Stop Bush Now

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The
current administration occupying the White House is perhaps the
worst since Lyndon Baines Johnson strengthened the power of the
bloated welfare/warfare state in the 1960s. With LBJ we got the
worst of all possible worlds from a libertarian perspective – a quantum
leap in social engineering that went way beyond the excesses of
FDR's New Deal, and an extended military debacle in Vietnam that
nearly bankrupted an already fragile economy. Bush the Younger now
threatens to make liberal Democrats look like pikers. Spending under
the Bush Republicans has risen to a level that makes the Clinton
administration a very model of frugality by comparison, and President
Bush's invasion of Iraq is more than a costly misadventure; it borders
on criminality if it does not actually cross the line.

Would
Al Gore have been any worse?

As
a libertarian who voted for Bush in 2000, I'm sad to say that it
will have to go down as the worst vote I have ever cast for any
candidate in my lifetime. I didn't expect much from Bush the Younger,
but I did think he would be marginally better than Gore on gun control,
taxation, privatization of social security and health care benefits.
I did not expect Bush to embark on a pre-emptive war of staggering
dimensions, a war that is likely to result in the deaths of thousands
of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians, a war that threatens to completely
bankrupt our weak economy and run up staggering budget deficits
for years, if not decades, to come. It is too easy to call Bush
an imbecile who has been manipulated down this dead-end path by
a claque of his father's aging cronies. Bush the Younger was all
too willing to follow the path laid down by his mentors, and he
has proven himself to be a master manipulator of public sentiment.

Bush's
war against the people of Iraq is nothing less than a continuation
of the imperialistic, colonialistic policies that have characterized
European countries over the centuries, and U.S. foreign policy since
the age of Teddy Roosevelt. The danger for the world at large is
greater now than ever before because the weapons in use today are
the most devastating in history. It is not surprising that the war-mongering
conservatives at National Review and the Weekly Standard are the
primary architects of Bush's march to war; they have long dreamed
of turning the globe into a Judeo-Christian empire as a prelude
to their visions of Armegeddon. What is surprising, however, is
the number of libertarians who have jumped on the Bush war wagon
on the grounds that Saddam is evil, he hates us and will eventually
attack us, so let's get rid of him and his cronies first. I'm old
enough to remember the war mongers of the 1960s who believed that
we should launch a pre-emptive strike on Red China before it developed
its own nuclear capabilities, since it was only a matter of time
before it launched a few missiles in our direction. Fortunately,
we did not strike China then, and we seem to experiencing some sort
of uneasy alliance with that nation now as it makes an effort to
free up its own society from totalitarian control.

Nothing
changes that much over time. These are the same arguments we have
always heard, updated for current events. The war against Iraq is
unconscionable, unless we can establish a link between Saddam and
the tragedy of September 11, 2001, something the government has
not been able to do. Meanwhile, the dream of a low-tax, limited-government
society, which conservatives used to talk about as well as libertarians,
is fading further into the distance. The U.S. republic is quickly
going the way of Republican Rome, and the age of the U.S. Caesars
is fast upon us. Thirty years from now, Bush the Younger may well
be remembered as the first in a long line of American Regents, who
used the trappings of a democratic republic to pave the way for
a quasi-dictatorial, theocratic police state.

Unless
he can be stopped soon! The damage he can accomplish in eight years
in office may be irreversible.

March
27, 2003

Jerome
Tuccille [send him
mail]
is the author of 21 books, including Alan
Shrugged
, It
Usually Begins With Ayn Rand
, It
Still Begins With Ayn Rand
, biographies of Donald
Trump
, Rupert
Murdoch
, and the Hunts
of Texas
, and several novels.


     

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