Badnarik for President

Austin Dispatches 
No. 47 
 Feb. 15, 2003 
e47fig1On Monday, Feb. 17, at 9 a.m., Michael Badnarik will formally announce his candidacy for president at the Texas Capitol. He will seek the Libertarian Party nomination at the May 2004 national convention in Atlanta.

Any American who believes in liberty, or who is concerned about the conditions of the country, should visit his campaign Web site. There, Mr. Badnarik ably addresses his background, campaign and agenda. This issue addresses what’s at stake. 

As president, Badnarik will strictly adhere to the Constitution.[1]  This will effectively shrink the size and scope of the federal government, particularly the executive branch, which has usurped and centralized power for many years.[2]

Unfortunately, many contemporary patriots have regarded the Republican Party as their vehicle for resisting tyranny.[3]  A cursory examination of its record will show the GOP’s ruling establishment [4] unlikely to display fealty to the ideals of the American Republic.[5]

At the apex of this establishment, President George W. Bush, who earned his millions from a taxpayer-subsidized baseball stadium,[6] and who spends Americans’ money like a drunken flyboy in expanding the size and scope of the federal government to new records.[7]

Bush’s chief loyalty is to the power elite,[8] whose interests clash with those of the rest of us. This elite feasts on the blood and treasure of the innocent, from before the beginning (infanticide centrally enforced by judicial fiat)[9] until after the end (estate taxes).[10]

One can hardly call it a conspiracy. Members of the power elite possess so much clout to get their way, and so much of what they do is openly announced, that there’s no need for them to skulk in shadowy conference rooms.[11]

This power elite comprises officeholders,[12] bureaucrats,[13] teachers,[14] intellectuals,[15] dishonorable soldiers,[16] and the intrinsically bossy or meddling;[17] and various clerics and businessmen[18]who have been bullied, bribed[19] or brainwashed[20]  into accepting supporting roles and a share of the loot. This elite broadly shares the notion that a secular paradise can be created with centralized commands from people with graduate degrees from the right schools. People much like them, in fact. The humanist as well as the religious should find such a notion dubious in theory and dangerous in practice.

For the most convenient way the elite finds to implement its vision is war. War is the engine of the almighty State; taxation its fuel.

Governments exploit war or other crises to increase, centralize and consolidate power, at the expense of people’s lives, wealth, liberties, morals, social cohesion, and local control over their communities. The negative aftereffects from this create a ratchet effect that makes successive crises likelier, with the vicious downward spiral repeating itself until everyone and everything good is destroyed.[21] For added security, the power elite relies upon the divisions of race and ethnicity, exacerbated by its policies, of course.[22] Such arguments are “conservative” in the sense that they look to existing social arrangements and the preservation of what people already have as preferable to a strong central regime that eliminates anything that constrains the individual.[23]

Therefore, the next presidential election is truly a matter of life and death.

With the United States government, we get the worst possible combination: a ruling elite that meddles in the affairs of the world and yet is unprepared to protect ordinary Americans when the foreigners lash back.[24]

Specifically, successive administrations did not attempt to protect American citizens from the inevitable, and frequent, retaliations.[25]  The Clinton administration, for example, allowed foreigners to kill as many Americans with impunity as the ATF and FBI.[26]

One reads Thucydides’ “Pelopennesian War” and notes with growing unease the parallels between Athens and the newly, openly declared American Empire,[27] and of Athens’ tumble into the abyss of defeat, decline and despair.[28]

Despite the formidable veneer, the power elite is not as powerful as it’d like. Like all others, it relies upon popular support, however tacit, to maintain its sense of legitimacy.[29] That legitimacy has eroded over the years, through internal power struggles, loss of confidence, and the sheer magnitude of failure, waste and devastation noticeable to non-beneficiaries of the elite’s rule – which is to say, the rest of us.[30] The power elite can even be defeated from without – and has been – though not often enough.[31]

As employees, they need a major attitude adjustment. Some say you've got to keep a fire lit under their feet. Actually, you need to place the fire higher than that.[32]

However, a Badnarik administration will not solve all of America’s problems. Realistically, any administration has a window of opportunity in its first six to nine months to implement its agenda. Then established interests begin to stymie and thwart – until the next election.[33]

Moreover, the state of government is partly a symptom of deeper problems that can’t be solved by government, only exacerbated, regardless of who holds power and their intentions.[34]

Nonetheless, government, particularly the big, centralized, intrusive Leviathan at odds with the actual meaning of the Constitution in spirit and in fact, that burdens every one of us in myriad ways nowadays, is also partly the source of our deeper problems, and mostly the source of any problems it tries to solve. A respite from such a regimen can only improve matters.

Under any circumstance, the road to the White House will be challenging. And Badnarik can’t do it alone. He’ll need money, volunteers, and votes. Pass this along to anyone you know who wants to help.

