Expository critical essays in literary, political, historical, philosophical, and spiritual topics remain part of my literary toolkit.
What Is Libertarianism?
In theory, the basic difference between libertarianism and the political philosophies that inform the two major political parties goes something like this: Libertarians believe like the Democrats in social matters such as gay marriage and the death penalty and like Republicans in economic matters, including taxation and regulation. Likely because Democrats are considered "liberal," the term "libertarian" seems to imply a close connection to the Democratic Party. But if libertarianism is one half Republican/conservative, liberals/Democrats cannot in truth claim to hold libertarian views in toto.
One can truthfully state that his/her views include ideas from more than one party, but some obviously liberal leaning individuals claim to be libertarian. There is an erroneous notion afloat that libertarian is a feature of the Democratic Party. The uninformed will claim they are Libertarians and then declare support for a Democrat candidate or agenda, example, comedian Bill Maher, whose only bona fides as libertarian is his stance on drug legalization and more recently regarding radical Islamism.
Clearly, there is a disconnect between what the philosophy of libertarianism stands for and what the Democratic Party stands for. The policies of the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party have much more in common. The Republican Party is the party of small government, low taxes, and strong defense, and individual liberty. The Libertarian Party advocates "smaller government, lower taxes, and more freedom."
Democrats Are Not Libertarians
Policy differences dictate the true differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and between these two parties and libertarianism. While Republicans do prefer a leaner more efficient government, in practice they do no go far enough for most libertarians. Still, any person who favors more government intrusion in the lives of citizens cannot claim to espouse libertarian views.
The Democratic Party is the party of bigger government, higher taxes, and more regulation and intrusion into individual lives, guaranteeing less freedom, not more. This position was on display during the 2016 election season. Democrat Hillary Clinton was proffering a socialist agenda, promising to go further than President Barack Obama had done in circumventing the Constitution and ruling by executive order, bypassing congress.
Hillarycare, Obamacare Intended to Lead to Single-Payer
An example of big government Democrat policy, Hillarycare was a forerunner of Obamacare, which once passed began to devastate the quality of medical care in the USA. The real purpose in passing the Obamacare bill was to establish a single-payer, government regulated system that Democrats always support. However, to understand the effects of "universal healthcare” or government-regulated healthcare, just look at Canada and Great Britain. Some Canadians who need immediate care have found they must come to the U. S., or end up suing their own government to get care.
The cumbersome nature of government-regulated healthcare affects the quality and quantity of medical care. For the worst example of such a system, look at Cuba. When ordinary Cubans, as opposed to the ruling class and wealthy foreign visitors, go to the hospital, they have to take their own sheets, towels, and even their own aspirin. Thus, government run healthcare is not favored by libertarians.
Libertarian and Republican Independence
Democrats favor plans to control the economy. They pit the middle-class against the rich and promise to tax the rich to pay for government regulation. Democrat politicos often claim that they have the ability to bring down gas prices, but such government tampering has always led to higher prices and inflation. The economy is best left to self-regulation. Government control has never improved economic conditions in any country.
Like Libertarians, Republicans believe in the independent spirit that the Founding Fathers wrote into our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Smaller government means more liberty and prosperity for everyone. Big government Democratic Party policies, like those that were espoused by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as they pursued the presidency, have resulted in a system of control that might well require another revolution to change.
That on-going leftward push of the Democratic Party remains the most convincing piece of evidence that Democrats are not Libertarians. The slate of Democratic presidential candidate-wannabes for the presidential campaign 2020 continued that leftward push, with each nominee seeker trying to out-left the next. Bernie Sanders and his ilk openly praised socialist schemes that have devastated such nations as Venezuela. His claim that his oxymoronic"democratic socialism" is exemplified by the Scandinavian countries has been debunked by leaders of those countries; for example, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen has responded to Sander's socialist "slurs," "I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy."
A Fabricated Appropriation
That Democrats would attempt to pass off their authoritarian agenda as libertarian should come as no surprise to anyone paying attention to all the other fabrications, falsifications, and obfuscations they have concocted and widely spread throughout the past several decades.
Because citizens must sift through a plethora of lies and deceptions, sorting out the differences between liberal/Democrat, conservative/Republican, libertarian, can be a confusing exercise. It is understandable that many citizens come to disdain politicians as charlatans, when they observe Hillary Clinton caught prevaricating over her activities as First Lady, and Barack Obama claiming he had no idea that his pastor of twenty years was a flaming racist while campaigning, and then as president blatantly lying, "if you like your doctor and you insurance you can keep them," and then spreading his even bigger lie, "pants on fire" rated by Politifact: "What we said was, you can keep (your plan) if it hasn’t changed since the law passed."
