Reader Feedback: Do Libertarian Policies Makes America Weak? NO!

Recently I got an email from a reader who wanted me to address some issues he has with libertarian views on foreign and domestic policy. His email is dripping with rhetorical pitfalls and language traps intended to make me look like a tool in even responding in the logical sense, but since this also happens to be someone who embodies the on-the-fence republican viewpoint, I though it was worthwhile.

My reponses are inline, since this is quite a lengthy email with over eight barb-laced questions. I’m by no means a policy wonk, and I don’t speak on behalf of the Libertarian Party, so these are simply my own views on the matter:

Suppose you are President and was elected as a Libertarian

1. North Korea attacks South Korea. Do we respond militarily?

Strictly from a non-interventionalist policy, the answer is no. However, from a logical standpoint, such a scenario is unlikely, as S. Korea has the military means themselves to effectively repel and retaliate to aggression without U.S. military support.

2. Israel goes after Iran to destroy Iran’s nuclear program. Iran already has nuclear weapons that no one knew about. Iran is successful in lobbing several nuclear tipped missles on Israel destroying Israel’s ability to defend itself. What do we do?

Theoretical hogwash all around. Israel attacks Iran pre-emptively and you’re surprised they retaliate and win? Considering Israel is a nuclear power, this scenario is also complete shit, since the minute Iran lobs a nuke, there’s going to be 40 or so flying back. The best course for the U.S. in that kind of event is to evacuate our people since the Middle East would be glowing for a few million years.

3. The European Union signs a treaty with Iran promising not to become involved in any military action or blockades no matter what Iran does as long as Europe is not attacked and Iran continues to supply oil. Iran attacks Iraq immediately after the last troops leave on orders of you as you fulfill your promise to bring the troops home. Soon Iran controls the entire middle east and its oil. We are desperate for oil but it is all going to China and Europe. Our economy is collapsing and there are riots due to food shortages because crops cannot be harvested as there is not enough fuel for farm equipment and transportation. What do you do?

I declare martial law and begin rounding up dissidents and forcing them to harvest crops by hand. Wait, that’s what republicans and democrats would do, haha.

Once again, crazy Nostradamus view of death and destruction, I guess this is the reality of the republican mind-view, that we are truly in a struggle of civilizations at the pinnacle of the end of the world. If the U.S. doesn’t wipe them (those who don’t toe the line on our imposed policies) off the face of earth, then they’ll do it to us. Forgive me if I have a more optimistic view of humanity, but when oil becomes scarce and the geo-political crisis of resources is a reality, I have faith that my fellow man has the ability to make do and use alternate forms of renewable energies. Because the guy harvesting solar energy will be able to make money from it, duh.

4. North Korea, the Taliban, al-Qaeda and Iran join forces to destroy the USA. They decide to isolate us by controlling all oil and begin attacking all nations that are our allies. They know we have an isolationist President that will not attack unless directly attacked so the USA is not attacked and great care is taken to assure no Americans overseas dies. We are now fully isolated and our enemies control all oil and global trade with us. Now what?

5. You, as President, fulfill your promise not to be involved in the politics of other nations. All hell breaks loose. Soon our allies are defeated by our enemies and they now turn their sights on the USA. We are outnumbered and outgunned as we cannot get critical raw materials from overseas. We are all either going to die as we take out as many of them as possible with our nukes. Do we all die or do we surrender to save ourselves?

Again with the crazy conspiracies. This is the same guy who kicks on 9/11 conspiracy whackjobs… pot/kettle.. something something. Even if this were a theoretical possibility, those regimes would decay from the inside similar to the USSR. We never had fire one shot at the Soviets and yet we still won. Even if in some bizzarro world this scenario plays out, liberty and free trade will triumph, because that’s what always happens whether tyranny likes it or not.

6. You are elected by a slim majority because the Mexican American citizens agree with the open border policy. You are obliged to honor the Libertarian platform that allows open borders. All controls are removed as the LP honors its philosophy. Within eighteen months of your election, 35 million Hispanics, 20 million Asians, 15 million middle easterners, and 40 million Indians flood over the southern border (which is really borderless now). Our nation is overwhelmed and cannot absorb this many immigrants all at once. Our standard of living and economy collapses and lawlessness has overwhelmed law enforcement. Now what?

