Real Political Competition

Americans like to compete. It validates what works, and gradually eliminates that which doesn’t.

Libertarians believe in competition. The greatest amount of happiness and prosperity come from people being able to compete in a free market where their individual rights are preserved by a government that is limited in its power. This leads to lasting benefits for both individuals and society.

Most people would agree. But for the last 150 years, from Okaloosa County all the way to the Congress, our leaders can come from only the Republican or Democrat Parties. In a group of four Americans you will find five different opinions, but somehow come election time we all just fall in line behind two major parties. As ridiculous as it seems, every solution, every possibility, every good, comes from either column R or column D, and no where else.

That, of course, is not by accident. Supposed competitors, the major parties are more like an old married couple that through hard experience know what to argue about, and what not to. Over time, by the skillful use of laws they created and the timely bribing of voters with their own money, these parties have suppressed political competition to their mutual advantage. They made people more dependent on government than ever before, increased the power of government over them and reduced individual opportunities in life. When election time comes people become afraid to vote for something different because it would remove the benefits the government gives them.

You pay a huge cost for this cozy political arrangement. Whether it is under the Republican President Reagan, or the Democrat President Clinton, or even in our own county, government has grown like a weed. Your taxes are higher, there are more bureaucrats who can tell you what to do with your property under penalty of law, the wars on poverty, drugs and terror regularly consume trillions of American’s wealth, and each of us ends up carrying a share of Federal government debt to the tune of $600,000. Government promises of Social security and Medicare will be worth nothing, either because the government will not pay or the money will be made worthless by inflation. Today your financial activities are monitored, your travel restricted, and even putting up a sign on your own property saying you like candidate such-and-such without telling the government could land you in jail for a year (FS 106.071). The FBI has conducted more than 200,000 warrantless searches on Americans citizens and the Inspector General of the Justice Department says 724,000 Americans are on the government’s terrorism watch list which is growing by 20,000 a month. There is no area of life where the government cannot monitor, regulate, or intervene. As said in the movie “The Patriot” we have replaced one tyrant 3000 miles away with 3000 tyrants one mile away. And all the while the Republicans and Democrats talk about change while supporting greater government power as they always have.

Libertarians know America can do better. In our hearts, Americans cherish Libertarian values. No one thinks about their future and says “Oh, I look forward to the day for the day the government confiscates my land, gives me what they see fit for it, tells me how to use it, gives me financial support, gives me permission to travel, searches where they like, tells me how I can speak on political matters, monitors my finances, taxes my income, and tells me what I can do with my body” but that is where we are. Every solution, every good, every possibility does not come from government, but from individuals who put the time, sweat, caring and personal risk into a project to make it better. Libertarians are about making it possible to do for yourself, and allow others to do for themselves as much as possible.

Instead of debating how big a tax increase should be, the debate should be about eliminating government spending. Instead of creating bureaucracies that seem to think of themselves first, there should be serious thought about eliminating them. Instead of meekly accepting that government can do anything, lawmakers must be limited in what they can do. Let people decide matters for themselves as long as they do not use force or fraud on each other. The end result is less costs and more options; in a word, freedom.

Only a Libertarian can say that, and that is real political competition.

Garage Sale fundraiser, Crestview, Florida 25 July 2009

Billy Bowlegs Parade June 8 2009 Fort Walton Beach, Florida