Why Michael Medved Needs Glasses

by L. Neil Smith
[email protected]

Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Some years ago, I wrote a column that was an open letter to the just- dis-elected southern California congressman Robert K. “B-1 Bob” Dornan.

Dornan was bitterly complaining that he’d lost the election because there was a Libertarian Party candidate running against him, depriving him of votes — in his peculiar view — that were rightfully his. He pointed to other races that year where LP candidates had won more votes than the margin between the winning Democrat and the losing Republican, and chastised libertarians for failing to recognize and act for the “higher good” of helping Republicans defeat Democrats, as if libertarians were somehow the second-string team in the fight for freedom.

For some reason, Dornan never wrote back to me. I wanted to ask him why it was that he imagined libertarians — many of whom had disgustedly departed Republican circles back in 1968, and others of whom had never been anything but libertarians — should have any interest whatever in seeing any Republicans elected to any office, anywhere.

An election or two later, Michael Medved, neoconservative movie critic, syndicated radio host, and the most egregious dogwhistle this side of Cal Thomas began calling those who choose to live by the Zero Aggression Principle “Losertarians”, whimpering, like Dornan before him, that individuals of that persuasion are essentially vandals who, without genuine reason or purpose, damage Republican electoral hopes by drawing off votes that would otherwise go to GOP candidates.

I trust by now that everyone knows what a dogwhistle is. I started to write an open letter to Medved, too, but selfishly allowed myself to get distracted by the frivolous desire to earn a living and feed my family.

We’ve heard it all before, anyway. I remember one election in which Patrick J. Buchanan, former Nixon speechwriter and mortal enemy of free trade, open immigration, and a woman’s right to sovereignty over her own body, smugly advised libertarians to back his independent presidential campaign because it was “the only train in the station headed in their direction”. Clearly Buchanan failed to understand what direction libertarians are actually headed in, but that’s all right. Buchanan’s presidential hopes (if not his aspirations) are gone with the wind. The Libertarian Party is still here, however battered and bowed.

This year, Medved’s at it again, reportedly calling libertarian electoral efforts “masturbatory”. Mind you, I haven’t heard him say it myself. I used to keep four or five radios running all over the house, every weekday, so I could hear three or four conservative talk shows in a row (none of them Medved’s), as my morning took me from room to room. I haven’t listened to them since September 11, 2001, when they switched from talking about individual liberty (they were always good at talking about individual liberty) and resistance to socialism, to spewing propaganda in support of the Bush Administration’s naked fascism.

Blubberers like Medved and Dornan, however — and their general ilk — need to get something straight, for once and all: throughout its long, dismal history, the Republican Party has, time after time, promised to support individual liberty, and promptly betrayed it. There wouldn’t be a Libertarian Party if that wasn’t true. On that account, if no other, we’re not buddies, friends, allies, or fellow travelers. We’re enemies, as surely as we’re enemies to Democrats. We’ve always been enemies, but it was on an almost friendly basis until …

Until when, exactly?

For me, it may have been until then-Senator Robert Dole, with no discernible motivation except his longstanding and utterly Nixonian loathing of freedom, helped the Clinton Administration ram the Brady Bill through, and with it (just as it was becoming clear that armed individuals were reducing crime by double digits) an unconstitutional prohibition on efficient personal weaponry and magazines of adequate capacity.

Or it might have been until “revolutionary” Republicans tucked their tails between their legs and slunk away, instead of seeking truth and justice in the matters of Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Oklahoma City.

Or it may have been until the same “revolutionaries” failed, like the Eisenhower and Reagan Administrations before them, to stamp out every remnant of the New Deal and run government on a constitutional basis.

Or it might have been … to hell with that. The Republican Party was born for no other purpose than to oppress Americans. It has done nothing but that since the War between the States. The GOP is the party of conscription, the income tax, the loyalty oath, fiat money inflation, political censorship, and the midnight knock on the door. The only reason they got away with it is that Democrats were so much worse.

That’s all over now. Doing exactly opposite of what’s really needed to ensure “homeland security”, Republicans have turned this country’s airports into rape zones where, if you protest at what they do to you, you’re guaranteed a thorough anal probing as punishment for exercising your First Amendment rights. In the past year, Republicans have trampled the Bill of Rights at home until it’s unrecognizable, while bombing, shooting, and otherwise terrorizing helpless peasants all over the planet in a bald attempt to corner the world supply of petroleum.

As hard as it may once have been to conceive, from the standpoint of individual liberty, Republicans are vastly worse than Democrats. George Junior has managed to make Bill Clinton look like a statesman. The only strategy libertarians ought to follow — the only one that works for us, apparently — is to prevent the election of as many of these goose-stepping imbeciles as possible. If it were up to me, I’d dedicate all of the Libertarian Party’s resources to that and nothing else.

The truly silly thing is that all the Republicans have to do to eliminate the terrible threat that we libertarians represent is to be better than we are on the issues that count. Put a stop to the current War on Everything. Call the troops home for good. End the evil War on Drugs. Outlaw “civil forfeiture”. Repeal 25,000 gun laws. Seriously reconsider taxation — extortion and theft — as a means of funding government.

The ball is in their court and always has been.

Why should anyone vote for candidates from a political party that not only failed to protect this nation from the attack on the World Trade Center (whose foreign policy, along with that of the Democrats, made the attack inevitable, and whose domestic policies made it easy) but cynically use it as an excuse to obliterate every remaining trace of the Founding Fathers’ America? Something that we all need to get straight is that it doesn’t advance the cause of liberty to elect Republicans, it hasn’t for a long time, and it probably never really did.

So I would ask Medved and his fellow freedom frauds, given the choice between those who stand up publicly for what’s right by voting libertarian — in a venue where, in terms of swaying the public, one vote for a third party candidate is easily worth 100 votes for anybody — and those who vote for Republicans in the demonstrably false hope of achieving freedom in our lifetimes, who’s really masturbating, here?

And have you stopped shaving your palms?


Reprinted from The Libertarian Enterprise for November 18, 2002

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