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AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL LIBERTARIANS | 10-24-2004 | Dr. John Hospers

Posted on 10/24/2004 10:37:30 AM PDT by Y2Krap


From Elder Statesman John Hospers * * *


Dear Libertarian:

As a way of getting acquainted, let me just say that I was the first presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party back in l972, and was the author of the first full-length book, Libertarianism, describing libertarianism in detail. I also wrote the Libertarian Party’s Statement of Principles at the first libertarian national convention in 1972. I still believe in those principles as strongly as ever, but this year -- more than any year since the establishment of the Libertarian Party -- I have major concerns about the choices open to us as voting Americans.

There is a belief that’s common among many libertarians that there is no essential difference between the Democrat and Republican Parties -- between a John Kerry and a George W. Bush administration; or worse: that a Bush administration would be more undesirable. Such a notion could not be farther from the truth, or potentially more harmful to the cause of liberty.

The election of John Kerry would be, far more than is commonly realized, a catastrophe. Regardless of what he may say in current campaign speeches, his record is unmistakable: he belongs to the International Totalitarian Left in company with the Hillary and Bill Clintons, the Kofi Annans, the Ted Kennedys, and the Jesse Jacksons of the world. The Democratic Party itself has been undergoing a transformation in recent years; moderate, pro-American, and strong defense Senators such as Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman and Scoop Jackson are a dying breed. Observe how many members of the Democrat Party belong to the Progressive Caucus, indistinguishable from the Democratic Socialists of America. That caucus is the heart and soul of the contemporary Democratic Party.

Today’s Democrats have been out of majority power for so long that they are hungry for power at any price and will do anything to achieve it, including undermining the President and our troops in time of war; for them any victory for Americans in the war against terrorism is construed as a defeat for them.

The Democratic Party today is a haven for anti-Semites, racists, radical environmentalists, plundering trial lawyers, government employee unions, and numerous other self-serving elites who despise the Constitution and loath private property. It is opposed to free speech – witness the mania for political correctness and intimidation on college campuses, and Kerry’s threat to sue television stations that carry the Swift Boat ads. If given the power to do so, Democrats will use any possible means to suppress opposing viewpoints, particularly on talk radio and in the university system. They will attempt to enact “hate speech” and “hate crime” laws and re-institute the Fairness Doctrine, initiate lawsuits, and create new regulations designed to suppress freedom of speech and intimidate their political adversaries. They will call it “defending human rights.” This sort of activity may well make up the core of a Kerry administration Justice Department that will have no truck with the rule of law except as a weapon to use against opponents.

There are already numerous stories of brownshirt types committing violence against Republican campaign headquarters all over the country, and Democrat thugs harassing Republican voters at the polls. Yet not a word about it from the Kerry campaign. Expect this dangerous trend to increase dramatically with a Kerry win, ignored and tacitly accepted by the liberal-left mainstream media. This is ominous sign of worse things to come.

Kerry, who changes direction with the wind, has tried to convince us that he now disavows the anti-military sentiments that he proclaimed repeatedly in the l970s. But in fact he will weaken our military establishment and devastate American security by placing more value on the United Nations than on the United States: for example he favors the Kyoto Treaty and the International Criminal Court, and opposed the withdrawal of the U.S. from the ABM Treaty. He has been quoted as saying that it is honorable for those in the U.S. military to die under the flag of the U.N. but not that of the U.S. Presumably he and a small cadre of bureaucrats should rule the world, via the U.N. or some other world body which will make all decisions for the whole world concerning private property, the use of our military, gun ownership, taxation, and environmental policy (to name a few). In his thirty-year career he has demonstrated utter contempt for America, national security, constitutional republicanism, democracy, private property, and free markets.

His wife’s foundations have funneled millions of dollars into far-left organizations that are virulently hostile to America and libertarian principles. Not only would these foundations continue to lack transparency to the American people, they would be given enormous vigor in a Kerry administration.

Already plans are afoot by the Kerry campaign to steal the coming election via a legal coup, e.g. to claim victory on election night no matter what the vote differential is, and initiate lawsuits anywhere and everywhere they feel it works to their advantage, thus making a mockery of our election process, throwing the entire process into chaos -- possibly for months -- and significantly weakening our ability to conduct foreign policy and protect ourselves domestically. Let me repeat: we are facing the very real possibility of a political coup occurring in America. Al Gore very nearly got away with one in 2000. Do not underestimate what Kerry and his ilk are going to attempt to do to America.

