Libertarians: The Party of Surrender

by | Sep 8, 2004

Q: Dr. Hurd, I understand you dislike both the Democrats and the Republicans. Why not vote Libertarian for President? They favor strongly limited government, like you do. A: The Libertarian Party is worse than either the Republican or Democratic parties–and that’s saying something. The Libertarian Party is the party of unapologetic pacifism. They make John […]

Q: Dr. Hurd, I understand you dislike both the Democrats and the Republicans. Why not vote Libertarian for President? They favor strongly limited government, like you do.

A: The Libertarian Party is worse than either the Republican or Democratic parties–and that’s saying something.

The Libertarian Party is the party of unapologetic pacifism. They make John Kerry blush. Their 2004 presidential candidate proposes, for example, that all U.S. troops everywhere be sent home immediately. Why? Because, apparently, all government is bad. Anything the government does to intervene in the rest of the world–even if those interventions are to protect the United States at home–is bad.

Even worse, statements on the official Libertarian Party website imply that the United States is to blame for terrorism: For example: “How long can politicians pretend to be surprised when terrorist threats turn into bloody reality? How many more innocent Americans have to lose their lives before U.S. policy makers come to their senses and stop interfering in other nations’ affairs?”

The implication of this statement is clear. If the United States did not have a military presence in the Middle East, and elsewhere, terrorists would leave us alone. America is to blame, not the terrorists.

This is as profound an evasion as I could ever imagine. It is the single worst example of blaming the victim that I have ever encountered in this age of blaming the victim (i.e., the United States). It completely ignores the fact that Muslim terrorists attack us because they hate us. They hate our separation of church and state; they hate our political freedoms; they hate our essentially secular society; and they hate our economic liberties, such as they are. They don’t merely want us out of Iraq. They don’t merely want us out of Israel. They want us off the face of the earth. This is not solely my interpretation. This is what they say; this is what all of their actions, time and again, imply; and this is what they are seeking to accomplish, bit by bit.

Aside from this massive evasion, the Libertarian position also ignores the more immediate concern that if we got out of the Middle East tomorrow, oil production would come to an instantaneous halt. The lands that provide the engine of our civilization–the very fuel we all take for granted to warm our homes, run our cars, power our cities, fly our airplanes–would be completely taken over by rabid religious fundamentalists. “So what?” imply the Libertarians. Big government–all big government–is bad, and that’s all that matters. Get all the troops out, and now.

I don’t care what other points the Libertarian Party might make on the subject of taxes or limited government with which I might agree, in an out-of-context fashion. Evasions and errors of the magnitude just described come from a place I do not want to enter or go near. This viewpoint is unforgivable and inexcusable. Total surrender of the Middle East and our objective national interests to the likes of Osama bin Laden and the mullahs in Iran–not to mention other terrorist dictators throughout the world–wipes out any value from reducing the role of government in the economy. How can a capitalistic America flourish under the threat of a nuclear cloud, biological warfare or worse? If you think America is in danger with a troop presence in the Middle East and elsewhere, just imagine if we gave up the fight altogether.

I sometimes accuse liberal Democrats of being sympathetic to our enemies, and I stand by that accusation. However, the foreign policy advocated by the Libertarian Party is the worst thing I have ever seen. We even have a better chance under John Kerry than under this kind of mentality. The Democrats would weaken us more than we already have been weakened. The Libertarian foreign policy would destroy us.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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