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Swindled by the Great Republican Deception (english)
by Annetta I. Birlari
16 Jul 2003
The modern American Libertarian is very different from European-variety libertarians (anarchist-socialists) like Noam Chomsky, they are instead direct descendants of Republicans Barry Goldwater & Ronald Reagan. And they are battling for your body and soul.
SWINDLED BY THE GREAT REPUBLICAN DECEPTION
Lone Wolves hiding in the Bush
by Annetta I. Birlari
The modern American Libertarian is very different from European-variety libertarians (anarchist-socialists) like Noam Chomsky, they are instead direct descendants of Republicans Barry Goldwater & Ronald Reagan. In fact, three out of seven Libertarian Party presidential candidates were GOP members. This is not to say that the Republican Party is a quaintly homogenous whole, rather it's quite the opposite. Today's very visible NeoCon/Libertarian split is a sign of the intense battle for the soul of Lincoln's Party. But amidst the warring factions, Libertarians been promoting Barry Goldwater's arch-Conservative ideals hidden by the veil of "antiwar"
Yet as any true Libertarian will tell you, they are certainty not pacifists nor are they particularly friendly. Indeed many libertarians nurture a pathological hatred for communists, socialists, collectivists, or any other person who values the community as much as the individual. They are the politicos of "contract is king" where the financially weak must battle the privileged strong simply to exercise their "rights" to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Perhaps if a Libertarian had penned the preamble to the Constitution, it might have been worded as such:
"I the individual of likeminded individuals, in order to form a more perfect confederation, establish financial independence, insure a future tax-free, provide for a personal militia, prevent the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to myself and my posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Likeminded Individuals of America."
What follows are a few well chosen insights into the mindset of the "Champions of Liberty"
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The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer Transcript
Barry Goldwater Interview
ROBERT MacNEIL: You were Mr. Conservative. In many ways, you started this. You were in the beginning of and symbolized the tide of conservatism that came in and brought Ronald Reagan into the presidency. What do you think conservatism has done for the country, having come to power, so to speak?
BARRY GOLDWATER: (former Arizona Senator and Republican presidential nominee) Well, you find in conservatism the same thing you found in liberalism: a split. You had liberals like Hubert Humphrey that were really trying to make the country go with liberalism, and you had others that didn't care what they said or what they appropriated, just so they made a noise that was formerly unacceptable to American thinking.
Now, conservatism has its others too. We have conservatives who literally want to do everything in the bag, and that's not possible. We have other CONSERVATIVES LIKE RONALD REAGAN, myself and most conservatives, who want to make progress on the proven values of the past, which to me is a whole essence of conservatism.
This doesn't mean we have to bring in abortion or school prayer or every other thing in the book or everything you find under the rocks. Make your progress on the proven values, the Constitution, the free enterprise system, and don't mess around with it."
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The Greatest President We Never Had: Reflections on the death of Barry Goldwater, GOP "libertarian"
by David Nolan, Libertarian Party co-founder
In 1998, the party which represents Goldwater's ideals is the Libertarian Party, founded in 1971 as a reaction to what the GOP had become under Nixon and still remains today: The party of socially conservative big government. If the Republican Party had remained true to the principles of Barry Goldwater, the Libertarian Party PROBABLY WOULD NOT EXIST, because it would be unnecessary.
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Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas -- Our Purpose
In addition to giving disenfranchised smaller-government Republicans a home by creating incentive to stay in our party, the Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas helps avoid a potential exodus to Libertarian, Constitutional, and other third parties, which would end up WEAKENING OUR THIN MARGIN OVER DEMOCRATS, thus opening the door to big-government victories from leftist candidates. The Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas is proud to promote the GOP's smaller-government message. Our limited government, individual liberty and free market ideas will win by inclusion. THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS.
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Rep. Congressman Ron Paul (RLC member) Backs Bush Decision in 2000 Election Scandal
December 6, 2000 - Congressman Ron Paul introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives Monday urging Congress to express its support for our Constitution in the midst of the presidential election dispute. H.Con.Res. 443 clarifies the nature of our federal system as a constitutionally limited republic, rather than a democracy...
"This resolution should be an interesting litmus test for Congress," Paul concluded. "Some members are quick to discard the Constitution when they disagree with the results of the electoral college. The COLLECTIVIST LIBERALS want popular elections because they know their constituencies are concentrated in certain heavily populated states. They want to nullify the voting power of the smaller, PRO-LIBERTY STATES. Supporters of my resolution can send a strong message that every state still matters, and that liberty is more important than shifting majority sentiment."
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What is the Relationship Between the Republican Liberty Caucus and the Libertarian Party? Recently the RLC has received some specific questions about our relationship with the Libertarian Party. RLC Treasurer Mike Holmes responds:
Q: Is the RLC made up of 'card-carrying' LPers who work with the GOP because it may be more politically expedient or are we "defectors" who "can't give up their libertarian roots"?
A: I'll attempt to answer this question though I reject in part one of the premises. Also, we have no real way of knowing how many members are "card carrying" LP members.
I personally am a lifetime LP member, having done so for the incredibly cheap price of $100 in 1973. Chairman Clifford Thies also has a history with the LP as their former national treasurer. RLC founder Eric Rittberg was a longtime LP activist as were Executive Director Tom Walls, newsletter editor Phil Blumel, our counsel Alan Turin and Virginia RLC chair Rick Sincere. Some of us participate in local LP events and are delegates to the LP national convention. Other RLC board members were never members of the LP.
