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L. Neil Smith's
Number 650, December 25, 2011


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Blast from the Past!

An Open Letter to Robert K. Dornan
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

A while ago, I wrote a column suggesting to Libertarians that we adopt a strategy which, while not altering our record at the polls appreciably, would force the kind of change that was our reason for running candidates to begin with.

I said we should focus our party's meager resources on races where a Republican had won the last election by 5% of the vote or less, and abandon every other effort, including our costly and absurd Presidential candicacy. Winning has always been beyond our grasp, but we're often able to take 5% of the vote, meaning we can control such races, ensuring defeat of the Republican incumbent.

A few days later, to my satisfaction, I saw a report that you were whining about Libertarian candidates doing exactly that. You complained that seven Republicans in '96 had lost elections to "flaming liberals" due to Libertarian "spoilers".

Music to my ears.

"Why?", I pretend to hear you asking. Don't Republicans and Libertarians basically desire the same thing, politically? Aren't we fellow travellers, maybe even allies, standing bravely, shoulder to shoulder, against the liberal hordes?

Not exactly, Bob. Libertarians and Republicans are alike in that we both acknowledge—unlike liberals—that "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". Unlike Libertarians, however, Republicans aren't above stealing one, as long as you can claim it's in aid of "national security" or "public decency".

Time and again, especially over the last decade, while claiming to uphold individual rights set forth by the Founders in the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, you've found excuses to help the liberals—whom you revile as enemies of liberty on the campaign trail—rip the Constitution to bloody shreds. Instead of enforcing Bill of Rights as the highest law of the land it was intended to be, you've helped the liberals turn it into a sick, painful joke.

Take the patently unconstitutional junk legislation crammed down American throats by Mr. and Mrs. Sarah Brady, which would have died on the floor of congress without Republican first aid. Take the illegal ban on semiautomatic weapons and high capacity magazines conceived by William Bennett, and saved at the last minute by Bob Dole—betraying millions who voted for Republicans specifically to stop it, and negating the very reason the Second Amendment was written.

Take Utah's answer to Pol Pot, Orrin Hatch, committing cultural genocide by making it illegal to teach our kids to shoot. Take your party's repulsive yearning to scrap the First Amendment with travesties like the "Communications Decency Act" that Republicans vow to bring back even though the Supreme Court—for once—did the right thing. Take all the "stealth" or "Pearl Harbor" legislation your party recently sneaked through, including a national identity card.

Take your party's crazed insistence on continuing the infantile, corrupt, and unspeakably destructive War on Drugs, which has done infinitely more harm to America and American institutions and values than drugs themselves ever did.

On the other hand, Bob, take your party's pathetic failure to reduce the oppressive tax burden which is the only cause of the erosion of the American family you whine about incessantly, and probably contributes to alcoholism and child abuse as well. Take your failure to eliminate the merest fraction of the regulations or the 11 million laws under the weight of which Americans stagger.

Take your contemptible failure to prosecute the animals responsible for Ruby Ridge, Waco, and elsewhere, and send them to prison or the gas chamber where they belong, allowing them instead to be awarded medals for "valor", and—again, the Orrin Hatch seal of Cambodian approval—doubling their agency appropriations.

More generally, take your party's failure to do the nation's real business—enforcing the Bill of Rights—indulging instead in its sick obsession with denying women control of their own bodies, supporting a senile old judge who posts religious material in a court of law, whimpering over females in a military that's only used these days to deliver international welfare checks anyway, forcing the terminally ill to die in agony so as not to offend your sadistic prejudices, or persecuting those whose sexual preference differs from yours.

Now you tell me: do Republicans and Libertarians desire the same thing? Are we fellow travellers standing shoulder to shoulder? Or, in terms of what America's all about, is there no discernable difference between Socialist Party A, the Donkey Boys, and Socialist Party B, the Elephant Men? Aren't you just the little gang of vicious collectivist thugs we can do something about before we're strong enough to take on the big gang of vicious collectivist thugs?

Republicans I know are upset with me because of my plan. In every case I have one thing to say: prove me wrong. Show me some brains, some decency, some guts.

Prosecute the murderers of Ruby Ridge and Waco and abolish their evil bureaucracies.

Repeal every regulation that encroaches on mandates of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

Reexamine the very concept of taxation. What does it tell a nation's children when its government is financed by theft, extortion, and mindless brutality?

End the War against the American people you call the War on Drugs. Get rid of everything—like RICO—that would make the Founding Fathers spit on those of you who passed it into law, those who enfoce it, and those who uphold it.

Repeal every item of the "stealth" legislation your party passed in the last two sessions of congress, and then start in on everything you stupidly, pusillanimously, and corruptly let the liberals get away with for the last 75 years.

Defend the First Amendment on the internet. Extend it now to radio and television.

Expel Hatch, Dole, and their ilk from the GOP. I can provide you with a list.

Repeal every federal, state, and local weapons law, not one of which is constitutional.

Impeach Clinton.

In short, Bob, enforce the Bill of Rights. It's your duty, get it? You swore solemly to do it. Why not start now? Don't hand me any crap about how you can't all at once, or these things take time, or "The perfect is the enemy of the good." I'm a child of the 60s, veteran of the antiwar years, I remember the civil rights movement, and I've heard it all before. In my experience, there'd never be any good if it wasn't for those of us who insist on the perfect.

Bob, it isn't up to us Libertarians whether we take enough votes from you to wreck your majority and even destroy your party. Just be better than we are on the issues that truly count, and nobody will want—or need—to vote for us.

They'll vote for you, instead.

Hey, Bob, it's entirely up to you.

First published in this magazine's Issue No. 31, July 1, 1997.

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