Just like back in the 1800s? Oh wait, you are retarded. The primary reason that immigrants are a burdon on the U.S. is because we give them free health care, welfare benefits, and a bunch of other entitlements out of our pockets. Hell, if Mexico had a deal where I could go over and get a bunch of free stuff, don’t you think there’d be Americans hopping the border fence?

Fact is, this country has always had semi-lax immigration policies (though after 9/11 it makes sense to have border security to screen out undesireables and those with terrorist ties) and our economy has always grown expotentially in periods of high immigration. This theoretical posturing just doesn’t jibe with historical evidence.

7. You persuade Congress to legalize all drugs and remove all controls. The drug traffickers now must become legal. Now they are fighting and killing each other over legal turf. It did not turn out quite like you expected. Do you just let it run its course or take any enforcement action?

Um, this is happening now. Only we’ve added the government into the mix, so they’re fighting and killing people as well. The reality is that we war on drugs is a failure, and it’s identical to the era of prohibition, where gangs and cartels ruled and fought with law enforcement and bullied communities. I don’t see beer or alcohol companies fighting and killing each other over legal turf (unless the Budweiser vs Miller ad campaigns are really a cover for a secret war we’re missing) and to claim that this would happen should drugs become legalized is a logical fallacy that ignores history.

8. Freedom of speech is now an absolute. Anyone and everyone can say and display whatever in public and in the media. Within days, one cannot turn on TV without pornography, including child pornography being broadcast. Everywhere one goes, anything goes including public sex and nudity. This occurs even in schools. Teachers lose control because their students stay on computers downloading pornography instead of doing lessons. Do you believe there will be a point of saturation so just let it run its course as everyone will tire or do you reconsider your decision?

Once again with the anarchism accusations. Child pornography will always be illegal, even in a libertarian-run world. Public decency standards will always protect children from seeing porn even if there’s 500 channels of it. Parents have a responsibility to buy the 500-channels of child-safe programming and block the porn, the teachers losing control bit is just stupid.

Frankly, these were really stupid questions that had a lot of red-herrings and language traps trying to make libertarianism out to be some extremist view, which we’re not. But anyways… blah blah blah… I just wanted to share what one of our readers thinks of libertarianism more than anything else. I think he can kiss my ass.

Update: This reader emailed and said he is not a “Republican.” On one hand I am tempted to strike through the label above, but on the other hand I was only trying to convey the philosophy of the republican ideology (small-r) on foreign policy — which is pro-interventionism and preemptive military action.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. Here is a question for the republicans. What will the republicans do when Iraq does establish a government, the US pulls its troops, the sunnis start a civil war with the shiites, Iraq shiites ask for help from Iran and recieves it? What would happen if Iraq and Iran became friends?

    Most of the questions the emailer asked were ‘we are living in fear’ type questions. Our country has gone from the attitude of America is a great place with great opportunity to quick kill them before they kill us.

    The same two political parties have been in charge for several decades and doing nothing but the status quo. The last great vision came from JFK and it was to send humans to the moon. Not too many politicians have a vision for America’s future.

    A better question to ask Libertarians is what is your vision for the future of America?

  2. This is pretty typical of the horsepuckey that I get when talking to people. Wild, hysterical, and obviously radical, hypothetical scenarios that are not likely to happen to begin with. Not to mention that they often totally violate any semblance of reality.

    Look at the drug and porno questions – they are rife with stupidity. Somehow, children are assumed to be able to control themselves when they have cell phones, bubblegum, cd players, mp3 players, videogames, etc… but if we have freedom of speech, it is assumed that porno is allowed or even encouraged in the classroom and then the children will abruptly “lose control” and continually access it. And this “no brainer” conclusion would also conclusively conclude that the decline of western civilization would then immediately take place and would be in Sodom and Gamorah.

    How on earth do these peoples brains function? I desparately want to understand this mindset and defuse it instantly upon recognition. It might be a fools task.

