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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: HalleysFifth; Protagoras

What he's trying to say is that the FReeper who posted the original Hubbard comment is known to FReepers as either a stealth leftist or merely an internet character. Performance art if you will. I've been thinking the latter these days.

201 posted on 10/25/2004 12:16:54 PM PDT by jmc813 (J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS)
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To: Virginia-American
..K*rr* scares me. I think he'd be a great Canadian Prime Minister.

As loony left as Canada too often is I wouldn't wish Lurch on them.

202 posted on 10/25/2004 12:20:26 PM PDT by mafree
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To: jmc813

Thank you jmc813.

203 posted on 10/25/2004 12:20:30 PM PDT by HalleysFifth
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To: Cultural Jihad

Jihad = Radical Islamic Holy war
Culture = American culture
It's as simple as your agenda, hate of all things concerning freedom.
Your war is as old as the time you have been allowed to squat on this site of real Americans.

204 posted on 10/25/2004 12:27:47 PM PDT by Protagoras (When your circus has a big tent, you can fit a lot of clowns inside)
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To: Y2Krap

oh but those Libertarians are our enemy right?


They just stand on principle sometimes when our leaders don't.

205 posted on 10/25/2004 1:32:06 PM PDT by Capitalism2003 (America is too great for small dreams. - Ronald Reagan, speech to Congress. January 1, 1984.)
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To: Prime Choice

The LP today is NOT the party that Hospers established. I wouldn't give you two nickles for it today.

Staying home and minding our own business won't stop terrorist attacks.

206 posted on 10/25/2004 3:12:56 PM PDT by CobaltBlue
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To: Y2Krap

I might be late to the party here, but, this is where I found it posted.

207 posted on 10/25/2004 3:29:35 PM PDT by T.Smith
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To: kevkrom
Thanks for the reply, kevkrom. I didn't know that. Would other hardline Libertarians agree that's the way things are today? It's really difficult to understand. Don't Libertarians value their life more than the life of someone who is trying to kill them? Don't they value the life of their children more than they do the life of a bully who is trying to kill them? Even our laws reflect the value of that priority of who should live and who shouldn't in such a circumstance. I don't know too many people who would want to live in a bully-ruled world.

I think pacifism can be equated with appeasement, especially in the terrorist environment we live in today. In such a world, common sense should prevail. I can't feature any non-islamic who would stand by idly and not stop a be-heading if they were armed and had the opportunity.

208 posted on 10/25/2004 4:33:47 PM PDT by Eastbound ("Neither a Scrooge nor a Patsy Be")
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To: Eastbound
You would hope so. But then some self-avowed Libertarians (enamored with their sour grapes) claim that casting a vote is the same as "participating in state-sponsored violence."
209 posted on 10/25/2004 4:40:29 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: Y2Krap

awesome endorsement.

210 posted on 10/25/2004 8:13:00 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: George Smiley
You asked how this could be authenticated. It is now being published on many web sites. To authenticate it through Dr. Hospers, write him at

211 posted on 10/26/2004 1:22:33 AM PDT by rebecca505
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To: bahblahbah
You wrote: "I've already started posting it elsewhere and I don't want it to end up being phony."

You won't be phony. Dr. Hospers sent it to some of his friends (of whom I am one), and we began sending it to web sites, blogs, individuals, etc. It is now posted in many places. But as I said, if you want to authenticate it through Dr. Hospers, you can reach him at:

212 posted on 10/26/2004 1:29:51 AM PDT by rebecca505
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To: OCMike
You wrote: "Why isn't it on his or the Libertarian websites??"

Because John Hospers doesn't have a web site, and because the letter just went out a few hours ago. But you can find the letter, since I last checked a couple of hours ago, on and on -- with many more to come. The owners of both sites are libertarians.

213 posted on 10/26/2004 1:45:06 AM PDT by rebecca505
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To: rebecca505
Because John Hospers doesn't have a web site, and because the letter just went out a few hours ago. But you can find the letter, since I last checked a couple of hours ago, on and on -- with many more to come. The owners of both sites are libertarians.
The letter is probably just being reposted b/c they saw it here. I also wouldn't trust the email address mentioned in this thread either. Hospers is a Senior Editor at Liberty magazine and a Professor at the University of Southern California. I would trust a contact from there more.
214 posted on 10/27/2004 6:38:57 AM PDT by stry_cat
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To: stry_cat
I totally agree. The fact that this is being passed around and posted without even the AOL address is extremely fishy. Anyone could have written this...
215 posted on 10/28/2004 12:52:55 AM PDT by crunchymama
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To: crunchymama

Shirley you jest.

