Published in part in The Denver Post on March 6, 1996
Note: Every election year, I write a letter to the editor outlining my reasons for having left the Republican Party, and re-registering as a Libertarian. This is the 1996 edition of that letter. -- d.n.
In his column of February 18, Ed Quillen points out the myriad inconsistencies among conservatives, and suggests that we retire the word "conservative", because "it doesn't tell us where a candidate might stand on any issue."
The same goes for the word "Republican". Although they purport to stand for limited government, Republicans have shown themselves to be statists on a broad array of issues. While they may be unified in their disdain for Bill and Hillary Clinton, they agree on little else.
This is why I re-registered as a Libertarian. Republicans and Democrats continue to fiddle while, on their watch, America degenerates into a Sweden with missiles. Libertarians, however, have a consistent, steadfast commitment to limited, non-intrusive, constitutional government. We are not afraid or ashamed to tell you exactly where we stand.
Libertarians believe that government exists to protect us against force, violence, and fraud. To that end, government should be limited to those functions prescribed in the Constitution. We believe that unnecessary and unconstitutional programs ought to be eliminated, along with the taxes you and I pay in order to fund these programs
Libertarians are not oblivious to social ills. We simply believe that private institutions can deal with them far more effectively than the government. Libertarian groups have proposed many common sense ways in which the free market can very positively address such legitimate concerns as poverty, racism, pollution, education, drug abuse, medical care, and family breakdown. To learn more, you may call Colorado Libertarian headquarters at 303-837-9393.
Over 140 Libertarians have been elected to various public offices across America, including three in Colorado. We have permanent ballot status in 26 states, and we plan to have our leading presidential candidate, Harry Browne, on all 50 state ballots this fall. Also, be on the lookout for many Libertarian candidates for Colorado offices.
If we put our faith in a party which attempts merely to "slow the growth" of government, government will just continue to grow. If we put our faith in a party which merely wants to reform programs on the brink of bankruptcy, these programs will return to the brink of bankruptcy every few years.
Saying that you believe in less government than the Democrats is like saying that you have had fewer bad hair days than Don King. Until Republicans can give us real and substantial cuts in the size, cost, and intrusiveness of government, they cannot be taken seriously as a party of limited government.
Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman
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