Libertarian Party Debate

At the risk of offending someone in the Libertarian Party, I must start with a disclaimer:

I began watching their debate this past weekend (a week late) with the hopes that I would see a REAL debate on issues of the role of Government, and personal Responsibility.

What I got was a cross between a Star-Trek convention and an anti-war rally.

The main problem I had with the debate (on May 24th) between the Libertarian candidates, was that it was not a debate.  They basically fell all over each other trying to be more “Libertarian” than the other.  Noone disagreed on anything; noone challenged anything.  The first hint should have been Mike Gravel being on stage; who by almost EVERY STANDARD is the OPPOSITE of Libertarian:  A progressive to the core, his mere presence confused me.

I was going to wax philosophical about my feelings even more, but Stuart Rothenberg beat me to the punch:

You’d think that, at the very least, Libertarians would look coldbloodedly at their own status and avoid the usual delusional propaganda that we all are force-fed by Democrats and Republicans. After all, they are a mere asterisk on the American political landscape, and some of the convention participants were funny and self-deprecating. But no, even the Libertarians are glued to the ridiculous rhetoric that they are “in this to win.”

I’ll take it a step further and say that they should recognize their comments as even more jingoistic and rhetorical than any Republican or Democratic debate I’ve ever seen.  I can at least congratulate them on nominating Bob Barr, who, although not inspiring, compared to some on the stage, could be considered downright Charismatic, and then contrast that with the Vice-Presidential Candidate, Wayne Allyn Root, who I was thoroughly convinced was going to start selling me Oxy-Clean…at any moment.

The depressing thing is I agree with a good chunk of their rhetoric.  I could take it all…the “military-industrial-complex,” the “get Government out of your wallet,”  and even the anti-”war on drugs” tripe.  But I would have to agree with Huckabee’s comments recently that described the Libertarian movement as “soulless.”  Less Government is a good thing to stand for…but what’s missing from the picture is what fills that void.  Personal responsibility should be couple with Personal Accountability, or at least some acknowledgment of the REASONS behind an overactive Government.

I especially cringed when someone (the nerdy guy in the middle from Massachussetts) used the tired and exasperating excoriation of State’s Rights by bringing up Jim Crow laws.  So States should never have any say so in how they govern ever again because they once had Jim Crow laws?  What kind of logic is that.

{It reminded me of a video I saw the other day of Noam Chomsky saying that the argument that capitalism has improved the standard of living of virtually every civilization it touches is poppycock…Why?  Because someone made the argument that slaves in the South were treated better than blacks in the cities.  There’s some ironclad logic.}

The Massachusetts candidate was vying for Gay Marriage rights, which is a legitimate Libertarian view (that I vehemently disagree with), but since when does State’s Rights become a COMPLETELY invalid argument for responsible Government.

Most of the rest of it was “Vote Libertarian because the ‘two-party system’ doesn’t work.”

YAAWNN.  Very…very disappointing.  If anyone has the bright idea that the Libertarian Party has the answers, they are sadly mistaken.

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