul of our nation…and I, for one -- will not give in to the dangers of moral relativism that is so pervasive in the liberal Democratic party. . .even if (God forbid) we have to stomach a Kerry presidency come November 2.
-- Cathy Thorpe
Columbus, Georgia

I think Mr. Macomber's last 3 sentences about summed it all up.

We have utterly failed those brave Patriots who pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor.

Like Esau, we have squandered our birthright.

From now on, I'm supporting the Constitution Party and I hope your readers will give that group some serious consideration.
-- A.J. Freeman
San Antonio, Texas

I find it funny that Mr. Tucker believes, or wishes to be seen to believe, that Republicans are can be approached with a plea for intelligent moderation and resistant. Whereas about the Democrats he says, "If the Democrats lose again this time, I think they're going to go over the cliff." How ironic.
-- Randall Smith

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