While it might be tempting to blame George W. Bush for the last 7 years of darkness, tyranny, and oppression in America, such would be a big mistake. While Bush has presided over such federal programs as torture and sex abuse, spying on American citizens, wars of aggression, occupations, indefinite detentions, murder of detainees, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, cancellation of habeas corpus, kidnapping and rendition, the drug war, the war on terrorism, and the debasement of the dollar, the notion that simply electing a new president, McCain or Obama, will resolve America’s woes is hopelessly naïve. The problem is a systemic one, not one of electing “better” people to public office.
The primary issue confronting the American people is twofold, one on the domestic level and one on the foreign level.
The domestic issue is with respect to the welfare state and the regulated society. America’s welfare-state economic system is grounded in the notion that it is proper for people to use the government to take money that has been earned from some in order to give it to others and to use the government to punish people for engaging in peaceful, albeit harmful behavior, the drug war being a prime example.
The foreign issue is with respect to the warfare state and the overseas military empire that Americans unfortunately came to embrace in the 20th century. Despite the end of the Cold War more than a decade ago, the U.S. government continues to maintain military bases all over the United States and more than 100 countries, an ever-growing military-industrial complex, and an interventionist foreign policy that produces the ever-present threat of terrorist blowback.
The spending required to sustain both the welfare state and the warfare state has produced a major crash in the value of the dollar, which is reflected by soaring prices in commodities, including oil and gas. And given the ever-increasing level of federal spending, both domestically and foreign, there is no end in sight with respect to monetary crises.
Federal officials, not surprisingly, try to frame the issue in terms of a war against foreigners not surprisingly, try to frame the issue in terms of a war against foreigners (i.e., the terrorists, Muslims, Islamo-fascists, illegal aliens, drug dealers, etc.). But in actuality the real war is an ideological one and a domestic one between those who love liberty (e.g., libertarians) vs. those who love statism (e.g., socialists, interventionists, and imperialists).
The real fight is between those of us who are trying to restore the principles of liberty and republic on which our nation was founded and those who are trying to maintain the principles of socialism, militarism, and imperialism that America unfortunately came to embrace in the 20th century.
Therefore, by necessity, the fight that we libertarians are waging is against both conservatives and liberals.
Conservatives are fighting their hearts out to maintain the big-government edifice that they brought into existence during the Cold War, an edifice they rationalize under the rubric of “a strong national defense.” Having embraced an interventionist foreign policy, especially after the demise of the Soviet Union, they now use the 9/11 terrorist blowback from such policy to rationalize the types of things the Soviet Union was doing — torture, gulags, indefinite detentions, etc. They also remain prime supporters of the drug war, despite the fact that it too has produced nothing but death, destruction, and infringements on liberty.
While some liberals have admirably opposed the last 7 years of ever-growing assaults on civil liberties and the U.S. government’s pro-empire, pro-intervention foreign policy, they remain steadfastly committed to the welfare state that the FDR administration brought to our nation in the 1930s. The best example of the liberal mindset is an argument they employ for ending the occupation of Iraq — that the money being used to “rebuild” Iraq could instead be used to fund America’s welfare-state programs. The libertarian idea that people would be better off keeping their own money and deciding what to do with it is, unfortunately, still alien to the liberal mind.
The good news is that there is a way out of the statist morass in which our nation finds itself. That way out is libertarianism. The other good news is that more and more people — liberals, conservatives, and non-ideologues alike — are recognizing that libertarianism is the key to the future well-being and liberty of the American people, a phenomenon that is scaring the daylights out of American statists. Every day, more and more people are figuring out that the root cause of the many crises facing our nation is the socialism, interventionism, and imperialism emanating from Washington, D.C.
Thus, the fact that Americans will be electing a new president is itself no cause for celebration because the new president will simply be ruling over the same bankrupt and corrupt system of socialism, interventionism, and empire that has produced the many crises under which the American people are now suffering.
What is needed above all is a moral revolution that arises within the American people themselves — one in which the populace demands a different system — one that restores the principles of individual liberty, free markets, freedom of choice, private charity, and a limited-government republic to replace the system of big-government socialism, interventionism, and empire that currently holds our nation in its grip.