by Jacob G. Hornberger
Some mainstream media types are reporting that voters effectively rejected President Obama in the elections yesterday. The problem is that they’re not looking at the big picture.
With the Republican takeover of the House, Obama is assured of full support of his interventionist foreign policy and his continued infringements on civil liberties, including the continued occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, full criminal immunity for U.S. officials who have broken U.S. criminal and international laws against torture and illegal surveillance, kangaroo military tribunals, the enemy-combatant doctrine, the continuation of America’s overseas military empire, the assassination program, the war on terrorism, and, of course, the ever-growing threat of terrorist retaliation.
Obama is also assured of continued support of his war on drugs, perhaps the most immoral, failed, and destructive war in American history.
The president is also assured of continued support for his war on immigrants, including the building of the Berlin-type fence along America’s southern border as well as the militarization of the border.
Everyone knew that Obama would continue George W. Bush’s big-government welfare-state programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education grants, subsidies, foreign aid, and Wall Street bailouts.
What liberals and young people hoped was that Obama would change directions in such areas as foreign policy, civil liberties, the drug war, and the war on immigrants.
Alas, it was not to be. As we’ve all learned by now, after two years of Obama in office, nothing fundamentally has changed in the past two years and, arguably, things are much worse on all fronts. After all, at least Bush and his people weren’t (yet) assassinating Americans, as Obama is.
Thus, how can anyone be surprised that Obama’s base of support has disintegrated? In every major area, both foreign and domestic, Obama’s first two years in office have been nothing more than George W. Bush’s third term in office.
The standard mindset in America, including in the mainstream press, is the “left-right debate” in America. The belief is that there is something fundamentally different about liberals and conservatives.
That’s just plain nonsense. There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between liberals and conservatives, not philosophically. They are both statist to the core. They both embrace socialism, interventionism, and imperialism.
Want examples? Okay, here are a few: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, subsidies, education grants, foreign aid, trade restrictions, immigration controls, the drug war, occupation licensure, the Federal Reserve, paper money, the minimum wage, economic regulations, the postal monopoly, wars of aggression, torture, kangaroo military tribunals, the enemy-combatant doctrine, foreign occupations, and the war on terrorism.
Oh sure, there are variations on whose reform should be adopted but those are relatively minor. Philosophically, liberals and conservatives agree on what should be the role of government in American society. They believe in socialism, interventionism, and imperialism, even though many of them operate under the self-imposed delusion that it’s all “freedom and free enterprise.”
So, what is the real fight between Republicans and Democrats? It’s not a philosophical fight. It’s over two things: power and money. They fight over who is going to have the reins of political power and who gets the big money that comes with political power.
Thus, the real battle that is going on in America is not between left and right. They’re the same. The real battle is libertarianism vs. statism. While both liberals and conservatives are committed to retaining the statist status quo and fighting over who gets to govern it, libertarians are committed to dismantling the statist system, thereby restoring liberty to our land.
Obviously, our fight for a free society is a much bigger one, much more difficult than the fight over power and money between liberals and conservatives.
Will a sufficient number of Americans join up with us libertarians to restore a free-market, limited-government republic to our land? I think so. Despite the continued triumph of statism in the electoral arena, every day more and more people discover libertarianism and are attracted to our philosophy, our ideals, and our principles. The fact that people are being mugged by the reality of what statism is doing to them, their families, and our country is making our job easier.
What we libertarians must continue doing is advocating the moral, philosophical, and economic case for the free society. We must never succumb to the siren’s song of winning political power in order to better manage the statist system.
We must continue injecting sound ideas on liberty into the marketplace of ideas. We must continue patiently raising people’s vision to a higher level — to dismantling, not reforming or running, the socialist, interventionist, and imperialist programs that the liberal and conservative statists have foisted upon our land. We must continue looking for and finding libertarians — people whose love of liberty places it among their highest values.
Life does not guarantee success, but if we libertarians continue battling statism with truth, moral principles, and sound economic principles, we stand a good chance of finally reaching a critical mass that overwhelms the statists, brings an end to socialism, interventionism, and imperialism, and restores liberty, free markets, and a limited-government republic to our land.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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