  3. What I don’t understand is how these people get the idea that just because the government isn’t regulating something (like speech) that all of a sudden all hell is going to break loose. Just because TV and radio could broadcast porn and objectionable material doesn’t mean they will. Some might, most won’t. They still make money by their viewership/listenership. If people find the content to be objectionable they’ll change the station and the broadcaster will loose ad revenue. It would quickly reach an equalibrium that probably woudn’t look drastically different than it does today. Parents may have to take a larger role (gasp!) in determining what their kids watch/listen to, and I don’t think anyone would object to blocking porn in schools.

    This guys other rants can all be answered with the same reasoning.

  4. Wow, each question sounds like the synopsis of a really bad Fiction novel. Hope Tom Clancy doesn’t read this…

  5. C’mon, Josh! Didn’t you realize that the only thing stopping everyone from running wild and nekkid in the streets is that there is some politicians somewhere passed a “law” against it?

  6. what if you have a terrorist in custody and 5 minutes to disarm a nuke in nyc? huh? what about that? and tell me this. would you still go to heaven if you were a robot with a human brain? got you there, didn’t i?

    i’m impressed that you took your time on this ass.

  7. Yup, sounds exactly like Julian to me. Good catch on the conspiracy battle. 9/11 can’t be a conspiracy, but magically every nation in the world is going to gang up on us for no reason. And yet, that’s exactly what we did on Iraq (which he supports).

    One can hypothesize to the Nth degree “when libertarianism breaks down”, but one usually has to go to such extreme lengths to make their case.

  8. Maybe a better retort would have been a litany of ridiculous questions about “when conservatism breaks down”. You know, with dictators, police states, currency crisises (sp?), and other (presumably by him) highly improbable hogwash :)

    Of course, he probably doesn’t even have so much as an inkling that dictatorship, police state, currency crisis and so forth could (and will) happen here. TOTALLY in the dark. People that think like this guy assume that things are otherwise ok, if it weren’t for the bogeyman liberals complaining. And when bad things happen, then it’s either taken as a good thing or it’s the liberals fault. Because complaining, virtually powerless liberals are apparentely very influential over conservatives with unlimited power. People like this beleive that the establishments policies are indefintely sustainable – just like fiat currency (yeah right).

  9. >>Parents have a responsibility to buy the 500-channels of child-safe programming and block the porn

  10. It is ridiculous to claim, as many people so often do, that the nations of the Middle East could refuse to sell us oil, selling it instead to China and Europe. The world price of oil is set by supply and demand and not by the whims of a few nations. If Saudi Arabia diverts its entire oil supply to China and Europe, Americans will just import our oil from the other nations (that used to be supplying Europe and China). Regardless of the efforts of a few nations, there will always be oil traders moving oil from over-supplied markets to under-supplied markets, equalizing the world price of oil, and ensuring that every person is the world that is willing to pay the world price for oil gets as much as he can pay for.

    There is absolutely no merit in the argument that we need to militarily dominate certain countries in order to maintain a reliable supply of oil, and this argument should be logically rebutted wherever it is encountered.

  11. Jeff, your explanation of the world price of oil (which, like water, seeks its own level), applies equally to boycotting one gas station in order to get a lower price.

    Anyway, since I walk to work and just leased my mineral rights to an oil exploration company, I’d prefer the prices to go up.

  12. “…those regimes would decay from the inside similar to the USSR.”
    MG: A part of the problem here is neither the questioner nor the respondent seem to grasp that libertarian action in the different countries is making government policy obsolete. The decay in the USSR was given a d good push by Libertarians who were directly advisng key people and distributing leterature. The declaration of the Baltic workers which started the collapse even quotes the LP Platform preamble.

    “Child pornography will always be illegal, even in a libertarian-run world…”
    MG: No. Erotic, sexual depictions were often legal or ignored in the US until the mid-80’s, and even more so in other countries. I remember sold in in kiosks in NYC government buildings in 1979. The actual issue is interference with custody and abuse, a very culturally dependent idea.Also, legislatures would be returned to their original role of announcing custom, not declaring law. Now Mom’s are jailed for lensing kids in the bath.