The big Bosnia lie was just the tip of the iceberg for Clinton. An avid gun-control advocate, she suddenly became "Annie Oakley," when it fit her agenda. So is she for gun-control or not? It depends on which state she is in, of course.
Americans surely do not want another revolution, but if the ideology of the Democratic Party secures a stranglehold on the United States government, the country will need a revolution/civil war to get the country back to the land of freedom and opportunity. The lawlessness of the two terms of the Obama administration exemplified the authoritarian, statist nature of the current Democratic Party, whose members tout a totalitarian-socialist agenda, while using identity politics to claim they are on the side of the people. The claim of libertarianism is just another deceptive tactic adopted by an historically duplicitous political organization, whose very name is a deception; there is nothing democratic about the Democratic Party, just as there is nothing "libertarian" about it either.
- The Libertarian Party. "About the Libertarian Party." Libertarian National Committee (LNC). Alexandria, VA.
- David Gratzer."The Ugly Truth About Canadian Health Care." City Journal. Summer 2007.
- Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez. "Cracks Show in Cuban Healthcare System." Institute for War & Peace Reporting.
- Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. "The Self-Regulating Economy." Mises Institute. January 1, 2005.
- Ethan Lamb. "Nordic Countries are Neither Socialist nor Paradise." The Economics Review at NYU. January 29, 2019.
- Kerry Jackson. "Denmark Tells Bernie Sanders It's Had Enough Of His 'Socialist' Slurs." Investor's Business Daily. November 9, 2015.
- Matt Welch."Democrats Hate Wealthy Candidates…When They're Not Democrats." Reason. January 31, 2019.
- Glenn Kessler. "Obama’s pledge that ‘no one will take away’ your health plan." The Washington Post. October 30, 2013.
- Louis Jacobson. "Barack Obama says that what he'd said was you could keep your plan 'if it hasn’t changed since the law passed'." PolitiFact. November 6, 2013.
- Pamela Engel."Here's the story behind Hillary Clinton's claim about landing under 'sniper fire' in Bosnia." Business Insider. June 22, 2016.
- H. A. Goodman. "Before attacking Sanders on guns, Clinton was 'Annie Oakley'." The Hill. January 20, 2016.
- Keith Edwards. "Leaked DNC emails prove there’s nothing 'democratic' about the Democratic Party." American Thinker. July 29, 2016.
Democrats vs Libertarians
A Pro-Life Libertarian speaks on Abortion
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2019 Linda Sue Grimes
Linda Sue Grimes (author) from U.S.A. on September 06, 2019:
Thanks for commenting, Leslie.
Three quick points:
1. Nowhere in my article do I claim that Republicans are Libertarians; I point out only that many policies supported by Republicans are "closer" to libertarian than Democrat policies are.
2. The Republican stance on abortion is the same stance the legal system takes on murder. The red herring,"women's rights to control their own bodies," obfuscates the real issue: killing the unborn. The Libertarian stance on abortion: According to the 2018 Libertarian Party platform: "Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration." But Libertarians oppose taxpayer funds being used for abortion. So while Republicans would hold abortionists accountable for taking human life, and Libertarians would insist that government stay out of the matter, they both oppose using taxpayer funds for the procedure, and Democrats support both killing the unborn and having taxpayers foot the bill—now Bernie Sanders wants to foot the bill for abortions in Third World counties!
3. Regarding Ayn Rand: This fanatic is famous for making quite a few untenable remarks, including the following: that homosexuality was immoral, that a woman seeking the presidency is psychologically unfit for the job, and that Beethoven's music was evil. Libertarian author Karl T. Pflock refutes Ayn Rand's ludicrous claim about abortion quite cogently: "The unborn are human beings. Unborn human beings are persons. Unborn persons are innocent of aggressive behavior. Therefore, except in a "life-boat" situation, they must be accorded the protection of the nonaggression principle. And, therefore, under normal (nonemergency) circumstances, abortion is a violation of the cardinal principle of libertarianism."
Leslie McCowen from Cape Cod, USA on September 06, 2019:
“An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).
Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?“
Republicans dictate, that’s who. Libertarians, they are not.