The November election is looking to be another dreary choice between the lesser of two evils. Do you want the big spending interventionist or the big spending interventionist? One probably would spend a bit more money while the other one probably would start a few more wars.
American democracy at its best!
A few years back—I’ve forgotten the particular profligate war-mongers involved—the Cato Institute’s president, Ed Crane, posited that the foundation’s policy staffers were forced into the voting booth at gunpoint. Which of the evils would we choose? Several of us responded: pull the trigger!
So it appears likely to be in November. We already know that President Barack Obama goes to bed dreaming of new spending schemes and has yet to meet a civil liberty that he is unwilling to violate. The permanently premature winner of the Nobel Peace Prize also routinely threatens to loose the dogs of war around the world and, albeit with perhaps a tinge of reluctance, follows through by escalating existing conflicts, bombing other nations, and assassinating foreign citizens.
His presumptive Republican Party opponent, Mitt Romney, is a late, convenient, and not altogether convincing convert to limited government and fiscal responsibility. The former governor’s foreign policy sounds more bellicose than that of George W. Bush, who not only started unnecessary and counterproductive foreign wars, but sacrificed domestic liberties even when doing so did not advance Americans’ security.
This is a choice? When I step into the voting booth, just pull the trigger, please!
But it doesn’t have to be this way. In 2008 Congressmen Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich offered genuine choices, not echoes, in the Republican and Democratic primaries, respectively. This time only Rep. Paul ran. But he has presented a vision of a republic rather than an empire to enthusiastic audiences crossing partisan lines.
Unfortunately, he lost out to a dubious gaggle of crack-pots, wind-bags, narcissists, authoritarians, ignoramuses, and opportunists. Naturally, most of them wanted to spend more money—they just argued about how much on what—and all wanted a foreign policy focused on killing foreigners. Washington has rich friends to protect, failed societies to remake, inconsiderate allies to manipulate, bad guys to overawe, and an entire world to reengineer.
The principal exception to this dismal parade was former New Mexico Gov.Gary Johnson. He took many of the same positions as Rep. Paul, but was excluded from most of the debates despite originally registering the same one percent in the polls as former Gov. Jon Huntsman and former Sen. Rick Santorum, who were invited to participate.
Johnson finally gave up the GOP race and decided to seek the Libertarian Party presidential nomination. He would be a good choice, but even as the LP nominee he still would have difficulty winning gaining media attention in the fall.