For the Badnarik campaign represents a viable, radical, principled alternative to the slide into the abyss.[35] Accordingly, Austin Dispatches proudly endorses Michael Badnarik for president. After 227 years, a free society is still worth fighting for.[36]

[1] Badnarik, Michael. “Trusts.” Do You Know Your Rights? Audio Intro to the Constutiton and Bill of Rights. CD-R., 2001.
[2] Olson, William J., and Alan Woll. Executive Orders and National Emergencies: How Presidents Have Come to “Run the Country” by Usurping Legislative Power (Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 358). 28 Oct. 1999.
[3] AD No. 19 (July 2000).
[4] Frum, David. Dead Right. New York City: Basic Books, 1994: Ch. 1-7; Novak, Robert. Completing the Revolution: A Vision for Victory in 2000. New York City: The Free Press, 2000; Robinson, Peter. It’s My Party: A Republican’s Messy Love Affair With the GOP. New York City: Warner Books, 2000.
[5] The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 1998.
[6] York, Byron. "George's Road to Riches." TAS Jun. 1999: 20.
[7] Mason, Julie. “Federal Role Gets Bigger, Costlier.” HC 26 Jan. 2003: 1.
[8] Moss, Laurence S. "The Power Elite Revisited." LAR Spring-Autumn 1967: 39-44.
[9] Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973); Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
[10] Citizen Kane. RKO, 1941; Greene, Bill. Win Your Personal Tax Revolt. San Francisco: Harbor Publishing, 1981: 330-331.
[11] Bethell, Tom. “Patterns of Conspiracy.” NR 28 Aug. 1995: 33.
[12] Karp, Walter. Indispensible Enemies: The Politics of Misrule in America. 1973. Rpt. New York City: Franklin Square Press, 1993.
[13] Rothbard, Murray N. "Bureaucracy and the Civil Service in the United States." JLS Summer 1995: 3-75.
[14] Rushdoony, Rousas J. The Messianic Character of American Education: Studies in the History of the Philosophy of Education. Nutley, N.J.: The Craig Press, 1963.
[15] Rothbard. "World War I as Fulfillment: Power and the Intellectuals." JLS Winter 1989: 82.
[16] Baritz, Loren. Backfire: A History of How American Culture Led Us Into Vietnam and Made Us Fight the Way We Did. New York City: William Morrow and Co., 1985: 299-302, 321-341; Gutmann, Stephanie. The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America's Gender-neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars? New York City: Lisa Drew/Scribner, 2000.
[17] Rothbard. "Origins of the Welfare State in America." JLS Fall 1996: 193-232.
[18] Higgs, Robert. Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government. New York City: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy/Oxford UP, 1987.
[19] Ibid.,  230-234, 242-244.
[20] Rushdoony, op. cit.
[21] The Costs of War: America's Pyrrhic Victories, rev. ed. Ed. John V. Denson. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1999; Higgs, op. cit., passim.; Porter, Bruce D. War and the Rise of the State: The Military Foundations of Modern Politics. New York City: The Free Press, 1994; Nisbet, Robert. The Present Age: Progress and Anarchy in Modern America. New York City: Harper and Row, 1988.
[22] Sowell, Thomas. Preferential Policies: An International Perspective. New York City: William Morrow, 1990; Sowell. Race and Culture: A World View. New York City: Basic Books, 1994.
[23] Sowell. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. New York City: William Morrow, 1987.
[24] Gertz, Bill. Breakdown: How America's Intelligence Failures Led to September 11. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 2002; Johnson, Chalmers. Blowback: The Cost and Consequences of American Empire. New York City: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Co., 2000: 8-14; Ledeen, Michael A. The War Against the Terror Masters: Why It Happened. Where We Are Now. How We’ll Win. New York City: Truman Talley Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2002: Ch. 2-3.
[25] Ledeen, op. cit.
[26] Bovard, James. "Feeling Your Pain": The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton-Gore Years, 1st ed. New York City: St. Martin's Press, 2000: Ch. 15; Bowden, Mark. Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, rev. ed. New York City: Signet, 2000; Leeden, op. cit., 81-94, 126-137; Reavis, Dick J. The Ashes of Waco: An Investigation. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 1995: Ch. 14-28.
[27] AD No. 31n93 (Nov. 17, 2001).
[28] Thucydides. History of the Pelopennesian War. 404 B.C. Trans. Rex Warner. Ed. M.I. Finley. 1972. Rpt. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin Books, 1978.
[29] De la Boétie, Éttiene. The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude. Trans. Harry Kurz. New York City: Free Life Editions, 1975.
[30] Dionne, E.J. Jr. Why Americans Hate Politics, 1st ed. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 1991: Ch. 1-2, 5, 7.
[31] Edwards, Lee. The Conservative Revolution: The Movement That Remade America. New York City: The Free Press, 1999: 12-34, 206-210, 215-229, 296-302.
[32] AD No. 36n12-13 (Mar. 9, 2002).
[33] Friedman, Milton, and Rose Friedman. Tyranny of the Status Quo. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1984.
[34] Friedman, M., cited in Kevin Phillips. Arrogant Capital: Washington, Wall Street, and the Frustrations of American Politics, 1st ed. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1994: 62; Winter, Bill. “Why Libertarians Can’t be Afraid to Discuss the ‘M’ Word: Morality.” LPN Feb. 2003: 18+.
[35] AD No. 19.
[36] Ibid.