When the Democratic primary
process began, the Democrats realized they needed to repackage their recycled
big government, tax and spend policies that have changed little from the
reign of Franklin Roosevelt.
And now all voters hear about
is change. Clinton’s going to change the country by abandoning trickle
down economics in favor of tickle down economics (guaranteed to make you
laugh when you hear the specific proposals).
Perot’s big change will be
spying on the Republicans instead of having the Republican spy on him.
And of course George Bush
is going to make the biggest change of all. Practically running against
himself, Bush claims the best thing about his second term is that it would
be nothing like his first term.
While the three “major”
candidates debate among each other over who deserves the privilege of
running the country’s economy into the ground, the media and voters completely
ignore the only credible candidate who could bring about real change–Andre
Marrou, the candidate of the Libertarian Party.
If anyone still wants to claim
there’s a media conspiracy to perpetuate the two-party system, Marrou’s
candidacy might be offered as the smoking gun.
Marrou is on all fifty state
ballots, and unlike Perot he didn’t have millions of dollars to bankroll
a “volunteer” organization.
The Libertarian Party is the
third largest political party in the United States, and while it has never
been competitive on a national level, occasionally it scores victories
on a local level. Alaskan voters elected Marrou to their state’s legislaturebefore
he ran for President.
Now if Nicaragua had a presidential
election where a candidate from the third largest party was shut out of
the system despite being on the ballot everywhere, it would be decried
as undemocratic. In the United States, it’s simply business as usual.
For example, though the Libertarian
Party is larger than Perot’s United We Stand organization, no one thought
to ask Marrou to any of the debates, and few commentators pondered what
his absence meant. In other years, the argument that Marrou could not
be elected might have sufficed, but since Perot shows little chance of
winning even a single state his presence seems mystifying.
The reason you probably haven’t
heard about Marrou is that his ideas are so far out of what the media
considers “mainstream” that it has difficulty even reporting
In a nutshell, libertarians
believe in minimal government. Marrou wants the U.S. government to maintain
a basic level of defense to ward off threats, but otherwise he’d gut most
government programs. He’d abolish the income tax, legalize drugs, and
get rid of government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and
the Environmental Protection Agency.
Many commentators find these
ideas “kooky,” and William Safire, writing for the New York
Times, argued that if people wanted to register a protest vote they should
vote for Marrou and not Perot because the Libertarians aren’t really serious
about their strange ideas.
It is the major parties, however,
whose ideas are kooky. The beauty of libertarianism is that it points
to the logical inconsistencies of both contemporary liberalism and conservatism.
Contemporary liberals argue
for almost no restrictions on private behavior (they favor homosexual
rights and abortion for example), but they want to impose a whole series
of rigid restrictions on businesses and the economy. Liberals don’t mind
if you have an abortion as long as they can tax you for it.
Conservatives take the opposite
tact. They argue for as little government intervention in the economy
as possible, but consistently support massive intervention into the private
lives of citizens (usually by opposing things like abortion, homosexual
rights, and pornography). Conservatives will pass laws about whom you
can sleep with, but you won’t have to pay any tax on the condom.
Libertarians are the only
consistent group of the lot. They believe that government should stay
out of the economy and the private lives of individuals. As one of their
slogans argues, libertarians believe in “free minds AND free markets.”
These views derive from the
Libertarian belief that human freedom and liberty are the greatest assets
a people can have. Currently the U.S. government unnecessarily restricts
both economic and intellectual freedom.
If you really want change,
go into the voting booth tomorrow and vote Libertarian.