Truth's Flashlight

They’re all the same, stupid.

by Matt Frost, Libertarian Punk

Go ahead and hate me.  You have plenty of reasons why, but I will give you one that will probably fill my e-mail box with letters of frothing hatred and disgust from many of you.

I voted for Barack Obama.

Stunned?   Shocked?  Go ahead, I was too.   I didn’t plan on doing so.  Up until about 6 weeks before the election, I was undecided and probably looking towards not voting because I really couldn’t stomach either major candidate and Bob Barr… well, come on, it’s Bob Barr, and we all know that the LP doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell on the national stage because we don’t even have the patience or gumption to win smaller offices first.  But that’s a topic for another post.  I want to say that I voted for Barack Obama not because I believed in his “hope and change” platform, but because I believed that the Republican Party abandoned their principles, abandoned anything close to libertarianism a long time ago, and it no longer deserves my vote or support.  I am not going to vote for the lesser of two evils, I will vote for the most evil until the alternative runs something GOOD.  Don’t you get it? Voting for John McCain and Sarah Palin would have been like rearranging the deck lounges on the Titanic.  I didn’t, and still do not believe, that there’s that much of a difference anyway, and that is evidenced by Obama’s constant caving to the center.

I laugh at the people who thought that Barack Obama was going to sweep into office and change the face of this country overnight.  Truth is, he’s not.  As president he is constrained, because his actions and what he chooses to do can affect whether or not Democrats maintain the Congress at the end of this year.  That’s why he isn’t spending any political capital to make many of the changes that he promised during his campaign.  Notice the conflicting messages all over the place- Nancy Pelosi says we’re at war against private health insurers, while the Obama plan creates a giant giveaway to private insurers backed by government gunpoint.  Obama says he’s going to end the war and bring the troops home, and then we see him sending more to Afghanistan using a McCain-endorsed surge strategy.  Michael’s right in his analysis that liberals are becoming disillusioned with Obama.  I wonder when conservatives will be likewise.

When are we going to stop pointing the finger at Barack Obama and start pointing it at the people who betrayed the principles of limited government that they once stood for?  It’s easy to look at Obama as the next Mao, Stalin, Castro, but Barack Obama never denied he was a liberal.  He embraced it and for a while, even reclaimed it, until he became skittish about delivering on his ‘change’ and settled for ‘compromise’ instead.  And yet,  he was recently blamed for everything under the sun just a few posts down from this one.  The truth, however, is a lot more complex and alarming, and that is that statism and tyranny knows no party affiliation.  This country ceased being truly free decades ago, and will become less free as the years go by, as we are constantly on a war footing, and as our decisions are motivated not by principle but by fear.  As long as we believe that something is out to get us and our children, we will flock to politicians and throw our liberty at their feet and demand that they save us from the bogeymen- sorry, bogeypersons.

So, I did vote for Obama, in part because I believe that a country gets the government it deserves, and also because I am not afraid of him or his policies.  If they’re good policies then they will work and people will be happy, if they’re lousy policies then they will fail and someone else will come in and the process repeats.  All of this talk about Obama becoming some kind of mega-dictator and having megalomaniacal aspirations is just paranoia and lunacy.  It’s the same thing many on the far left said about President Bush, that he would find a way to stay in office past his two terms and suspend the Bill of Rights.  Fuck people, they don’t have to suspend the Bill of Rights when most of us would be willing to give it away for the illusion of safety and security.

I also voted for Obama in hopes that maybe, just maybe, Republicans will think long and hard before saddling us with someone like the Alaskan Quitbull.  We don’t need any more imperialist neo-cons drunk on Jesus appealing to the stupidest and most short-sighted among us.  We need principled, liberty-minded conservatives who believe in protecting individual rights, who believe in not handing over the reins of power to unaccountable giant corporations who are selling out the American people to pelase their stockholders.  We need people who believe that IF WE CAN’T AFFORD IT THEN WE JUST HAVE TO DO WITHOUT.  There were no tea parties when Bush was spending hand over fist (I called for them but nobody listened), no protest at the fact that he waited until 2006 to veto his first bill which was a pointless fucking ban on embryonic stem cell research funding.  Yes, his first veto wasn’t a bloated omnibus bill or Ted Kennedy’s medicare expansion, no, it was a piece of red meat to the lunatic Christian Right who thinks that frozen zygotes that will just be discarded arePEOPLE.  The wars we’re fighting now in Iraq and Afghanistan are being funded by borrowed money, our nations’ credit rating is in the crapper, and it’s all because George W. Bush thought we could fight two wars without any kind of sacrifice on the part of the citizens.  Let our soldiers fight and die, and keep the rest of us distracted, fat, and stupid.  How dare anyone suggest I vote for a Republican when this is the best they have to offer.

Barack Obama has done lots of things worthy of criticism, of that there is no doubt.  But I ask, what good is voting for a Republican if he’s simply going to take the gun from Obama, smile, pat him on the shoulder, and point it at us all over again?