So, You Call Yourself a Libertarian?
Calling oneself a Libertarian has become politically fashionable nowadays.
And why wouldn’t it be?
Based on the Latin word liber, which means free, Libertarian philosophy “upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association, and the primacy of individual judgment.” [See Footnote 1]
More freedom. That sounds great. Who wouldn’t be for that?
Other reasons to self-identify as a Libertarian are equally as persuasive. Breaking the two-party system’s tyrannical stranglehold on the political system is long overdue. The two major parties have broken the public trust. They have wrecked faith in government. Both parties deserve total abandonment. Fact is, America desperately needs more third-parties — and a fourth party, and a fifth party….ad infinitum.
Another reason why Libertarianism is so attractive is the movement’s unshakable endorsement of individual rights on social issues. Many Americans find the strict religious-based moral codes sanctioned by the Republican Party and the “Nanny State” controls of the Democratic Party to be detestable. This is particularly appealing to many of us within the poker and gambling industry, since the Libertarian Party would likely be our best friend. [See Footnote 2]
The trouble comes when we look beyond the glossy exterior. When we peak under the hood, Libertarianism begins to look a lot like the lemon sitting out on the used car lot, with a $189 paint job.
Before former presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (and his son, Sen. Rand Paul) became the faces of contemporary Libertarianism, this movement had a much uglier mask. Consider the 1980 Libertarian Party presidential ticket. Only a generation ago, a man named David Koch was the Vice Presidential candidate on the national Libertarian ticket. If that name sounds familiar, it should. David Koch is one of the nefarious Koch Brothers (of Koch Industries). He’s been appraised by Forbes as the ninth richest man in the world, eclipsing even Sheldon Adelson. [See Footnote 3]
Koch likes to spend his money to make lots more money. But at who’s expense? He and his brothers are now bankrolling the American conservative movement. The are the fat wallet behind blistering attacks on the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), blockading efforts to increase the federal minimum wage, and all sorts of other issues which supposedly threaten the obscene profits of giant corporations and big business. Even though their money now goes mostly towards Republican candidates — a far more pragmatic approach since third parties have virtually no shot of getting elected anywhere — the basic political philosophy remains very much grounded in the pronouncements David Koch ran on as a Vice Presidential candidate 34 years ago.
Let’s examine what the Koch Brothers (who are now the Republican Party’s biggest benefactors) really want for America. Let’s take a closer look at the actual 1980 Libertarian Party Platform, which reveals what’s beneath the mask of mainstream thinking.
The 1980 Libertarian Party Platform includes the following passages:
• “We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.”
• “We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.”
•“ We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.”
•“ We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.”
•“ We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system.
•“ We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service.
• “We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”
• “We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.”
• “We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.”
• “We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.”
• “We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.”
• “We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.”
• “We support abolition of the Department of Energy.”
• “We call for the dissolution of….the Department of Transportation.”
• “We demand the return of America’s railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.”
• “We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called “self-protection” equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.”
• “We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.”
• “We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.”
• “We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.”
• “We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs.”
• “We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.”
• “We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.”
• “We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
Here’s the cliff notes. The Libertarian Party once stood for (and still supports, at least in theory) the dismantling of just about every program or federal agency created to help working people in America. At one time, David Koch and his Libertarian movement wanted to demolish all the triumphs championed by Theodore Roosevelt during the Progressive Era, Franklin D. Roosevelt during the New Deal, and Lyndon B. Johnson during the Great Society. When the curtain gets pulled back, here’s the ugly side of conservatism now being funded by David Koch.
None of this stuff is made up. I didn’t take anything out of context. It’s all there in black and white. [See Footnote 4]
So, do you still call yourself a “Libertarian?”
Eliminating government programs, ending taxation, suspending laws and restrictions, and allowing for more individual freedom sounds great on the surface. But what would such a society really look like? Here’s a frightening glimpse of a real Libertarian dystopia:
 That’s the definition from the Encyclopedia Britannica.
 Another appealing facet of Libertarianism is the party’s strong leaning toward global isolationism. Libertarians steadfastly opposed recent wars and occupations, and advocate disengaging from overseas conflicts.
 Read more about David Koch HERE.
 To his great credit, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist-Vermont) has written and spoken publicly about the 1980 Libertarian Party Platform, suggesting this is what the Koch Brothers really want for America. Read more HERE.