I get my daily dose of sarcasm and humor by watching late night shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher. The Republicans in D.C have provided the writers of these comedy shows with reams of material to provide America with its fair share of late-night laughter. Hidden among the usual targets of Liberal wrath are the vulnerable but principled Libertarians like Dr. Ron Paul, who are made to look like druggies who want to sell off America’s poor to the “evil corporations.” The treatment that Liberals afford on Libertarians makes me wonder why Liberals hate Libertarians.
Dr. Paul made an appearance on Bill Maher’s show on Friday March 30th, 2007. When I saw his name on Bill’s guest list, I was ecstatic because no mainstream media body has so far given any coverage (except for a short mention on the Fox News ticker) to this person who I consider America’s last hope. My fervor was subdued after I realized that Bill stereotyped Dr. Paul to be just another “Lincoln-hating pro-corporation thug.”
Instead of talking to Dr. Paul about his positions on the most important issues facing America, Bill exploited the forum to express his disapproval of the Libertarian beliefs and policies. Let’s not forget that Dr. Paul is making a run for the White House. Dr. Paul’s positions on issues ranging from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, national security, border control, government spending and civil liberties mirror those of majority of Americans. This could have been a great opportunity for the country to know of a candidate who has been held in the shadows by the media elites, who could put America back on track to be what it is all about.
Ironically, Bill Maher claims himself to be a Libertarian. Smoking pot and bashing President Bush alone do not make you a Libertarian. It takes strong convictions and faith in the concept of Liberty to stick to Libertarian principles in a town like Ancient Rome (that I sometimes refer to as modern day Washington D.C). Dr. Paul has proven the mettle by proving his loyalty for Libertarian principles while surviving the cut-throat D.C atmosphere for over three decades.
On the issue of Civil War, Dr. Paul gave a very well balanced response as to why we could have avoided America’s bloodiest war. The problem is that over a century of indoctrination by the federal government’s public education programs have kept the truth from generations of Americans. Any concerned individual could learn the truth about Lincoln by reading the works of Thomas DiLorenzo, who is just one of several generations of scholars who have put scholarly integrity ahead of career ambitions to keep the truth around for the future generations to discover.
Abraham Lincoln is the progenitor of generations of American politicians who have indulged in needless slaughter and subduing of Individual liberties to increment the powers of a centralized state. Their crimes are covered by incentive-driven so-called intellectuals like Dorris Kearns Goodwin. Their voices are amplified by the fourth-estate elites like Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner. When was the last time we saw Dr. DiLorenzo or Dr. Tom Woods on national TV. From what I recall, I heard Dorris Kearns Goodwin just last week on The Daily Show.
Libertarians have always been the true advocates of the poor and the downtrodden. Classical Liberals, from whom Libertarians have descended, have always vehemently and unequivocally opposed the state-sponsored oppression of the minorities in the overwhelmingly white western society. Yet, Libertarians are made to look like right-wing extremists for not condoning the gang-rape of the South by Lincoln and his thugs. I wondered what Dr. Paul’s views on the Civil War had to do with his presidential bid. Was it just another attempt to smear an honest and compassionate man who has been consistent about his compassion for human life and freedom?
On the issue of Global Warming, Dr. Paul responded well by raising the point that a foreign policy sanctioned by the Oil Companies’ lobby may very well be leading to global warming, if it is for a fact. The only reason Dr. Paul drew an approval from Bill and applause from the audience was because he nailed the corporations; even though for different reasons.
On the issue of the Walter Reed scandal, Dr. Paul described it as a preview of what government medicine would look like. For several weeks now, Bill has claimed on his show that what happened in Walter Reed was because the services are provided privately and free-markets were to blame. How could it be a free-market scenario when droves of veterans seeking health care are forced to avail services from a taxpayer-funded, government-endorsed, sub-standard service provider?
This is the problem with government sanctioned “privatization.” Privatization does not mean that the government gets to choose the service-provider. Privatization means enabling the consumers to choose a service provider. Privatization leads to the availability of choices and options. Privatization means that the consumers have the right to accept of reject. What happened in Walter Reed was a classic example of how government leaves the consumers with only one choice and that is the government’s choice.
All this brings us to a very important issue. Why do Liberals hate Libertarians? Even Liberals like Bill Maher who live under the illusion of being Libertarians have so much aversion for core Libertarian principles that they miss no opportunity to spread a misunderstanding of the philosophy of love, liberty and peace.
Liberals differ from Libertarians mainly in two aspects: Government and redistribution of private wealth and autonomy for private enterprise. Government has always been the tool to promote coerced redistribution of wealth. Liberals want to take it away from those who managed to generate some degree of financial security and give it to those who weren’t smart or maybe weren’t hard-working enough. Liberals despise private enterprise because they are uncomfortable with the thought of someone getting wealthy due to their enterprising attitude.
There is an old Chinese proverb that goes as follows: “Give me a fish and you will feed me for a day. Teach me how to fish and you will feed me for life.” Social welfare creates a sense of security that keeps people from discovering their true potential. There are people in our society who are comfortable with the thought that they will be fed, clothed and sheltered no matter what. Such security paralyzes people’s ability to discover their true potential in this land of opportunities.
Liberals and pro-big government lobbies have been responsible for the explosion of the size of our social welfare programs over the last century. Some did it out of compassion; while others did it out of their desire to cement the importance of government in our society. Liberals blame the financially successful for the plight of those who just failed to find a good reason to find a way out of their miseries.
