The Party of 'Blank out'

While surfing the ‘net last weekend I chanced to link the Libertarian Party's website. At their July Indianapolis convention they significantly changed their platform. For near 30 years the LP called for the Central Intelligence Agency [C.I.A.] and National Security Agency [N.S.A.] abolition.

That was then, this is now. Quoting with condensing:

“Delegates make u2018historic' changes to Platform…

The [2002] Libertarian Party Platform…[modified]…the areas of…internal security.

…two u2018significant'…resolutions…passed, said Platform Committee Chairman Mike Dixon: One added an executive summary to the Platform…without altering the ideological intent.

These alterations represent historic changes…of communicating the principles that define us as a political party.

The…summary gives a one-sentence overview of…each plank. It will be inserted after the Statement of Principles and before the…Platform.

…delegates voted to…change…planks…

*In a reaction to the September 11 terrorist attacks, language was deleted in the Internal Security and Civil Liberties plank that called for the abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency.

The new planks states: The defense of the country requires that we have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security.

…language was added…opposing the cabinet level Department of Homeland Security and calling for the repeal of the USA/Patriot Act of 2001…and all other similar legislation.” The status quo of September 10, 2001 is what the LP wants by keeping the CIA, NSA and not having an Homeland Security Department governed by the soi-disant Patriot Act.

“The defense of the country requires that we [emphasis added] have adequate intelligence to detect and to counter threats to domestic security.”

That was interesting.

Who are “we?” Libertarians used to distinguish people bound by voluntary action, to wit, society from those supported by “political means.”

Abraham Lincoln. Adolf Hitler. Ariel Sharon. Josef Stalin. Saddam Hussein. Kwame Nkrumah. Any of them could have written the above quote. The Libertarian Party, however, wrote it.

As a current member of the Stupid Party [“Re-elect Homer Simpson in '04”] much is done by the GOP that makes me cringe. However, from 1976–91, I was a Libertarian Party member.

Where are the real libertarians? Where are the folks who connected the dots between “Byzantium-on-the-Potomac's” foreign intervention and terrorism at home?

Time was you could count on the LP would stand on principle. The principle eluding our former confreres: freedom is our highest value in political matters.

A libertarian looks at what a proposal will do to freedom: first, last and throughout. If something increases freedom: we support it. If something reduces freedom: we oppose it. If it is neutral about freedom: we don't care.

Libertarian's strength was holding fast to principles; analyzing with simple tools and taking a stand where the principle placed you. After last September's attack, the LP's recent standard-bearer, Harry Browne, wrote from a principled stance. That was then, this is now.

Unilateral action or collective security? We oppose intervention, who cares the flavor? Libertarians acted as Alexander cutting the Gordian knot on foreign policy issues.

Should NATO expand? Let it do so, but with one fewer member: US.

Should American soldiers be subject to the International Criminal Justice Tribunal when on “peace-keeping” missions? First, pass the Bricker Amendment. Second, don't send Americans on such outings.

Should private pilots on private carriers be “allowed” to be armed? When did the bastards repeal the Second Amendment? “Let Every Man [be PC: everyone] Be Armed.”

Should sanctions be tightened or loosened on [fill in the blank]? Loosened? Try repealed! Don't free people have a right to trade freely?

The fun of being a Libertarian is in taking a principled stand. That was then, this is now.

Any statist apologist can make a tortured argument in favor of interim measures. That is why they are statist apologists: they exist to make tortured arguments. Statist arguments always torture. They torture people, freedom, logic & decency, among other things of value.

The Libertarian Party now will have one-sentence summaries of their planks. How about this:

“We accept government spying at the level of Sept. 10, 2001, but draw the line there, until the next big terrorist act.”

For the rest of us, let us think of governments as criminals with flags. The libertarian movement is alive, well and nowhere in the LP. Now, let's move on: there is nothing left to see from the LP.

July 25, 2002