Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Friday, April 11, 2003

For those of you coming over from Roger Simon, who was kind enough to call me a smart fellow (I finally get an attributable quote to display on the site, woohoo!), let me clarify some of what I think makes me a small 'l' libertarian. I am typing this kind of late, so forgive me if I ramble.

Above all I believe in the Constitution, Bill of Rights and personal responsibility. I try to mold my political beliefs around this core. I am not for small government nor am I for big government. I am for the proper amount of government. Unlike Libertarians I think there are plenty of necessary government agencies. Unlike Liberals I don't think the Government is there to hand out jobs and money or to have anything to do with the economy really. Equality of opportunity not equality of results, always. Most of all government agencies must be efficient, cost effective and responsible. If they are deficient in any of these there must be accountability and steps must be taken to rectify those deficiencies. The same forces that shape the free-market and flowering of enterprise and ideas must be allowed to exert its influence on our government agencies. The American people must once again realize that the Bill of Rights is not a set of rules to limit the power of the American public. It is a very strict set of guidelines to limit the power that the government can exert over us.

When it comes to foreign policy both Liberals and Libertarians and Conservatives would hate me being in charge. I believe in robust foreign policy. Unlike Libertarians, I think our pre-eminent place in the world means that we should be policemen, to some degree. We should never shy from force if it is necessary for our national interests. While it is not our responsibility to depose every dictator out there, there are some situations we should not ignore. Rwanda should have been stopped long before 800,000 died. Unilaterally if necessary. It is in our best interests to make sure that nations don’t descend into genocidal anarchy or despotism. A failed state can affect every state around it and harm the free-trade and flow of goods and labor that fuel the free world. Iraq is a perfect example. The supply of oil, which is necessary for the world to work, has always been in danger with the Saddamite regime in control of Iraq. Without our intervention a huge portion of the world’s supply could be interrupted by a nuclear powered or re-militarized Saddam. This would effect every aspect of the world economy from food to medicine to heat and clothing and the fuel to move it all. This is the same reason we use the threat of force to protect the worlds shipping lanes.

Also, I think that our foreign economic policy should reflect our national beliefs. China should not have favored trading nation status. Slave labor camps and deals with North Korea to use their slave labor for the manufacture of goods sent to America and the brutal occupation of Tibet should be enough to ensure we don’t trade with them at all. It shouldn’t be our job to change China, unless they start to threaten the stability that guarantees our prosperity but, it they should not be able to use American driven profits to oppress. The embargo against Castro is just and should remain. Hundreds of millions flow into Cuba from every other nation and the 80,000 plus Americans who travel there every year. Despite that, Cubans who are not members of Castro’s ruling regime still live in poverty. I know this is very idealistic but, so was the American Revolution. This is not to say we should sever relations with these places we should attempt to influence them and create direct contacts that will lead the people of such places to yearn and work toward the freedoms that we enjoy. When the people of those places are ready to rise up and make a change we should encourage them and lend them help as the French (ouch) did for us.

This is just a quick look at a few points. Read through some of my archive and you will see many of these ideas fleshed out and keep coming back, as the war winds down and we get to the task of helping to rebuild Iraq I will start spending more time blogging political issues.

And for those still out protesting the war. Get over it. There will be no turning back. Now is the time to focus our energies making sure that whatever comes next is better and that the people of Iraq have a future to look forward to. ‘Anti-war’ rallies at this point are a waste of breath energy and talent. Your opposition as been noted what purpose does saying it again, at this point, serve? Quit with the 'anti' and present some ideas for helping the Iraqis. Or shout yourself into irrelevence while events further pass you by.

< email | 4/11/2003 12:22:00 AM | link

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