By Thomas R. Eddlem
Where did all that speaking truth to power go?
The fact is, you didn’t lose the Democratic Party; it was robbed from you. And it wasn’t a fair fight, or the result of a vote of “democracy.”
You already know that the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders of the presidential nomination so that Hillary Clinton could be crowned as Democratic Party standard-bearer and eventual President. Wikileaks taught us that, and the 2016 election proved the folly of that conceit. And it was all because Bernie wasn’t fully on the team of the Military-Industrial-Complex.
The same thing happened in 2020, when all the non-progressive candidates pulled out of the presidential primaries in the same week and endorsed Joe Biden but fake progressive Elizabeth Warren stayed in her hopeless race in order to draw off votes from Bernie Sanders. They don’t play fair, and they’re not going to allow a real progressive to win because it would upset the people really in power.
I remember fondly the early days of opposition to the Iraq War, when left-leaning heroes like Cindy Sheehan emerged out of the woodwork to oppose President Bush’s war, the USA Patriot Act surveillance, and his horrific and unconstitutional torture program. The left dominated the anti-war movement … until it all but disappeared in the month of January 2009. That was the month the anti-war rallies evaporated, the month Obama took office.
But about that time, there was a new sign of hope when Occupy Wall Street emerged organically to oppose the big bank bailouts — even as the average American received no bailout. On the right, the Tea Party movement also arose out of the exact same complaint. But both were co-opted by the powerful people in Washington who kept the bailouts going, to automobile industry lobbyists and others.
And the corporate bailouts are still ongoing, as we found out in the COVID shutdown where hundreds of billions of dollars in loans and direct subsidies were pumped into the airline industry, other big businesses and Wall Street. And those dollars were paid for by poor and middle class working people in the form of price inflation. All of it was funded by Federal Reserve Bank money-printing and debt, and all of it will be paid by lower purchasing power in wages at the grocery store and in higher rents.
Inflation is the most regressive tax. It taxes a working person’s wages even before he or she even possesses them, just as it taxes a renter’s rent before he or she can live in the apartment rented. But the rich have much of their wealth — stored in real estate, stocks and other hard assets — largely inflation-proof. The tax game is rigged against working people.
Now we find real journalists on the left like Matt Taibbi being labeled a “conservative” by the captive corporate media for exposing how that game is rigged, and other journalistic heroes like Aaron Mate outrageously being labeled an asset of a foreign government for reporting on the Military-Industrial-Complex’s proxy wars.
Let me tell you about a party that still actively opposes all our wars, the surveillance state, crony capitalist bailouts and subsidies, and the inflation tax on the working poor. It’s called the Libertarian Party, and I’d like you to get involved in it.
The Libertarian Party has been consistently opposing wars for decades up until today, as seen in the recent #RageAgainstWar rally, where the Libertarian Party coalesced with people and groups across the political spectrum.
On social issues, the Libertarian Party prides itself on tolerance, and has since its founding, in the form of full equality before the law for all regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation.
Even on economics, where one would assume libertarians would be totally at odds with the liberal/left, there are some very important areas of agreement. Sure, Libertarians will always oppose nationalizing health care, railroads, utilities and the like, issues where Libertarians and the left will probably remain on opposite sides of the political fence. But there’s room for lots of alliances against income inequality generated by Federal Reserve inflation and crony capitalist subsidies generally.
Here’s just a short list of national issues where the Libertarian Party and honest liberals and leftists can work together:
- Antiwar/slash military spending
- Income inequality: Oppose inflation and crony capitalism subsidies/favoritism
- Oppose Biden’s recent strike-breaking
- Opposing FBI censorship on social media
- Free Julian Assange and pardon Edward Snowden
- End remaining COVID mandates and restore civil liberties
And on state and local issues, the Libertarian Party is actively working toward a number of policy goals where old-style liberals and the honest left can work together with the party:
State and local issues:
Defend the Guard: The Defend the Guard movement is a means by which state governors refuse to release National Guard servicemen to federal deployments overseas without a congressional declaration of war. When there’s a Democratic governor and a Democratic president, it will be difficult to pass a Defend the Guard resolution, but the current Democratic President makes a Defend the Guard resolution a realistic goal in a state with a Republican governor.
Drug war: Cannabis/hemp nullification by states and municipalities remains an early success model for activists to follow, and many are already doing so successfully on psilocybin mushrooms and other issues. Nullification on drug laws is now on the table in every state, surprisingly, even in Republican states.
Police reform: The Libertarian Party is actively supporting an end to qualified immunity, no-knock raids, and “dynamic entry” as well as an end to the drug war. Make these four reforms and the 1,000+ Americans killed by police every year will shrink to a couple dozen, in line with other advanced economies around the world.
Sanctuary cities/states: The Libertarian Party sees open borders/freedom to travel as not only a fundamental liberty, but also as a constitutional necessity (immigration law was traditionally and constitutionally practiced by the states). Sanctuary cities and states have their origin in Thomas Jefferson and James Madison’s opposition to the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, and their Virginia and Kentucky resolutions. Want to bring the success of the marijuana nullification to immigration? The Libertarian Party does.
While there may remain significant differences between the Libertarian Party and some segments of the American left movements on a few economic issues, there are many issues of common interest where concrete, positive policy progress can be made. And whatever progress can be made toward liberty, should be made.
There’s a lot we can do together, preferably with you inside the Libertarian Party.
Your freedom is at stake, and neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties are going to give it back to you.
Thomas R. Eddlem is a freelance writer published in more than 20 periodicals and websites, and is Treasurer of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party.