Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States

A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Blast from the Past

It must have been an accident on someone's part, but I actually received in the mailbox yesterday a postcard from the Republican National Committee reminding me to contribute to those few state and local campaigns taking place in preparation for this November's election day. I really would have thought that both the local and national Republican committees would have wasted no time dropping me from their rolls after the nastigram I sent them last Summer. For those of you who are on the receiving end of a constant stream of political solicitation mail, I'll reprint here my response to the RNC (and local party affiliate's) beg-athon. Although this was aimed at the GOP, it could just as easily be used as a template for a letter to any other organization of which you've never been a member and whose philosophy you take issue with, but that continues to annoy you by soliciting. I would have shared this last Summer, had this blog then existed, but since it didn't, here it is, for everyone's enjoyment (by the way, I never got a response back):

ATTN: Ms. Patty Luther and Mr. Mike Retzer
Republican National Committee
310 First Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

Dear Patty and Mike:

I found your solicitations for alms mixed in with the other detritus in my mailbox this week and thought I'd take a few moments of my precious and rare free time to drop one you a note. Really guys, you should have checked with each other before duplicating efforts. In all honesty I don't know whether to feel honored or insulted that the Republican faction of the Government Party has seen fit to solicit a donation from me. I suppose my real response should be one of bewilderment, since anyone who knows me at all is well aware that the Republican Party, in its current mutation, is the last organization I would turn to for a solution to the problems plaguing this once-great Republic. With that dour sentiment expressed, allow me a few minutes to explain, taking your solicitations one paragraph at a time. In the interests of chivalry (who said it's dead?), I'll start with Patty's letter.

In the second paragraph of your solicitation letter, Patty, you inform me that my "friends and neighbors" in this part of southwestern Fairfax County are making their annual contribution to the RNC to "show their support for President George W. Bush's vision for America." Just what "vision" might that be? Finalizing the destruction of the Constitution, initiated during Abraham Lincoln's tenure in office and underway ever since? Creation of the most massive budget deficit in modern history, one that would make Lyndon Johnson green with envy and vindicate John Maynard Keynes? Waging of total global warfare with depleted and exhausted military forces, resulting hundreds of thousands of needless American deaths around the world, emptying of the national treasury, humiliating defeats that will make that of Vietnam look like a minor misstep, and the unprecedented enmity of every civilized (and non-civilized) nation on earth? If that is Mr. Bush's vision (and current events seem to support this assumption), then I dare say that I would prefer eternal blindness.

You state in the next paragraph that "Mr. Bush can't do it alone." This true to the extent that he, like every other figurehead to occupy the oval office in the last century and a half, can do nothing without the permission and direction of his corporate puppeteers. But to claim that he needs our (?) support really strains credibility. If Mr. Bush can wage a war of conquest in Iraq while thumbing his nose at both the United States Constitution (what happened to a congressional declaration of war?) and the rest of the world (who needs Europe and the U.N.?), why should we assume that he would need the support of his own citizenry at home? Indeed, when was the last time any administration "needed" the support of the people to advance its agenda? As one example, the current president's papa campaigned on a platform of "no new taxes" (remember that?), a pledge which he quickly broke once in power and execution of which he accomplished without the support of the people. As I recall, he paid for it dearly.

In paragraph four you mention the need to "retain the White House" and "increase [y]our slim majority" in congress [small "c"]. Given the record of the Republican congress, why on earth do you need a majority? Indeed, it's difficult for us ign'nt unwashed masses to see any difference between the two parties in terms of their legislative behavior. Both seem to be locked in a competition to spend my money at the most reckless and irresponsible pace possible, so why should it matter whether my wallet is drained in four years or eight, if the end result in any case is national bankruptcy? Let's hope you can find better justification for yourselves than that, but I'm not holding my breath.

Paragraph five had me clutching my sides, aching from rib-cracking guffaws, and requiring a quick change of trousers. You guys really should audition for Comedy Central. I particularly liked the statement about Democrats and their "big-government, tax-and-spend programs." This from an administration that 1) created a whole new federal bureaucracy, the Department of Hopeless Stupidity, that not only stood by helplessly as a lone tobacco farmer on a tractor paralyzed the nation's capitol for an afternoon, but has yet to prove that it can do anything other than use colors in new and original ways and find creative new uses for duct tape; 2) decreed, in so many words, that while providing subsidized medicine for all Americans amounts to socialism (true enough), providing subsidized medicine for senior citizens, who just happen to be the largest and most decisive voting block in the country, amounts to "compassionate conservatism" (whatever the hell that means); and 3) turned a 400 billion dollar surplus under a "tax and spend" Democrat named Clinton into a 900 billion-dollar deficit in just one year. Alright, maybe you can call them "bigger-government Democrats", but to be fair and accurate in the interests of full disclosure, you really should refer to yourselves as "big-government Republicans."

