Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Libertarian Candidate for LT Governor Fires a Broadside at the AJC

A seat at the adult table

by Dan Barber - Libertarian candidate for Georgia’s Lt. Governor 2010 on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 11:55am
Letter to the editor, Atlanta Journal-Constitution,   19 October 2010  

In last Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Craig Schneider wrote that the Libertarian Party has failed to take advantage of the growing frustration voters feel with Republican and Democratic leadership. He holds an unfavorable image of Libertarians as anarchists or hedonists, bent on abolishing the rule of law. The reality is that Libertarians have thus far failed to clarify who we are, at least from the point of view of the broader electorate. I consider correcting this error to be critical to my campaign.  

The logic behind Libertarian policy only makes sense when you look at the underlying ideas. Everything grows upward from this base:  the idea that nothing is more important than individual liberty.  

Why do we believe this? Because without liberty, we’re not really human. Without liberty, we serve the collective “good”, and must bow to the collective will. We’re no longer free to make our own choices about right and wrong, implement those choices and enjoy (or suffer) the consequences.  Without liberty, we never really grow up. We’re perpetual children under the thumb of the nanny state, waiting to be told what to do, hoping the state will protect our jobs, hoping the state will save for our retirements, trusting the state to protect us from all risk. This isn’t life. It’s a stunted kind of infancy that no self-respecting human wants.  

What will happen if the nanny state grows? More and more citizens will sit at home waiting for the next unemployment check, the next stimulus, the next handout. Fewer and fewer citizens will risk their time and money to start companies that create new jobs. Why should they, when they can start up on foreign soil, where the taxes are lower and the regulations less burdensome? What will America be like when all the entrepreneurs leave and everyone still here is waiting for the next government check? Goodbye prosperity, hello poverty.  

Argentina’s spendthrift government seized the private retirement accounts of its citizens. Can’t happen here? It’s being debated in Congress right now.  

Because I crave liberty for all Georgia’s citizens, I support a substantial reduction in the size and power of government because that is the only path to individual freedom. 

Freedom has a price. The price we pay to be free is that we must accept the consequences of our decisions, good and bad. Sometimes we fail. Free to succeed also means free to fail. To expect to be forever protected from our mistakes is to expect a lifetime of childhood. I won’t settle for that. No adult should. I demand the freedom that is my birthright, and I accept the consequences of my own decisions, good and bad.  Libertarians aren’t hedonists or anarchists. We’re proud, independent adults. We want the freedom the Constitution promises. And we believe others are adult enough to want the same thing.

Dan Barber, Libertarian candidate for Georgia Lieutenant Governor 2010

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