November 1, 2000




Up until recently, although both the Republicans and Democrats have been taking the country in the same general direction, there has always been enough of a difference between the two to make voting Republican palatable. So I have always voted Republican, all the while hoping that eventually an uncompromising advocate of freedom and individual rights would come forward. Well, now the Republicans and Democrats have become virtually indistinguishable and there is someone advocating freedom: Harry Browne and the Libertarians.

Whatever interest the Republicans had in opposing the destruction of freedom has all but disappeared since they won their landslide with their contract with America, which was a very pro-freedom contract. In the face of success, they decided to shut their yaps about freedom and individual rights. The thing that made them shut up is their fundamental agreement with Democrats. In any disagreement between two individuals or groups, the more consistent will always win. And the Democrats follow more consistently their fundamental beliefs.

Today, the Libertarian Party is the only party that is completely opposed to the initiation of physical force against innocent people (which means you, me and everybody else who works for a living and does not and would not dream of initiating force against another person). They advocate the use of physical force by the government only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use against others. This is the only proper function of a government: to protect us against those who initiate physical force(murderers, thieves, dictators and the like). If a government begins to initiate force against its citizens and to the extent that it does, it has begun to act on the same premise as any criminal.

Gore and Bush disagree on details, but not on fundamentals. They both believe it is proper to initiate force against individuals in all sorts of areas--in fact I challenge anyone to name an area in which Bush does not believe it is proper to initiate force. The most visible one is prescription drugs: they both believe that they have the right to initiate force against some to make them pay for the prescription drugs of others, but only differ in the details of their respective plans. Clinton was naive--he thought he had to seize police state control over the health care industry in one fell swoop when all he had to do was wait as the Republicans do the same thing only one step at a time. To paraphrase a great writer, "if you want to boil a frog, don't throw him in boiling water because he'll jump out--put him in nice, cool water and then slowly bring him to a boil."

The practical consequence of voting Libertarian is that as the Libertarians continue to gain support, the press will have to end the virtual blackout they have going on the Libertarian party candidate and hopefully, this will lead to the candidate being included in a national debate. If this happens and the candidate is articulate and passionate, it will be a deathblow to the Democrats and Republicans as they are now. The reason is that they will have no answer to the issue of the initiation of force. No Democrat or Republican is going to explicitly maintain that it is ever moral or proper for one group or individual to initiate force against another. And if the Libertarian debater is good, he will not let them escape this issue. Once this idea gets out in the open and more and more Americans come to understand it's meaning, this country will begin to turn back in the direction of growing freedom. This principle will begin to be applied in more and more areas as it releases people from statism’s stranglehold.

It is important to note that the Libertarian party and the other more prominent third parties are fundamental opposites. The Green, Reform and Socialist Parties, like the Republicans and Democrats, accept and embrace the initiation of force. The Libertarians oppose it. They could not possibly be more different.

As far as the notion that a vote for Harry Browne is a vote for Gore is concerned, it's simply not true. Only a vote for Gore is actually a vote for Gore. A vote for Harry Browne is a vote for freedom. A vote for Bush is a vote for statism because it’s a vote for Gore's values and basic premises. So, if anything, a vote for Bush is a vote for Gore.

It's fascinating to me to observe that if George Washington were running for President today, he'd have to run as a third party candidate, because he was a passionate freedom fighter and would be repulsed by the two main parties. And nobody would vote for him because they'd be too busy trying to keep Gore out of office.

Remember that to support the lesser of two evils is to support evil and that to support the good is, well, to support the good.

Do you want to keep voting for evil (albeit, the lesser of two evils), until finally, sometime in the future there is no freedom left because it has been legislated away bit by bit--while courageous, pro-freedom candidates come and go because no one has the foresight to support them, because they're only focused on the next four years--or do you want to fight for a future where everyone has the right to live their life as they see fit--where no one has the right to force another to act against his own judgment--where every individual absolutely owns his own life and his own property? Are you going to be motivated by the short-range avoidance of monsters or the positive vision of a rational, free society? I'm going to choose the positive vision.

I'm going to vote Libertarian because it's both moral and practical.

If enough people do this, America will begin to become a country of freedom again.

Joe Burciaga, III
November 1, 2000


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