In paragraph six you berate big labor, the Democrats, and the United Nations for their vision of a "socialist/welfare state" and for fear that the U.N. will "decide what's in our national interest." Since you're well aware that there has been no contraction of the "socialist/welfare state" under Dubya (indeed, it's expanded with the addition of the prescription drug debacle, new funding for Department of Education programs like Head Start, and other spendaholic boondoggles), I can only assume that some petty jealousy exists due to the fact that the Democrats are more adept at spending than you are and that you wish you could catch up. Don't worry. With your plans to conquer the world and provide cradle-to-grave democracy for all of the world's citizens whether they want it or not, you'll catch up in no time. As for having the U.N. "decide what is in our national interest", what's the problem? Israel has been the arbiter of our national interest for at least the last four years (probably much longer than that, to be honest), with predictably disastrous results to our national security; could the U.N. really be any worse? I mean, it's not as if the great masses of unwashed average Americans who put America's best interests first would be allowed have anything to do with determining our "national interest", so why are you worried?

Finally, you talk about "grassroots" leaders. Since when does any party in power need "grassroots" leadership when it has a lock on the machinery of state? If anything, I have to believe that any "grassroots" movements have been purged like weeds from a vegetable garden since anything "grassroots" smacks of populist influence, new ideas, and demands by those great unwashed masses for more accountability and greater control over government. God knows the GOP doesn't want that. It might mean that you'd actually have to start living up to the ideals of President Number 40, whom you just eulogized to death so loudly just a few weeks ago.

While Patty's letter at least carried a whiff of professional sincerity, yours, Mike, reeked of feigned desperation unmatched by anything since the "apology" Bill Clinton made two weeks ago on 60 Minutes in describing his dalliance with Monica. Let's take a brief look at your statements, by paragraph.

In response to paragraph one: No, Mike, I have not abandoned the GOP; it has abandoned me. It has also abandoned tens of millions of other Americans who still believe in what the party once professed to stand for - limited government, lower taxes, and free trade (among other things), but to which it barely even pays lip service anymore, much less fights to achieve. Have I given up? Yes. I've come to my senses and realized, as I pointed out in my response to Patty's letter, that there is not and never can be any real, substantive difference between you and the Democrats. In fact, let's just do away with silly partisan labels altogether and simply refer to both of you as "The Party." Orwellian, I know, but accurate nonetheless. Both of you believe in continuing the expansion of the federal government, the only difference being in size, speed, and scale of the expansion, beyond anything even remotely resembling its Constitutional role; both of you believe that the federal government, not me, should control how much of my money I can keep, and neither of you believes in the free market economy or free trade. At least the Democratic faction of the Party is honest and open about their position on the last issue.

But you know all of this. What I really want to point out is just how clueless you and your corporate-sponsored, military-industrial-complex-managing pals at the RNC really are about who your friends are. You state in your letter that you "haven't heard from [me] this year. . ." and that you "know how generously [I] have supported the RNC in the past." Well, Mike, here's a news flash for you: I haven't "generously supported" the GOP since the first Reagan administration and haven't been a registered member of any political party for nearly five years. I can only guess that this helps explain why your beloved president and the gang of morons in his cabinet have such a problem with Iraqi WMD issue. If they researched that as thoroughly as you morons reviewed your campaign contributions lists, it's no wonder you came up empty-handed in the evidence category. I'll say this, though: You're nothing if not consistent and it certainly is hilarious. Now let's move on to the rest of your letter.

Your groveling and begging does not become you. In fact, it proves to me that you know that Bush doesn't deserve my or anyone else's support. It shows that you are well aware that he has failed the American people with his mishandling of the Mess in Potamia, his utter lack of direction in the Warren Terra, and his demonstrable ignorance and neglect of economics in general and domestic issues in particular. You know that John Kerry, for all of his egregious faults --lack of anything resembling a platform being the least of them-- stands an excellent chance of (ahem!) kicking your collective arses. I'm not gloating at this prospect; in fact, the specter of a Kerry victory is just as sickening as the specter of four more years of Dubya, but that's a whole other letter.

