State of the Union address 2010: Libertarian Rebuttal

I made a choice yesterday. Obama’s idiotic budget made me so frustrated that I think I’m going to step aside from political discussions for a brief time (maybe as short as a week and maybe as long as a few months). But before I do that, I wanted to complete two fast posts: the Libertarian rebuttal to the State of the Union address and my general feelings about the Libertarian party.

As always, I’ve copied excerpts from the address followed by my comments.

State of the Union address, Libertarian rebuttal given by Chairman William Redpath, Chairman of the Libertarian Party

Tonight’s speech was a reminder that, for decades, the policies of Republicans and Democrats alike have failed. Libertarians are asking people to take matters into their own hands. Instead of just complaining, we’re encouraging ordinary Americans to step up and run for Congress on the Libertarian Party ballot line.

I think many people agree that there has been a general failure by the major parties in recent years, and I strongly agree with the idea of “taking matters into their own hands.” I’ve always appreciated the idea that the Libertarian party is an active party. They want you in politics and doing your part. The other parties are more passive, and I’ve heard numerous people state that they’ll never vote because it’s not necessary. Wrong. All votes are essential. If nothing else, you should make your voice heard.

Tonight’s State of the Union address went much as expected. Instead of calling for a more limited role of the federal government in American society, the President laid out plans that would only increase the government’s intervention into the realm of economics, health care, education and foreign policy.

Again, a very strong Libertarian point of view (small, hands-off government), and I agree. I like the idea of the government letting me and mine and you and yours live within the confines of our own dictates where said dictates don’t adversely affect another.

Not to be outmatched by the Democrats, the Republican Party conveyed its lack of seriousness in addressing this nation’s government spending problems by having Bob McDonnell, Virginia Governor for eleven (11) days, deliver its rebuttal to the President. If they were really serious about addressing the dire fiscal circumstances of this nation, they would have had Paul Ryan, a six-term congressman from Wisconsin, who has proposed the most serious plan of anyone in the two older parties to keep us from going off a fiscal cliff.

And to this I respond with a profound, eh. Really? You’re going to attack the selection of speaker for the Republican rebuttal? Lame. He’s a governor. He’s more than qualified to speak on the matter.

As Americans lose hope in Obama, we Libertarians are warning voters against running back to the Republicans who got us into such big messes in the first place. Republicans started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans made the false intellectual case for bailing out banks and car companies. Republicans argued that deficits don’t matter. Republicans gave us the giant Medicare expansion bill.

Now this was interesting, and I think it’s a valid point. The truth of the matter is that a relatively small portion of the United States is actually firmly entrenched as either Democratic or Republican. The majority is the flighty independent (please remember that I am one) who runs back and forth between the two. I’m somewhat reminded of the Biblical “Lo here! Lo there!” when I think about it.

Honestly though, the independent mind, in my opinion, is the back bone of this nation. Or rather, it could be if it would just stand up and make a stand. More often than not, I see this as the true party of No; switching sides over disagreements rather than principles. I think many independents vote against more often than they vote for, and in that case, Redpath’s plea to seek out the Libertarian platform is a welcome invite to stop running in circles and pull up a chair. I finally got around to officially reviewing the Libertarian platform, and that will be the subject of my next post.

The President talked a lot about jobs. Unfortunately, the policies he supports are responsible for most of the unemployment we see today. High taxes, minimum wage laws, hiring regulations, firing regulations, mandatory unemployment benefits, and other government interference make it much more difficult for businesses to hire and keep employees. As expected, the President’s prescription is to increase the dosage of this government poison.

And this I agree with. Earlier he stated something to the effect that a critical problem with our  current government is that it can’t see that other sources have the potential for good and can assist, duplicate, or even do better than the government can. And I agree with that. I don’t want more of the “poison;” I want less. Much less.

While our nation is declining dangerously right now, a turnaround could be straightforward and simple with steps like these: 1. Bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan; 2. Stop rewarding failed companies with bailouts; 3. Cut taxes and spending and let the free market work.

And now the mine field…. The truth is that I think he’s right. I don’t necessarily believe we should return to isolationism nor that we should fully relinquish our international presence, but I grow tired of being the world’s police. Having said that, we should do all we can to assist and help where such assistance is required.

His second point (no more bailouts) garners a strong Hurrah from me.

But his third point…. Yes, I agree with it, but I don’t know that the nation or the world is really prepared for what that means. First, it means a lot more personal responsibility, honesty, and trust, things that are sorely lacking in this world right now. Without that, no amount of change will ever solve anything and a change in this direction would ruin us.

And, I know I’m probably just wasting electrons, but can’t we go back to the days in which the President sent a copy of his speech to Congress and left it at that. The speech last night took 1/7000th of an entire year. I think the vast majority of the American people would agree that we have better ways to spend our time.

And now we disagree, Mr. Redpath. This is where your rebuttal is finally apparent for what it really is: venom. It’s a venomous denunciation offered more in frustration and anger than any sense of true reconciliation or hope.

Personally, I find the opportunity to hear directly from my president and his counterpart a refreshing and enlightening time to actually focus on critical issues. It’s hard sometimes to gauge where and what they are all doing, and this is as good a time as any.

If nothing else, it gave you the chance to publicly offer your political ************. (Sorry, but that really does need asterisks, and it was specifically written for Jeffrey and Nosurfgirl. They’ll know what it is.)

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One Response to State of the Union address 2010: Libertarian Rebuttal

  1. Pingback: Review: Libertarian Rebuttal to the State of the Union Address, Wes Benedict « the prodigal

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