216 posted on 10/28/2004 9:04:16 PM PDT by Y2Krap (JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT (Cue Music: "Uppa U.S."))
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To: Y2Krap
John Hospers has understated the problems with John Kerry and with the Democratic Party, but has glossed over the problems with Bush and the Republican Party, has mischaracterized the nature of a non-Bipartisan vote, and has jumped to an unwarranted conclusion on that account.

There was a time when I was cowed into voting for Bipartisans on short-term political considerations, and after that a time when I voted for them where there was no better alternative. But I stopped voting for Bipartisans altogether when the US Senate refused to conduct a genuine trial of Bill Clinton for his mafioso-like acts. Not one Senator demanded a genuine trial, so far as I know, and not one bothered to examine the evidence. Especially given that the Clinton administration was by far the most corrupt administration in US history, I cannot forgive this breach of fiduciary duty by both major parties, and am unlikely ever to make an exception, for any candidate. Living in MA, where Republicans raise taxes and spending, then lie about it, where they are just as enthusiastic as Democrats in dividing taxed spoils, and where a vote for Bush would be wasted even if I were tempted to cast one, I have the luxury of not worrying about whether I bear any responsibility for the short-term results of a single election.

John Kerry is a partially-self-confessed war criminal with a record of falsifying reports, including some responsible for at least some of his medals and some that would have exposed him to review if not censure or court-martial; failing to address concerns with his superiors while claiming to do so; and misrepresenting his own acts of murderousness and malice as those of the military in general. He is known for his do-you-know-who-I-am attempts to secure advantage over others and for his abuse of both living and dead naval comrades for political advantage. His answer, regarding the women in his family, to a question at the third Bush-Kerry pseudo-debate bickerfest gave the impression, consistent with the above, that his love for his wife stretches at least as wide as her pocketbook.

In addition to the Clinton whitewash, the Democratic Party has repeatedly engaged in anti-civic behavior, and its two recent Presidents, in treason (Carter in asking the Soviets to help him get re-elected, Clinton in transferring ballistic-missile technology to Communist China in exchange for campaign cash). In encouraging fraudulent voter registration, in suppressing the appointment of qualified judges, and, in Massachusetts, refusing to perform their Constitutional duty to vote on voter-initiated amendments, the Democrats have abandoned all pretense of respect for democracy.

Bush, only slightly more intelligent than Kerry, at least, in stark contrast, appears to be a decent individual. But the errors that Hospers glosses over are not merely tactical ones, and when things such as the pretense of airport security involved in disarming passengers of even pins; the treatment of the intransigent, war-bent, biggest-mass-murdering leaders of China as if friendship were possible; and the admission of intelligence failures in Iraq before it can have been learned conclusively in what the failures, if any, lay, are added, the picture that emerges is one not merely of prodigal extravagance, but of pretense, or, more likely, delusion. In areas as diverse as campaign finance reform and failing to control the borders, Bush seems to be attempting to collapse the death of the Roman Republic and the fall of its successor Empire into a single administration.

Republicans, while not stooping anywhere as low as the Democrats, are nevertheless a party of ever-bigger government, enthusiastically supporting the thoroughly mindless and extremely evil Drug Hunts, pork-barrel spending, anti-sovereignty-and-pseudo-free-trade NAFTA, and on and on ad nihilum.

An anti-Bipartisan vote isn't merely the making of a short-term statement, and cannot be regarded as advertising in the corrupted news environment where election results are distorted. But such a vote does constitute the withholding of consent from the destroyers of this country; at least gives those who actively work to build an anti-tyranny movement data to make that work more effective; and helps restore the multiparty system, effectively destroyed during the 20th century, that renders democracy more fluid, thus helping to make good change possible in the long run.

The election of Kerry would not put the Democrats in power, without control of Congress. Thus, not only would a vote for Bush be less useful than Hospers states, but a non-Bipartisan vote, being relatively more useful and meaningful than stated, is at least worth weighing.

I intend to hold my nose and vote for the appeasenik apologist and pseudo-constitutionalist Badnarek, rather than casting a blank. I urge others to at least consider doing the same.

T. David Hudson

217 posted on 11/01/2004 5:49:34 AM PST by severnaya
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To: Y2Krap

What are the disagreements that Conservatives seem to have against some Libertarian philosophies?

218 posted on 12/12/2009 9:26:53 PM PST by Amerikan_Samurai
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