George Bush has been criticized for many things – and in many cases with justification: on campaign finance reform (a suppression of the First Amendment), on vast new domestic spending, on education, and on failing to protect the borders. No self-respecting libertarian or conservative would fail to be deeply appalled by these. His great virtue, however, is that he has stood up -- knowingly at grave risk to his political viability -- to terrorism when his predecessors, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton did not. On many occasions during their administrations terrorists attacked American lives and property. Clinton did nothing, or engaged in a feckless retaliation such as bombing an aspirin factory in the Sudan (based on faulty intelligence, to boot). Then shortly after Bush became president he was hit with “the big one:” 9/11. It was clear to him that terrorism was more than a series of criminal acts: it was a war declared upon U.S. and indeed to the entire civilized world long before his administration. He decided that action had to be taken to protect us against future 9/11s involving weapons of mass destruction, including “suitcase” nuclear devices.

Indeed, today it is Islamic fundamentalism that increasingly threatens the world just as Nazis fascism and Soviet communism did in previous decades. The Islamo-fascists would be happy to eliminate all non-Muslims without a tinge of regret. Many Americans still indulge in wishful thinking on this issue, viewing militant Islam as a kind of nuisance, which can be handled without great inconvenience in much the same way as one swats flies, rather than as hordes of genocidal religious fanatics dedicated to our destruction.

The president has been berated for taking even minimal steps to deal with the dangers of this war (the allegations made against the Patriot Act seem to me based more on hysteria and political opportunism than on reality). But Bush, like Churchill, has stood steadfast in the face of it, and in spite of the most virulent hate and disinformation campaign that any American president has had to endure. Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for terrorists. Saddam’s regime is no longer a major player in the worldwide terror network. Libya has relinquished their weapons of terror. The Pakistani black market in weapons of mass destruction has been eliminated. Arafat is rotting in Ramallah. Terrorist cells all over the world have been disrupted, and thousands of terrorists killed. The result: Americans are orders of magnitude safer.

National defense is always expensive, and Bush has been widely excoriated for these expenditures. But as Ayn Rand memorably said at a party I attended in l962, in response to complaints that “taxes are too high” (then 20%), “Pay 80% if you need it for defense.” It is not the amount but the purpose served that decides what is “too much.” And the purpose here is the continuation of civilized life on earth in the face of vastly increased threats to its existence.

Bush cut income tax rates for the first time in fifteen years. These cuts got us moving out of the recession he inherited, and we are all economically much better off because of them. 1.9 million new jobs have been added to the economy since August 2003. Bush has other projects in the wind for which libertarians have not given him credit. For example:

(l) A total revision of our tax code. We will have a debate concerning whether this is best done via a flat tax or a sales tax. If such a change were to occur, it would be a gigantic step in the direction of liberty and prosperity. No such change will occur with Kerry.

(2) A market-based reform of Social Security. This reform, alone, could bring future budget expenditures down so significantly that it would make his current expenditures seem like pocket change. Kerry has already repudiated any such change in social security laws.

The American electorate is not yet psychologically prepared for a completely libertarian society. A transition to such a society takes time and effort, and involves altering the mind-set of most Americans, who labor under a plethora of economic fallacies and political misconceptions. It will involve a near-total restructuring of the educational system, which today serves the liberal-left education bureaucracy and Democratic Party, not the student or parent. It will require a merciless and continuous expose of the bias in the mainstream media (the Internet, blogs, and talk radio have been extremely successful in this regard over the past few years). And it will require understanding the influence and importance of the Teresa Kerry-like Foundations who work in the shadows to undermine our constitutional system of checks and balances.

Most of all, it will require the American people -- including many libertarians – to realize the overwhelming dangerousness of the American Left – a Fifth Column comprised of the elements mentioned above, dedicated to achieving their goal of a totally internationally dominated America, and a true world-wide Fascism.

Thus far their long-term plans have been quite successful. A Kerry presidency will fully open their pipeline to infusions of taxpayer-funded cash and political pull. At least a continued Bush presidency would help to stem this tide, and along the way it might well succeed in preserving Western civilization against the fanatic Islamo-fascists who have the will, and may shortly have the weapons capability, to bring it to an end.

When the stakes are not high it is sometimes acceptable, even desirable, to vote for a ‘minor party’ candidate who cannot possibly win, just to “get the word out” and to promote the ideals for which that candidate stands. But when the stakes are high, as they are in this election, it becomes imperative that one should choose, not the candidate one considers philosophically ideal, but the best one available who has the most favorable chance of winning. The forthcoming election will determine whether it is the Republicans or the Democrats that win the presidency. That is an undeniable reality. If the election is as close as it was in 2000, libertarian voters may make the difference as to who wins in various critical “Battle Ground” states and therefore the presidency itself. That is the situation in which we find ourselves in 2004. And that is why I believe voting for George W. Bush is the most libertarian thing we can do.

