Editor’s note: WorldNetDaily Editor, Chief Executive Officer and daily columnist Joseph Farah is working on a new book set for release in early 2003 called “Taking America Back,” delineating the problems the country faces and their solutions. In the meantime, you may wish to consider purchasing his most recent book, “This Land Is Our Land.”
After I wrote my column last week, “Why I’m not a conservative,” many libertarians wrote in happily proclaiming me one of their own.
I hate to disappoint them, but that political label doesn’t describe me, either.
Here’s why I am not a libertarian – and why, I believe, that political movement will never resonate with the American people.
- I believe a nation’s borders are sacrosanct. Without borders, there are no nations. We become one big global village – subject ultimately to a new form of tyranny imposed by unaccountable internationalists. Borders are also critical to maintaining the distinct culture of a nation. That’s not a racist or jingoistic concept – it is a matter of practicality. If anyone and everyone can become an American simply by relocating – and without any pledge to our nation’s Constitution and political creed – then we lose everything our founding fathers established in fighting for our independence, our sovereignty and for the rule of law.
- While I agree with libertarians that our national drug laws and the enforcement of those laws are terribly abusive and beyond the scope of our Constitution, I have no problem with states and local governments passing laws prohibiting the sale of narcotics and enforcing such laws. The truth is, legalizing dangerous drugs will surely lead to increased use and abuse – a trend that could pose problems as severe or worse than those created by the drug war. I’m all for ending the drug war at the ineffective federal level, but condoning drug use is the wrong prescription.
- America needs a strong defense – and this is a reality many libertarians don’t accept. True, the concept of defense in America has been distorted and twisted. We spend mega-billions not on defense, but on offense. We deploy tens of thousands of troops in more than 100 countries around the world as if America was the world’s policeman. That is wrong. We leave Americans at home virtually defenseless against terror attacks and weapons of massive destruction. That is equally wrong.
- Libertarians, more often than not, fail to understand the moral dimension so critical to self-government. Read the words of the founders. They all got it. They all intuitively understood that even the best form of representative and limited government would be twisted into coercive tyranny if the people did not have the basic morality necessary to govern themselves.
Libertarians make a fundamental mistake about the nature of man. Man is not inherently good. Man can only learn to govern himself when he understands there is a higher accountability – a higher authority. Ideally, that higher authority is not the government, but God. Government can only demand good behavior through force. But when individuals understand they are accountable to God, and that He requires certain kinds of behavior as defined in the Ten Commandments and the totality of scripture, there is a chance for man to maximize his freedom here on earth.
Freedom can only be experienced and maximized, though, when it is accompanied by personal responsibility. Personal responsibility cannot be legislated. It cannot be forced. It cannot be coerced. Libertarians generally understand this, but too few of them comprehend a laissez faire society can only be built in a culture of morality, righteousness and compassion.
Libertarians who expect to build such a society through politics alone make a fundamental error. In a sense, they are utopian dreamers like the socialists, ignoring the importance of human nature in shaping communities and nations.
I don’t want to be too hard on the libertarians, because of all the political activists in America, they may have the best concept of limited constitutional government. That’s a big start, but it’s only a start. We cannot ignore the flaws in their positions. We cannot ignore the fact that they don’t have a complete picture. We cannot ignore that a libertarian society devoid of God and a biblical worldview would quickly deteriorate into chaos and violence.
Would this country be better off with more libertarians? Absolutely. Do they have all the answers? Not even close.
The truth is there’s more to life than politics. Much more.
Here’s the way the father of our country and, as some have described him, “the father of freedom,” George Washington put it in his inaugural address:
The foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preeminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire: since there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness; between duty and advantage; between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity: since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the external rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American People.
When the libertarians add such a provision to their national platform, let me know. I’ll be happy to consider the new label.