Clive McFarlane writes in the Worcester Telegram:
Now, I am no fan of Glenn Beck and the tea party movement, but it would be a lot less stressful if they tell us straight up who they really are: staunch Libertarians.
Instead of claiming that they want to restore traditional American values, they should just tell us that they want to [..] legalize prostitution, recreational drugs and suicide.
They should just say that they would like to abolish federal drug and seizure laws[..]
Instead of paying lip service to national security, why don’t they just tell us that they would like to abolish compulsory military service and dramatically reduce defense spending; end the U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid; and dramatically reduce defense spending?
Instead of trying to win an election based on the backs of illegal immigrants in Arizona and elsewhere, they should just come clean and acknowledge that immigration, like corporations and other businesses, should operate free of any government restraint.
They should tell us that political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries; and that economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I would love it if Beck, Palin and the Tea Partiers stood for these policies. But we all know they do not. So how does McFarlane come to this conclusion, so stunningly at variance with observed facts?
The problem with that message is that the tea party is being bankrolled by two billionaire Libertarians, brothers Charles and David Koch. Their company, Koch Industries of Wichita, Kan., is a conglomerate, the annual revenues of which are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars, according to a recent New Yorker article by Jane Mayer.
Here, McFarlane fails to distinguish between small-l libertarians and the big-L Libertarian Party. While it is true that David Koch ran for Vice President as a Libertarian in 1980, McFarlane conveniently skips the fact that the “Kochtopus” and its funding left the Libertarian Party in a huff in 1983 (27 years ago, but who’s counting) and are now reportedly the largest donors to the Republican Party.
As many readers note in the comments, McFarlane and other critics fail to the note the role of wealthy people all over the political map, such as George Soros, in funding organizations that advocate for their viewpoints.
The actual Libertarian Party, unlike the fictional one subsidized by billionaires that McFarlane imagines, survives on small donations from individuals and small businesses, many of them struggling economically. The actual Tea Party, although in fact having Libertarian origins (The LP of Illinois gave Rick Santelli the idea for his tea party rant that set off the current wave of protests, and the LP has been doing anti-tax protests for many years before the “Tea Parties”), has in many places turned into a Republican Party front, opposed to even allowing Libertarians and independents on the ballot, and in staunch opposition to the wise policies quoted above which McFarlane ascribes to them.
As one reader notes,
Yes. Libertarians want to end welfare, legalize drugs, and allow prostitution. All which ravage the impoverished neighborhoods of America and contribute to the disproportionate imprisonment rates of minorities for non-violent crimes.
They as well as I would indeed like to see the IRS abolished along with the majority of extra-constitutional tasks the government has assigned to itself.
What you fail to understand is the ultimate goal of libertarian ideals. Libertarians are true progressives who envision a society that is well educated and comprised of individuals that have been empowered to choose their own path in life free of force, theft, or fraud. Only then will it be possible for the size and reliance on government to dwindle away as more and more people become capable of self governance.
If I may ask, what is the end goal of your political philosophy?