We stand today at an important electoral crossroads for the future of liberty, and as libertarians our first priority is to promote liberty and free markets, which is not necessarily the same as to promote the Libertarian Party. This time, if we vote libertarian, we may win a tiny rhetorical battle, but lose the larger war.

John Hospers

Los Angeles, CA

TOPICS: Announcements; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bush; election; endorsement; florida; fourmoreyears; gwb2004; hospers; johnhospers; kerry; libertarians; ohio
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To: Axenolith

The guy you replied to wrote down the wrong email addy. Look at post 28 and he has it written down right.

101 posted on 10/24/2004 1:13:46 PM PDT by bahblahbah
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To: bahblahbah
Where did you get this letter? I've already started posting it elsewhere and I don't want it to end up being phony. * * * * * * * * * PUBLISHED HERE FIRST TODAY via JOHN HOSPERS. Rest assured, it is authentic.

You can contact him:

102 posted on 10/24/2004 1:21:27 PM PDT by Y2Krap (JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT (Cue Music: "Uppa U.S."))
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To: bahblahbah

Got it.

103 posted on 10/24/2004 1:22:27 PM PDT by Axenolith (This space for rent.)
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To: Y2Krap
"New" voters for UA...

The Amish

The 4 million evangelicals that stayed home last time?

and now the Libertarians!

Is it possible America is waking up to just how crucial this election is? Pray hard. And Pray for "The Man'

He has the biggest bullseye of anyone in the world on him - he knows it - and yet, think of the bravery it takes to go out there day after day - state after state - rally after rally!

Right now he's all that stands between us/US and's as simple as that

The dark side is desparate - they will stop at nothing to rule = they know this is their last shot...for decades...certainly for any of them.

104 posted on 10/24/2004 1:25:14 PM PDT by maine-iac7
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To: My2Cents
I feel vindicated.

Me too.

105 posted on 10/24/2004 1:25:45 PM PDT by eddie willers
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To: Y2Krap
"There are already numerous stories of brownshirt types committing violence against Republican campaign headquarters all over the country, and Democrat thugs harassing Republican voters at the polls. Yet not a word about it from the Kerry campaign. Expect this dangerous trend to increase dramatically with a Kerry win, ignored and tacitly accepted by the liberal-left mainstream media. This is ominous sign of worse things to come."


106 posted on 10/24/2004 1:27:04 PM PDT by Skooz (Any nation that would elect John Kerry as it's president has forfeited it's right to exist.)
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To: unspun
FReepers: get this out to your libertarian friends.*****

to ALL your friends - it's equally powerful to let others know that if the Libertarians have come this far - it REALLY is crucial WE ALL VOTE *****

His letter should be "required reading" before anyone can vote - LOL

107 posted on 10/24/2004 1:28:52 PM PDT by maine-iac7
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To: Uncle Vlad
we are in a Cold Civil War with the Democrat party**************

Wow! in a nutshell!

108 posted on 10/24/2004 1:31:17 PM PDT by maine-iac7
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To: maine-iac7
I think you're on to something. We're praying not only that the 4 million evangelicals will get out to vote this time, but that another million will feel "moved" by the Spirit to do their civic duty.

And add to these factors you've identified, a doubling of Bush's support among blacks (tripling among evangelical blacks), an improvement in Bush's support among women and hispanics, and I don't think this election is going to be as close as the polls indicate. There are going to be a lot of jaw-dropped pundits on election night.

109 posted on 10/24/2004 1:32:16 PM PDT by My2Cents (
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To: Uncle Vlad
I hope that with the new election cycle which starts immediately on Nov. 3rd, the GOP becomes more responsibly libertarian.
110 posted on 10/24/2004 1:34:37 PM PDT by My2Cents (
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To: tenuredprof
Plenty of us libertarians are supporting Bush. As far as I know, most or all of the prominent Randians are on board as well. In other words, all of us who have a grain of common sense -- and John Hospers has enough common sense to sustain an entire university philosophy department singlehandedly -- are supporting W this year. There will be time enough for libertarians to argue with conservatives about drug legalization, etc. AFTER we have first rescued civilization from the evils threatening it from without (Islamofascism) and within (the modern Democratic Party and its media wing). Even we fanatics have priorities.*********

great post

111 posted on 10/24/2004 1:46:43 PM PDT by maine-iac7
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To: Virginia-American
I too, have been an LP activist in the past, and I'll be voting for Dubya.