Libertarians realized that while not everyone is born with similar entrepreneurial capabilities, the gifted few can prosper in a free-market atmosphere and thus create opportunities for those have the will to work hard and to become a part an economic machine marked by voluntarism. While Liberals want to use the government to snatch the fish from the fisherman and give it to the poor, Libertarians have always taken the initiative to motivate the poor to learn how to fish so that no one has to part with their hard earned wages, involuntarily.
In spite of all the differences, Liberals and Libertarians have recently found a common ground on the issue of war. Libertarians however must be cautious and must abstain from jumping to the conclusion that Liberals are for peace. Liberals have been selective about which wars to support while opposing others. On the contrary, Libertarians must be credited for being consistent on the issue of war. Libertarians have always held only one position on war and that is to oppose all government sanctioned murder and destruction of private property by men in uniform.
Going back to the fall of 2005, the Late Harry Brown interviewed Mr. Lew Rockwell on his radio show. Harry Asked Mr. Rockwell about his appearance at an anti-war rally. Mr. Rockwell pointed out that even though there are several differences between Liberals and Libertarians, Liberals are really good at issues related to civil liberties.
We must not blindly assume that Liberals have been anti-war all along. Ask a Liberal of the wars they support and the list would be as follows: Civil War, Second World War and the recent war in Afghanistan and so on. Ask a Liberal of the wars they oppose and the list would be as follows: Vietnam War, the recent war in Iraq and so on?
Would Cindy Sheehan have grieved for her son had he died in the civil war fighting for Lincoln or in the Second World War, in the same manner she grieves for his death in the Iraq war? After all, all three wars were unconstitutional, built upon fabrications and unfairly forced on the other side. All three wars led to unprecedented slaughter of innocent civilians and destruction of private property. All three wars led to unnecessary suffering. I hardly see any difference between the suffering of the non-slave owning poor southerners during the Civil Wars and the impoverished Vietnamese who were the targets of American-made napalm bombs.
The harsh reality is that Liberals opposed the Vietnam War and the recent war in Iraq because of whom they were fought against. The Vietnam War was supposedly fought against communists. It is no secret that the primary opponents of the Vietnam War with the exception of true Libertarians were liberals who were also communist sympathizers. For the Liberals, the war against the Vietnamese Communists was like a war against their own brethren.
The war in Iraq was a war against Saddam Hussein. There has always been an unprofessed admiration for Saddam Hussein among Liberals. Does anyone recall Sean Penn visiting Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war? Even now, during media appearances most Liberals admit very reluctantly that Saddam was an evil man. For a couple of decades, Saddam Hussein has been the socialist poster boy among the socialist-Liberals. His terrorizing purges and needless slaughters are easily forgiven by the American Liberals in the light of his tyrannical rule that led to the socialization of a country’s resources, which led to wealth redistribution and accumulation of political power in the fists of the few. Do I smell Soviet Union here?
The only group of individuals who have a consistent track record of being against war and slaughter are true Libertarians like Dr. Ron Paul and of course the earlier leaders of the modern Libertarian movement like Murray Rothbard and Harry Browne. Libertarianism enables an individual to see through layers of government propaganda and agenda to realize that the only true goal of the government is to emerge omnipotent at the cost of individual liberties and freedom.
While Bill Maher may have hampered Dr. Ron Paul’s potential to reach out to those who just cannot take anymore of the Republican-Democrat politics, Dr. Paul’s steadfastness for Libertarian principles has strengthened the resolve of other Libertarians to stick to their guns and be part of a growing movement for change.
Libertarians are the biggest threat to the Liberals’ socialist dreams. The Libertarian advocacy for free enterprise and small-government just fails to tango with the Liberal support for socialized infrastructure and a tyrannical and powerful centralized government. Libertarians and Liberals are as different as the two sides of a coin. The seldom agreements that Libertarians and Liberals ever had were due to the Liberals’ own selfish interests.
The biggest threat towards Libertarianism is posed by the loonies who claim to be Libertarians. They taint the message of Libertarianism and create misunderstandings that keep Libertarianism from being understood as the solution for a decaying society. Sometimes I wonder if there is an organized conspiracy against Libertarianism. While Bill Maher has a hit TV show, nonconservative Neal Boortz who goes around claiming to be a Libertarian has a well-heard syndicated radio show. All the while, Dr. Ron Paul got a mention on the Fox News ticker and a botched appearance on Bill Maher’s show; while the great Late Harry Browne never managed to get on more than a handful of radio stations.
Among all the reasons for concern, there is a reason to rejoice and celebrate. The drums of Libertarianism are ever louder. I remember a few years ago when I had to give a 5-minute warm-up session to people before I uttered the word Libertarian. Now, I get straight to the point. Even though people may tend to disagree with Libertarianism, they are at least aware of an alternative to the Republican-Democrat politics. An increasing number of people are discovering Libertarianism. While Liberals and Conservatives hardly mention of change in their numbers, I can confidently assert an increase in the ranks of Libertarians by the day, based on the changing atmosphere that I can judge. Some of it is due to the failure of the Liberals and the Conservatives to deliver on their words. The rest is due to the hatred that Liberals hold for Libertarians, which may be causing people to move towards the philosophy of compassion and freedom.