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Liberty, War, and Peace

The greatest threats to our liberties are not Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden (if he is still alive), or the North Korean Communists. The threat to our liberties is much closer to home, and all have easily pronounceable names: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Tom Daschle, Trent Lott, Dennis Hastert, Dick Armey, and Dick Gephardt – in short, America’s ruling political elite. To be more accurate, we all have to fear the Bush Administration, a majority of the members of Congress, the nine justices of the Supreme Court, and hundreds of federal judges.

For they, and they alone, can turn America into a dictatorship.

The people who make up the ruling class, who also occupy places in DC think tanks, the media, the military-industrial complex, and corporate America, have one agenda in mind for the foreseeable future: to wage the war against both terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, in Iraq and elsewhere. If this policy is pursued aggressively, America will be unrecognizable – physically and constitutionally – in a few years because the federal government would impose marital law after another major – possibly nuclear – attack.

This past Monday night in New Jersey this issue – and others – was brought into sharp focus by the three GOP candidates vying for the US Senate nomination to face Senator Robert Torricelli in November.

The candidates are two state senators, Diane Allen, a former television anchor, and John Matheussen, an attorney who was first elected in the GOP landslide in 1991 after Democrat governor Jim Florio raised taxes $2.8 billion in a recession year, 1990. He has been reelected ever since. Rounding out the field is wealthy businessman Douglas Forrester, a former state pension official and small town mayor. He is self-financing his campaign. So far, he has contributed three million dollars, a far cry from the $62 million Jon Corzine spent to win the primary and then the general election against former congressman Bob Franks for the New Jersey US Senate seat in 2000.

During the one-hour debate, which could be viewed on http://www.njn.org/, Diane Allen was “cool,” Douglas Forrester was “hot,” and John Matheussen gave the best response of the night on the most important issue facing the nation.

Diane Allen’s television experience showed last night a deliberate, methodical message, which was “I’m behind President Bush all the way.” Since Bush has been making mistake after mistake by signing the so-called campaign finance reform bill, boosting federal funding for education, hiking steel tariffs, supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants, overseeing a quantum leap in government spending, and supporting more agricultural subsidies, a candidate who is behind the president 100% – even with his high approval ratings – risks alienating the GOP base. Diane Allen did not show any independence at all, but expects to ride to the US Senate nomination on the president’s coattails.

Douglas Forrester gave rapid-fire answers to his questions and showed feistiness that may play well with the voters. However, according to one well-respected commentator of the New Jersey political scene I spoke to Monday night, “Forrester came across as an elitist. Princeton, Harvard, and all that. That may not play well with voters." And why was Forrester sucking up to EPA administrator and former New Jersey governor Christie Whitman, singing her praises, time and time again?

Whitman gave us the disastrous auto emissions test instead of standing up to the EPA. She gave us a mountain of debt, more and more spending, and she refused to stand up to the Supreme Court’s Abbott decision requiring more state dollars be funneled to urban schools.

When asked about a possible US invasion of Iraq, Sen. John Matheussen responded that Congress has to be brought into the decision-making process, all the facts have to be put on the table for members of Congress and the American people, and only then could they decide that an invasion of Iraq is in the national interests of the United States.

John gave a statesmanlike answer to the possibility of the United States committing 250,000 troops to an invasion of Iraq, which could lead to the deaths of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of American troops.

As co-chairman of Sen. Matheussen’s campaign I speak to the campaign staff – and the candidate – constantly about the issues. On Monday night, Sen. Matheussen told Sen. Kyrillos, chairman of the state GOP, “Murray knows the issues.” In short, having the ability to communicate the “right" positions to a candidate, who is with us on several issues, is the first step in convincing a candidate about ALL our principles, not just one or two.

By the way, in the New Jersey US Senate race two years ago, I gave Bob Franks some advice, after he beat three other candidates, including yours truly, for the GOP nomination. (My website is still up.) He ignored it. Corzine just squeaked past Bob, even though Bob was outspent at least six to one. In last year’s New Jersey gubernatorial campaign GOP nominee and former Jersey City mayor Bret Schundler did not seek my advice in the general election either, or the advice of my supporters who have been fighting the good fight in Trenton for decades. After all, I debated McGreevey and Whitman three times in 1997, when I was the Libertarian Party candidate.

This is not to conclude that my input would have won the elections for Bob or Bret. In the final analysis, the candidate has to prove himself to the voters.

My supporters in 1997 and 2000 made it possible for our ideas to be part of the debate. At New Jersey Network on Monday night, a long-time employee told me I was the most intellectually stimulating candidate he has heard in the more than two decades he has been at the network. In short, because of the support from libertarians and conservatives in all fifty states, I was able to articulate hard-core free market and limited government ideas to a wide audience…twice.

In consultations with Sen. Matheussen, I give him our message loud and clear – peace, limited government, and free enterprise. In fact, the Matheussen campaign called a few weeks ago to get my support and advice on the issues. Now it is now up to Sen. Matheussen to step up to the plate. There is no more important issue than war and peace. And for that reason, his response Monday night was a home run.

There is a segment of the political establishment that is hell bent on war, even though it may lead to unspeakable horrors. In fact, our “victory” in the Gulf War more than a decade ago has been a hollow one. (The neocons didn’t get their confrontation with the Chinese last year after a US plane was forced to land in China. Now after the attack on September 11th, the warmongers are licking their chops for President Bush to order the invasion of Iraq.)

The consequences of our victory in the Gulf in 1991 has been the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, possibly the bombing in Oklahoma City in 1995, the bombing of our embassy in Kenya, the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, and the attacks on September 11th. In other words, the Gulf War has been ongoing since August 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

The future of America may literally be in George Bush’s hands. Your efforts could help prevent the unthinkable. During the 2000 campaign I said the threat to America would be terrorists with suitcases containing powerful weapons – not incoming missiles. According to reliable sources, this is a reality. We must defuse the situation. Otherwise, out of the ashes of a nuclear explosion in America, may come the end of the Republic, and what’s left of our constitutional rights, let alone the deaths of untold numbers of Americans.

May 11, 2002