Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why Both Parties Suck or How I Became a Libertarian

I was almost three years old when JFK met eternity in Dealey Plaza. I was too young to know him then. I would study his brief Presidency later on in my life. Kennedy, despite the failings of his personal life, may have been the last American hero. I mean that. They say a part of America died that day in Dallas. I'm not sure that America didn't die that day along with him. That was 1963.

And so I've watched this 5 decade parade of scandals, Chappaquiddick, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Monica. I've watched crooked politicians with rap sheets. Drunken- ness and sex scandals. I've seen all of the crooked activities of our public servants. I've seen a few good things like Reagan, who probably stands out as the best human being of the Presidents. He was a straight shooter. So was Nancy. I have a friend, a cop, that provided the police detail for Reagan in California when he was Governor. He says Reagan was a great guy and well thought of.

Scandals come and go. The frailty of human nature plagues us all. That isn't what bothers me. What bothers me most is the willingness of both parties to over extend the reach of government into our lives.

Government exists only for the health, safety and orderly movement of it's citizens. That was the job description. It was not designed to subsidize students. Or to provide housing. It was not designed to provide retirement benefits. Or to create a tax code that can arbitrarily punish success. Give tax relief to cronies. To beat up on the wealthy. Or tell us what to buy. Or ignore laws that enforce the health, safety, and order of this country. Loan to or buy private corporations at our expense. To order us to buy products that we may not want or need.

There was no single defining moment. It was a slow creep. It spanned 50 years. It didn't matter who was in charge, Democrats or Republicans. Government morphed into this giant, all powerful Frankenstein that ravages our lives. It started out simple and then something went horribly wrong. Maybe it started in 1963.

Those two parties morphed as well. They formed a monopoly. They desperately try to convince us that they alone are the solution. Yet, as I examine those 50 years of promises, I see no solution. In fact, all I've seen is deterioration. And so it was, that I quit trying to sort one party from the other. I quit believing. I actually came to grips with the facts. Acceptance. I accept that as long as we have only these two parties, we are screwed. They are equally as bad. I can no longer ignore the facts and evidence of the last 50 years.

And on the eve of the upcoming elections, we are going to oust the bad and install the future bad. They will rejoice initially as we rid ourselves of some of the greatest statists I have yet to see. We will install new statists. The new statists will be just as bad as the old ones. Until we eventually get tired of them and replace them with some fresh new statists. Trying the same old thing, expecting different results.

A few years ago, it was awfully hard for me to deny the facts any longer. Any good risk manager will tell you that the best predictor of future performance is past behavior. It's also very hard for me to believe anyone under 50 has lived long enough to grasp the point. They still cling to the archaic belief system that one of these two miscreant parties is the right one. I like to think of them as the Dahmer twins. They are hostage takers and guess who the hostages are?

So a few years ago, I took a hard look at third parties. I knew that an ever expanding, over reaching government is the problem. The only solution was to find a party that wanted to reduce the size of government and get them the hell out of our lives and pocketbooks. The Libertarian Party was the obvious choice. Restore liberty and freedom, personal choice. I thought that was a no brainer and I still do. Yes, I am a huge Ron Paul fan.

Think you are "wasting" your vote when you vote for a third party? Let me put it to you this way. You've been wasting votes for 50 years. Your vote for either of the Dahmer twins ensures we get the same old results. And while you might take a little short term ego satisfaction in Nov., the sad truth is that you are simply perpetuating the same cycle that the Dahmer twins want you to take. The same trajectory we've been on for 50 years. The one they created for you. So if your vote for the twins gets you the same results, just what the hell did you win? Barnum said there is a sucker born every minute.

The big knock on the Libertarian party is the legalizing drug thing. We've been fighting that war for about 50 years too. Guess where that has gotten us? We are the biggest penal colony on the planet. We house 25% of the world's prison population yet we only account for 2% of the world's population. Our court systems are clogged, our enforcement agencies are bursting at the seams, and I can walk three blocks from here and get any illegal drug I want, right now. Drugs are here to stay. Embrace that fact and accept it. Or continue to waste billions indefinitely.

If you are waiting for hope and change from either of the Dahmer twins, good luck with that. If you want to embrace what is, I call that reality, then it's time to embrace the concept that a third party is our only hope. I have no knocks on the Tea Party. They just weren't around a few years ago. A third party that recognizes that more government and freedom are mutually exclusive concepts.

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