You speak of the "lessons learned from the 2000 presidential and 2002 mid-term elections." Well, the lesson I think we all learned best from that debacle is that some people, who happen to be heavily concentrated on the east coast of Florida, are simply too stupid to be allowed to vote. Other than that it was as rancid an affair as any other of its kind in the twentieth century, characterized by a non-choice between two empty suits without an original idea between them and a devotion to maintaining the status quo. As for the 2002 mid-term elections, you guys actually lost several seats, and deservedly so. You might want to ask one of your alumni, former congressman Bob Dornan, whether letting hoards of illegal aliens register to vote is a good idea. It was a problem in the mid 1990's, but thanks to your Open Borders patrons, who serve as your corporate sponsors' cheap-labormongers and to whom you kowtow without thought, the problem is now worse than ever. Surprised that illegal aliens don't vote GOP? You shouldn't be now. As for one person having "a profound difference" on the outcome of an election, I think it's more accurate to heed the words of the statistician who theorized that you stand a better chance of dying in an accident on your way to the polls than of having your vote make any difference to the outcome of an election. I'm beginning to think that with the Party and its candidates as the only alternative, dying may not be such a misfortune.

You state that you've "made progress" on implementing "a part" of the president's agenda on "cutting taxes, strengthening homeland and national defense (what, pray tell, is the difference between "homeland" and "national" defense?), and improving education." The last item is not even within the purview of the federal government at all, so I won't concern myself with it. Let's look at the other points you claim the administration has "made progress" on.

Your "cutting taxes" claim is purely bogus. Let's take the estate tax as just one example. While you rammed through a gradual reduction of this tax through the year 2010, the tax elimination runs out that same year and the tax will be reinstated, unless new congressional resolutions make the repeal permanent. I'm not willing to bet money on that happening, since you spendaholics will need more revenue than ever by the end of the decade to finance your international misadventures and ill-conceived domestic boondoggles. Just be honest with me. What, pray tell, was the point of "temporarily" eliminating a tax, only to have it reappear? That's not a "tax cut"; it's a temporary tax "deferment." God help us if this is your idea of tax cuts. The reality is that the only "tax cut" that will be meaningful across the board for all Americans is the elimination of the graduated income tax and replacing it either with a national sales tax, not to exceed five percent, or a flat tax not exceeding 15 percent of gross income. But you know this too and are not about to let it happen because you, like the Democratic faction of the party, realize that the power to tax is the ultimate power to rule. Like the alcoholic who cannot bring himself to stay away from the liquor store, you cannot bear the thought of cutting off the source of your excessive spending.

Your claims of having strengthened defense are so ridiculous as to not merit a response at all. However, I will challenge you to do this: Prove to me, in detail, how homeland defense is even remotely possible while the nation's borders remain a gaping hole. Prove to me how homeland security is possible when the bulk of the nation's armed forces are deployed 6,000 miles across the globe to a country not even a threat to the nation's security. Prove to me how maintaining a global empire in over 100 countries around the world while leaving the country's own borders virtually unguarded is "strengthening defense." Enough said.

Well, I've wasted enough ink and keystrokes on this already, but thank you for providing me with an opportunity to vent. I feel much better now about my decision to support a "No More in 2004" campaign, the goal being to get as many Americans with functioning brain stems as possible to simply stay home on the first Tuesday in November. It's far past time that the nation stops lending legitimacy to the farce known as presidential elections.

Oh, and one more thing, guys: stop invoking the name of Ronald Reagan! Flawed as the man was, you clowns aren't fit to wipe dirt from his grave. Thank God, for Reagan's own sake, that he suffered from Alzheimer's disease in his final years. I'm sure if he had been lucid, he would have been heartbroken to witness the final destruction of the party he (briefly) brought back to power and (a modicum of) respectability and would have been more vociferous than I've been in criticizing what you and the other neoconservatives have done to destroy it. In fact, it's nothing short of perverse to see lip service paid to his achievements by the very people who have besmirched his legacy. As the late Morton Downey, Jr. liked to say, "Just zip it!"

So, in closing, I hope you don't feel offended by my response. Your letter, Mike, specifically requested "comments and suggestions", so I'm only too happy to comply. Just to demonstrate that there are no hard feelings and as a testament to how much better I feel having written this letter, I'm not only using my own postage to mail this, but am returning the postage-paid envelopes for you and Patty to reuse in your quest to bilk some other clueless working-class lemming of his hard-earned cash. Unlike the GOP, I don’t believe in spending other people’s money frivolously. So cheer up, and remember the lesson you've learned - check the voter rolls for party affiliation carefully before you spend precious money on postage and find yourself groveling and begging in vain. Good luck on the first Tuesday in November; with "Fahrenheit 9/11" as the top-grossing movie this summer, you're going to need all of it that you can beg, buy, or steal (no pun intended).



Well, the last sentence certainly turned out not to have been an omen, but like I said: I felt a heck of a lot better after writing this. Let's see if the RNC's memory is any longer than that of the general public and hope I don't get anymore solicitations like the one that prompted this rant.


Blogger David said...

Crikey...they would have fallen asleep by the time they read all that lot! Some interesting viewpoints on your site.

8:29 PM, August 20, 2005  

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