Staff & Sling

Joseph E. Hébert, Ph.D.

98119 N 3745 Rd
Okemah, OK  74859
918 623 3078

Libertarianism and a Third Party

I used to think of myself as something of a libertarian, by philosophy if not affiliation, but no longer and for a reason. For years I asked everyone who called themselves a libertarian to explain the difference between a libertarian and a libertine.

None did, at least not satisfactorily. Oh, several offered various libertarian tenets and principles, abstracted vagaries really, but none could ever define libertarianism in such a way as to, with logical consistency, preclude anarchy without conceding to (even if from a state of denial) an abject compromise of their principle.

Most were opposed to "legislating morality," but when tested would soon reveal that their opposition was only to the imposition of the morality of others on themselves. After all, even the most casual deliberation will quickly expose the folly of such a principle. In point of fact, all laws are the imposition of morality on others.

Many subscribed to the abstraction that "their neighbor's liberty ended where their rights began." But agreement in principle quickly devolved into petty squabbling over just where the delineation should be marked in practice.

Eventually I found my own answer. In time I came to realize that a libertine is someone who would molest your children and seduce your wife, while a libertarian is someone who believes they should be allowed to.

That may sound like hyperbole, and maybe it is intended to be just a bit tongue-in-cheek (or at the very least a bit cheeky), but that doesn't mitigate the underlying truth. The libertarian philosophy holds that government is fundamentally a necessary evil, and I could not possibly disagree more.

First, I don't accept the assertion that there is any such thing as a necessary evil. But more importantly, I do not believe that good governance is any kind of evil. Good governance is ordained of God, and God does not ordain evil.

And that's why I no longer identify with a libertarian philosophy. But what about a Libertarian Party? Would I ever subscribe to a Libertarian Party whose platform was sufficiently defined as to address my concerns with abstract libertarian principles?

No. And again, for a reason.

As I said, I do not believe that government is bad. I believe that tyranny is bad. I believe that oppression is bad. And I believe that liberty is good. Moreover, I do not believe that good governance and liberty are at odds. To the contrary, I believe that good governance and good liberty, as ordained by God, were coequally defined in the Constitution of the United States of America.

That's why I am a Conservative; I believe we should be endeavoring to conserve our Constitutional representative republic. And if we could restore our government to its legitimate, Constitutionally constrained role, we would enjoy both the prosperity of liberty and the benefits of good governance.

But our Constitution entrusts the administration and preservation of this comingling of good governance and liberty to three co-equal branches, not two political parties. So why, pray tell, does Harry Reid preside over the United States Senate instead of Joseph Biden?

The problems we face as a nation today can all be traced to the competition and collusion of two political parties. What makes anyone think a third political party would be any different? What's the definition of insanity?

So no, I will not identify with a third party, any third party, and certainly not a Libertarian Party. If we are serious about solving this nation's problems, if we are serious about conserving our Constitution and the representative republic it defines, then the solution is to wrest control of our government from all political parties and restore it to the three co-equal branches of government to which it rightly belongs.

So how do we get there from here? How do we accomplish such a feat as to topple those who hold power? Frankly, until and unless we once again acknowledge God as the source of both our liberty and our government, the question is as futile as it is academic.