A survey we conducted in 1996-97 indicated that about a third of our members usually vote for the LP. I would estimate that probably fewer than half of our members were in the LP and less than 25% probably still are. We do get a large number of inquiries these days from LPers looking for more successful political endeavors.
I reject the term "defectors" (as in "defectors from the LP") since one neither has to leave the LP to join the RLC nor is one defecting from anything by joining the RLC. It's not an either-or-choice.
We don't target LP members in our recruiting efforts, but I presume our regular reason advertising does reach them. Our in-person outreach is usually done at GOP events.
Our founding chairman was Roger MacBride, and a past chairman of the RLC was Ron Paul, and John Hospers is on our honorary advisory board. That's three out of seven LP Presidential candidates. We do not believe anyone has to worry about their "libertarian roots" by joining or working with the RLC.
I will stack them up against anyone the Libertarian Party has to offer any day of the week. One might observe, rightly, that the RLC has always had the support of the intellectual soul of the Libertarian Party, judging from those just listed.
Contrary to what the LP propaganda would have you believe (and since I used to be their chief propagandist, I know something about this) the LP has no monopoly on the concept of libertarianism and merits recognition in the political marketplace only by virtue of their achievements, not some honorific claim to superiority.
I believe many libertarians support both groups; the LP for reasons of radicalism (being able to promote a party platform that is purely libertarian), the RLC for reasons of practicality. However, there have always been libertarians active in the GOP (Robert Taft, Karl Hess and many others.) even though the GOP is not primarily a libertarian political party by any means.
The RLC promotes a policy of working with the LP whenever possible. This has its limits. Clifford Thies, myself and Roger MacBride even traveled to the Libertarian National Committee post-election 1992 meeting in Las Vegas to make this policy explicit and personal. Unfortunately, except for a few on the LNC, we were met with hostility and disrespect (especially to MacBride, who got the LP their only electoral vote!). We were treated rudely by a bunch of jerks who couldn't even bear to hold any discussion about the 1992 election results one month after it happened, and nervously laughed and joked whenever Andre Marrou's (the 1992 LP candidate for President) name happened to come up in conversation. This is fantasy game (role-playing) politics at its worst. Whether it is still the case remains to be seen.
As a role-playing fantasy game type of political party, the Libertarian Party members have assumed their roles, party chair, presidential candidate, campaign manager, et cetera, knowing this isn't for real. They take the internal politics very seriously but deep down, realize that they won't be making any real political decisions or actually get elected to political office. So they can enjoy the game without regard to real-world consequences of working in a democratic process in a largely non-libertarian setting. This role-playing encourages grandiose ideological huffing and puffing over policy and platform and is great entertainment and good for morale. We all enjoy hearing unvarnished libertarian analysis. But all too often, those LPers who actually want to get elected in the real world find themselves denounced and rejected by the LP for deviating from the fantasy of being heroic Libertarian knights of the round table. The few LPers who have gotten themselves elected in the past quickly find themselves ignored or criticized. Real politics is not compatible with the fantasy game of LP politics. This might not be descriptive of what the current LP is trying to do, but this is what we have experienced in the past.
The LP at most state and local levels is cooperative, and one of our former RLC Board members is now an LP state chair. An RLC member who is a former LP state chair and U.S. Senate candidate has recently signed up as a surrogate speaker for an incumbent U.S. senator for his re-election effort. So it can go both ways. In California, we endorsed LPer Dick Rider's non-partisan bid for San Diego County treasurer.
Our policy is that we only help Republicans in partisan elections if there is a Republican running; non-partisan races aren't an issue. We would lose our credibility if we endorsed LP candidates against Republicans, as the GOP is both very mindful of this and is somewhat suspicious of libertarian Republicans anyway. We might endorse an LPer is there is no Republican in a partisan race. Individual members can and do support whomever they wish.
Today, most of our members may vote for LP candidates from time to time (especially for President) but most haven't been active or even members of the LP. We appeal to constitutionalist, limited-government types of all kinds, including many who may describe themselves as principled conservatives. However, the RLC is open about calling ourselves the organized wing of the libertarian Republican movement. As small "l" and "soft" libertarians, we are not hung up about labels nor do we focus on excommunicating those whose libertarianism differs from ours or those libertarians who choose to emphasize mainstream issues instead of the controversial ones. We are about making libertarianism an asset, not a liability, in politics.
My personal view is that the LP is no longer a real political party. It is a political education vehicle with the form of a political party but one in which its primary purpose is to build the organization rather than to elect libertarians to public office. It is no longer capable of electing anyone to office under the partisan Libertarian banner and rarely tries, other than symbolically. Depending on the measure, it is the fourth or fifth "third party" in American politics, behind the Reform, Taxpayers, American, Green, et cetera, depending on the race.
We in the RLC believe that a healthy LP is actually good for us, since it demonstrates the political appeal of radical libertarian ideas and policies. We in turn promote slightly less radical versions of said ideas (in some cases) and work to elect libertarians to Republican Party and public office. We aren't about manifestos or chest-beating, but about helping our friends and finding new ones.
We look forward to LP types working with the RLC and believe that we are slowly but surely moving libertarianism into the big tent of the GOP, whether anyone else likes it or not. We are finding more and more Republicans in office who identify with our efforts and believe that all libertarians will enjoy working towards making the GOP more and more libertarian. The Republican Party is open for grabs right now and we believe we have the best ideas out there. Our challenge is finding and assisting those in the GOP working to make that happen.