I'd be interested to learn how the number of registered Libertarians has changed since 9/11/01.

112 posted on 10/24/2004 1:47:18 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh/Loves John Kerry so vote him in!)
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To: Cultural Jihad

Jefferson passed on years ago too, shortly after he wrote the essential principle of libertarianism:

"No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another."
113 posted on 10/24/2004 1:49:33 PM PDT by tpaine (No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another. - T. Jefferson)
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To: My2Cents
and I don't think this election is going to be as close as the polls indicate. There are going to be a lot of jaw-dropped pundits on election night*********

So Let it be said, So let it be done...,/\

114 posted on 10/24/2004 1:50:43 PM PDT by maine-iac7
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To: Copernicus
"I endorse and will cast my vote for Mr. Badnarik"

Mr. Badnarik position (and therefore I assume the LP's position) on corporations, is the fundamental premise of a corporation, that it is viewed by the law as an individual, and stockholders are exempted from liability of the corporation's actions, should be ended.

This is immensely idotic. Note, this is not about holding CEOs or boards of director's liable, this is about holding stockholders liable. He suggests a new industry, stockholder portfolio liability insurance, could be created to address the problem.

This, in one fell swoop, would crater the stock markets.

The end of LLCs would destroy many small businesses.

It would create a new kind of lawsuit: The reverse class action, where, instead of a class suing an individual, and individual could sue a class.

Could you imagine the poor rank and file Enron employees with their worthless stock in their 401k's being sued? In Badnarik's world, as Enron was bankrupt, those suing Enron could go after the homes and savings of the former employees.

This seems completely counter to the concept of the Libertarian Party, which in Badnarik view, must be about the liberty to sue.

Here are Badnarik's own words:

"Stockholders are owners, and should be liable for the consequences of that ownership like any other owners. I have no doubt that the market will come up with "portfolio insurance" to protect the stockholders from ruinous claims, but that in itself will provide a market check on unrestrained, unaccountable growth -- companies which act irresponsibly will find that their stockholders can't buy, or have to pay unreasonably high, insurance premiums, and therefore aren't interested in having the stock."

Of course, in Badnarik's world, I wonder who insures the stockholders of the portfolio insurance companies?

115 posted on 10/24/2004 1:53:34 PM PDT by magellan
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To: Y2Krap

As a Libertarian who is currently registered as a Republican and voting for Bush, I say...

...Thank God we can count on that extra .01 percent of the vote!


116 posted on 10/24/2004 1:53:58 PM PDT by freestyle
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To: tpaine
That's a great saying. Too bad that some self-avowed anarcho-Libertarians claim that casting a vote is participating in violence.
117 posted on 10/24/2004 1:54:52 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: Y2Krap

Listen I was just challenged for this letter when I posted it. Should have read all the comments first. Lot's have asked for the source. Are you going to fess up or not? We want and need the source!

118 posted on 10/24/2004 2:00:17 PM PDT by bjctwicearound (twicearound)
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To: FredZarguna
Frankly, I had no problem taking the LP pledge that "One must never initiate the aggressive use of force," but it appears that too many L(l)ibertarians have forgotten that when Ayn Rand laid down that law, it had two parts to it, the second of which is, "and when aggressive force is used against one, he must never fail to respond."

Ayn Rand on the use of force:

"Dictatorship nations are outlaws. Any free nation had the right to invade Nazi Germany and, today, has the right to invade Soviet Russia, Cuba or any other slave pen. Whether a free nation chooses to do so or not is a matter of its own self-interest, not of respect for the non-existent "rights" of gang rulers. It is not a free nation's duty to liberate other nations at the price of self-sacrifice, but a free nation has the right to do it, when and if it so chooses."

"A slave nation has no national rights, but the individual rights of its citizens remain valid, even if unrecognized, and the conqueror has no right to violate them. Therefore, the invasion of an enslaved country is morally justified only when and if the conquerors establish a free social system, that is, a system based on the recognition of individual rights."

'Collectivized "Rights"', June 1963, The Virtue of Selfishness.

119 posted on 10/24/2004 2:00:43 PM PDT by Skylab
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To: Virginia-American
>>I think he'd be a great Canadian Prime Minister.

Ah, there we differ. I think Canada would make a great batch of US territories.

120 posted on 10/24/2004 2:05:33 PM PDT by Graymatter (Reload Bush/Cheney 2004)
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