Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Libertarians vs. the Isolationist Killers


Given all the hoopla surrounding the presidential campaign, it’s easy for people to conclude that the big fight for the future of America is between Democrats and Republicans. Not so. When it comes to fundamental principles, Republicans and Democrats are on the same page. They both believe in socialism, interventionism, and imperialism, as reflected by the joint devotion to such programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, education grants, immigration controls, trade restrictions, drug war, invasions, occupations, wars of aggression, assassinations, torture, and foreign aid to dictatorships.

The only real fight between Democrats and Republicans is over who is going to be in charge of the welfare-warfare state programs. Who is going to get to distribute the welfare largess? Who is going to get to orchestrate the invasions, assassinations, the bombings?

No, the real fight for the future direction of the country is between libertarians, who wish to move America in the direction of freedom, peace, and free markets, and the Democrats-Republicans, who wish to continue moving our nation in the direction of more killing and more isolationism.

Look at what the presidential candidates in both parties stand for in terms of foreign policy: They stand for unleashing the power of the U.S. national-security state — i.e., the Pentagon and the CIA— to continue bombing, assassinating, and killing people and wreaking death and destruction, especially in the Middle East.

Oh sure, they always have an excuse for doing this — ISIS, or al-Qaeda, or Saddam Hussein, or Osama bin Laden, or Bashar al-Assad, or Muammar Gaddafi, or terrorism, or Islam, or communism, or some other official enemy de jour, which they oftentimes produce with their interventionist policies. But the fact is that regardless of the excuse, Democrats-Republicans favor few constraints on the Pentagon and the CIA to continue wreaking as much death and destruction around the world that they think is necessary to protect “national security.”

At the same time, Democrats and Republicans want to isolate the private sector from the rest of world. That’s what immigration controls and trade restrictions are all about.

And no, I’m not just referring to Donald Trump’s infamous wall on the Southern border as a way to isolate Americans from the rest of the world. There is already a fence there, one that was — and is — ardently supported by both Democrats and Republicans. There are also sanctions, embargoes, trade restrictions, and tariffs that prevent, deter, or discourage Americans for engaging in economic enterprise with foreigners, all of which are supported by both Democrats and Republicans.

Libertarians, on the other hand, see things in an opposite way. We want to rein in the government and unleash the private sector to interact with the people of the world.

So, we libertarians say: Bring all the troops home from everywhere. After all, Americans wouldn’t like foreign regimes maintaining military bases within the United States. Why, then, do Americans insist on maintaining military bases in foreign countries, especially knowing that military bases inevitably end up attracting bars, prostitutes, loan sharks, drug dealers, and other unsavory types?

When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere. Bring all the troops home from the Middle East, Korea, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and everywhere else. Then discharge them. They’re not needed. Think of the savings in terms of federal spending and debt. Think of the prosperity arising from all those soldiers becoming productive, rather than parasitic, members of society.

Dismantle the entire military-industrial complex, including the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA. They’re not needed and all they do is damage our country. They are a totalitarian structure and are inconsistent with the principles of a free society. They do not keep us safe. They make us unsafe, not only with the constant stream of enemies they produce with their foreign interventionism but also with the emergency totalitarian powers that employ against the citizenry. And they’re contributing to the economic and financial bankruptcy of our country.

Relinquish any rights to foreign military bases, including the one at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Close the domestic military bases as well. They’re not needed. They are nothing more than military welfare largess for the communities in which they are located.

In other words, rid our federal governmental structure of the entire anachronistic Cold War totalitarian structure known as the national-security establishment or, as President Eisenhower called it, the military-industrial complex. Restore a limited-government republic and a free-market economic system to our land, which are the governmental structure and the economic system that are the true heritage of America.

Then, unleash the private sector. Repeal all sanctions, embargoes, trade restrictions, and immigration controls. No more U.S. governmental infringements on the fundamental rights of freedom of trade, freedom of travel, freedom of association, liberty of contract, and economic liberty. Free the American people to do whatever they want, so long as their conduct is peaceful.

Two completely different paradigms are possible for America. Will America continue to be the nation of isolationist killers or will it be the nation that leads the world to freedom, prosperity, harmony, and morality? That’s the real choice facing the American people.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.