L. Neil Smith's

Number 5, February, 1996.

Let's Make a Deal

By L. Neil Smith

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

         It's just another of life's little coincidences -- the way a war seems to happen along each generation for young Americans to get killed or crippled in. But it's a coincidence worth noting, because it isn't the first time something like this has occurred.
         What am I yammering about? No genuine, dyed-in-the-wool Democrat wants Bill Clinton as his next Presidential nominee. Waco Willie, his power-crazed wife, and the gang of bloodthirsty mutants they brought to DC have done nothing but embarrass the Party of the Jackass. The Khmer Pinque's bungling criminality has set socialism back a century. Wake them in the middle of the night, the Donkey Boys will confess they'd rather run anybody than the Flowers Child in 1996.
         And what Republican -- anywhere to the right of Hubert Horatio Humphrey -- looks forward to campaigning for Bob Dole? The guy would give Vlad the Impaler the creeps. Everything about him shows that he's devoid of integrity. Before the Ku Klux Klinton arrived, he never saw a tax he didn't like. He was responsible for passage of the Brady Bill and almost singlehandedly brought the 1994 "revolution" to a standstill. Even that monumental mouthpiece Rush Limbaugh has a tough time working up any team spirit for this Nixon-warmed-over who clearly doesn't know the meaning of the word "principle".
         Lest we get smug, however, the Libertarian Party is hardly immune to such malaise. Somehow, Powers That Were Never Supposed To Be -- an ethically challenged pack of sticky-fingered four-flushers who latched onto the LP's jugular more than a decade ago and won't be displaced by any amount of flea and tick spray -- have already decided who our nominee will be: a name on an ancient ghostwritten tome who lacks the cojones to become the liberal Republican nature meant him to be and can't tell the difference between a campaign and a book tour.
         If Harry Browne gets nominated, who'll be able to distinguish him from one of the Elephant Men? And, given a Republican-shaped thing that stands no chance of winning (it's symptomatic that, of the world's five billion people, only Harry needs to be told I'm talking about him, here) and one that may, who will the voters choose?
         Democrats don't want Clinton; Republicans don't want Dole; Libertarians (those who haven't donated their brains to science prematurely) don't want Browne.
         How did we get into this mess?
         Before anyone suggests the contrary, I don't think it's a conspiracy, but rather in the nature of organizations. Face it: human beings do not play well in groups. Those among us who have real lives -- families, productive careers -- live them. Politics, at most, is a part-time concern, a necessary and annoying evil.
         Political organizations (not to mention corporations, which suffer the same disease) end up dominated by those who don't have lives and are able to concentrate all their time and energy on obtaining and retaining power. Thus their personal pathologies get translated into the moronic -- if not to say suicidal -- choices we helplessly watch them making (in our name and on our nickel) every day.
         Choices like Clinton, Dole, and Browne.
         The dismaying fact is that this syndrome is what's wrong with our culture in general. While real people produce real goods and services, the geeks and dweebs so well typified in the current administration (nerds are another population altogether; I have met them and they are us) seize the machinery, not of production, as Marx would have it, but of confiscation. It's almost impossible to seize it back and put it permanently out of commission, because we all work eight hours a day, mainly to support the selfsame geeks and dweebs.
         The question remains, what to do? As unthinkable as what I'm about to suggest may seem, give it some genuine thought. It could alter the course of history, just as socialist Norman Thomas altered it by frightening Franklin Delano Roosevelt back in 1928.
         How likely is it that Democrats can scrape Billy-Jeff off their shoesoles and nominate somebody that their founder, Thomas Jefferson would approve of? How likely is it that Republicans can stop Brady Bill-Bob? Not likely, in either case.
         Otherhandwise, the LP is tiny and flexible. It may still reject Browne (about whom, at the grassroots, embarrassing old facts and new misgivings seem to arise every day) and choose someone like Arizona's Rick Tompkins. Tompkins is everything any decent Republican (if there is such a thing) aspires to be. Jefferson would kiss Tompkins on all four cheeks.
         Tompkins is a Libertarian's Libertarian.
         So here's the deal. Want to reduce government, not just its rate of growth? Think there must be some way to maintain civilization besides beating up and killing people? Believe the Bill of Rights should be enforced like the highest law of the land it is? Fed up with geeks and dweebs telling you who you can vote for?
         Keep an eye on the LP.
         If it dumps Browne and nominates someone who actually stands for something, vote for him.
         It's as simple as that, but it does take some courage and intelligence. If you think Dole will be any better than Clinton, you haven't been paying attention the past few decades. If you think Tompkins would be worse, you're moving your lips as you read this -- or somebody's reading it to you.
         If you buy any of this, tell your county, state, or national parties what you're about to do and why. They'll say you'll waste your vote. I say it isn't wasted if it makes them change their geekish, dweebly ways.
         It takes 50 million votes to elect a Republican or Democrat, and even then, what have you got? If a Libertarian won just 2% of that, it'd scare the bejabbers out of everybody and change everything forever. Waste your vote? It looks to me like a vote for a Libertarian is 50 times more effective than one for Brand X or Brand Y.
         The geeks and dweebs will get the message.
         I guarantee it.

L. Neil Smith's celebrated first novel, The Probability Broach, will be republished, in unexpurgated form, by TOR Books in October, 1996.

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