By Matthew Boyer. Matthew Boyer is a School of Arts and Science sophomore with a major in political science and a minor in German. His column, “Legalizing Life,” runs in The Daily Targum on alternate Wednesdays.
Every election, America faces a battle between two dominant political parties, which in turn divides America. We bicker about the opposing party’s policies and are distracted by trivial matters. We then elect a new president who typically behaves similarly to the one prior. Four or eight years down the road, half the country regrets who they cast their vote for. This scenario has essentially been an ongoing ordeal for decades. The American people have let the establishment of the two dominating parties overshadow the possibility of new voices in American politics. But there is a fresh alternative to the Democrats and Republicans we have all come to love and hate: Libertarians.
Putting aside talking points from watching an hour of MSNBC or Fox News, what are the legitimate differences between Democrats and Republicans? Well, let’s start with America’s history of military interventionism. Many people consider Democrats to be anti-war, whereas Republicans are considered warmongers — hence the anti-Condoleezza Rice sentiment among the University faculty. However, since World War II, history in the White House has shown an overwhelming pursuit of war, regardless of which party held office.For example, our current president continues Middle Eastern interventionism, global spying programs and unrestricted drone use, and he is a Democrat. Somalia intervention was under Bill Clinton, a Democrat. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars were under George W. Bush, a Republican. The Gulf War was under the President Bush senior, also a Republican. The Vietnam War was started under John F. Kennedy and continued through Johnson’s administration. Both were Democrats. It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who established the Japanese internment camps across the United States through executive order. The striking similarity in both parties’ foreign policy suggests the need for a new party that would boldly proclaim their pro-diplomacy, pro-peace and anti-war policies.
Published in Suburban Trends
Please let me be one of the first to commend you folks at the Suburban Trends for your editorial today (April 2, 2014) calling for the end of marijuana prohibition.
As we all know, alcohol prohibition didn’t work in the 1920s (and created all kinds of crime problems) and the so-called "War on Drugs" isn’t working either. Ninety years may have passed since the first "prohibition" but economic laws never change and certain substances will always be available.
The late free-market economist Milton Friedman called for the repeal of drug laws decades ago, and he was ridiculed for his Libertarian pro-individual choice views; time has, however, shown him to be correct.
To the editor:
I am not a career politician. I am not a wealthy or well-connected member of the elite. I am a regular person standing up for the Constitution.
Last year at age 28 I was the most successful Libertarian candidate in New Jersey for a second year. But my real goal is to recruit other young people to run for office as Libertarians. Freedom is the future and we’re the generation we’ve been waiting for.
‘Our View’ editorial draws reaction
In your "Our View" editorial ("What do Republicans and Democrats look like?") in the Sunday, Nov. 10 Suburban Trends, you mention "the need for moderates or least not the ideologically-driven to stand up and help put an end to the endless partisan bickering." Isn’t that another way of saying that political leaders of both parties should be "wishy-washy" and not stand up for any real principles or convictions?
In the 1850s would you have approved of politicians who took a "moderate" stand regarding the expansion of slavery unto the Western territories? Or if it was the early 20th century would political leaders who only took a "moderate" stand on women getting the right to vote, have met with your approval? Somehow I doubt it!
The ballot for the upcoming election asks New Jersey voters to approve or reject an amendment to the NJ Constitution increasing New Jersey's minimum wage and mandating automatic cost-of-living increases. Advocates of this proposal would have you believe that, by raising the minimum wage, everyone working below that rate would get an immediate increase, and those out of work would be offered jobs at the higher rate.
The truth is a bit more complicated. No one would remain employed at the higher rate if their services are not, in the eyes of their employers, worth the higher rate. So while, no doubt, many people earning less than the new rate would initially get a bump in their hourly rate, it is equally certain that employers with limited resources would have to let many of them go - the less educated, less skilled, less experienced - as a result of the higher rate.
Originally published at Suburban Trends newspaper
Libertarians are evidently getting under the skin of some folks, a sign that the philosophy of individual liberty and small limited government is growing!
On the one hand we have our bully of a governor, Mr. Christie saying libertarianism is dangerous in his attacks on Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. We then have a local letter writer giving a completely distorted view of what he thinks Libertarians believe in.
Originally published at Suburban Trends newspaper
In the July 3rd Suburban Trends, Holly Ennist Stewart in her "My Word" column starts off by talking about the erosion of the civil liberties since 9/11 (no argument from me on that score, although the war on individual liberty started long before 9/11). From that point on, Holly’s article seems to go downhill (in a leftward direction very fast). Growth of government interference in our lives is actually the fault of the business community according to Holly, not the politicians who enact unconstitutional laws and the bureaucrats who enforce them. Did it ever occur to Holly that businesses wouldn’t have lobbyists were it not for all the unconstitutional regulations they have to deal with?
Free-market capitalism isn’t the problem; rather it’s the lack of it! As to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, what Holly doesn’t understand is that the federal government has no constitutional authority to determine state and local elections laws and policies. I have several of those pocket-sized editions of the Constitution courtesy of groups as divergent as the ACLU, the Libertarians Cato Institute, former Congressman Ron Paul, and the John Birch Society. Not one of those copies of the Constitution shows any federal power granted over local election laws. The powers of the federal government are supposed to be, as James Madison said, "few and defined."
I almost started to cheer when I saw Joe Phalon’s column (Phalon’s File) in the March 13 issue of the Suburban Trends regarding Mayor Bloomberg’s latest attempt to micromanage the lives of New Yorkers by banning large-sized soft drinks.
Sadly, Mr. Phalon’s commentary also included a snide comment regarding those who are concerned about the steady erosion of liberty here in America by making reference to the "paranoia of the tinfoil hat crowd."
I’ve attended many meetings, conferences, conventions and rallies of pro-liberty, pro-constitution and pro-historical truth groups for over 30 years and have yet to see anyone running around with a tinfoil hat on their head! Why is it that anyone who takes a consistent stand in defense of individual liberty gets made fun of by people like Joe Phalon or "comedians" like Bill Maher on HBO?