WASHINGTON - In the violent wake of President Obama's military surge in Afghanistan, and his failure to withdraw the U.S. military from Iraq, the Libertarian Party (LP) says anti-war liberals can vote Libertarian with a clear conscience.
Sadly, President Obama is spending an even larger percentage of America's money on the military than George W. Bush did. According to the tracking website usgovernmentspending.com, during the first two budget years of the Obama administration (FY 2010 and 2011), military spending is expected to be over 6 percent of GDP: a larger percentage of GDP than during any year of the Bush administration.
LP Chair Mark Hinkle commented, "Anti-war liberals who thought President Obama and the Democrats would reduce military spending and American interventionism have been betrayed.
"Liberals have also been betrayed by Obama's unwillingness to reverse the serious civil liberties violations of the Bush administration. Obama has claimed the authority to kill American citizens overseas without indictment or trial. Even worse, he has claimed that 'state secrets' prevent his targets or their families from challenging him in court. Obama's expansion of the 'state secrets' claim is a page taken right out of the neoconservative playbook."
LP Executive Director Wes Benedict added, "In many ways, the Obama administration is looking like four more years of George W. Bush. A vote for Libertarians sends a message for peace and respect for the Constitution."
Benedict continued, "It's important to remember that many congressional Democrats voted for the PATRIOT Act, and many also voted for the War in Iraq. They tried to blame Bush later, even though they deserved just as much blame as Republicans."
The Libertarian National Committee has passed resolutions calling for U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan.
On September 12, 2001, the day after the major terrorist attacks, two-time Libertarian Party presidential nominee Harry Browne courageously spoke out against American interventionism. In his article he wrote, "When will we learn that we can't allow our politicians to bully the world without someone bullying back eventually?"
Benedict said, "The Libertarian Party doesn't have the resources to take the lead in organizing mass protests, but we like to join anti-war protests when we can find them. When George W. Bush was president, Democrats helped organize many anti-war protests. Now that Democrats are doing the war-making, protests are hard to find.
"I made an effort to express the Libertarian position at the One Nation March on October 2.
"The terrorists have tricked our government into massive overreaction, spending trillions of dollars and thousands of American lives to fight a small number of America-hating fanatics. Many thousands of innocent Muslims have been killed in the process. We have gotten bogged down trying to rebuild entire governments. Democrats and Republicans have both given in to this terrorist trickery. Libertarians, on the other hand, see through this trickery, and we would stop wasting lives and money on the disastrous policies of foreign interventionism."
Liberal vs. conservative support
There is a myth frequently repeated in the media that Libertarian candidates take votes from conservatives. In reality, the situation is mixed: many polls show that Libertarian candidates actually receive greater support from liberals.
In this Kansas poll, the Libertarian candidates received more support from liberals than conservatives.
This poll showed North Carolina Libertarian candidate Michael Beitler with more support from liberals than conservatives.
Hinkle said, "Libertarians have a lot in common with liberals. In fact, people with a libertarian philosophy often call themselves 'classical liberals,' in the sense of the word as it was used historically. Libertarians sometimes describe themselves as 'fiscally conservative and socially liberal.'
"We Libertarians have a saying that we're 'pro-choice on everything.' We are uncompromising supporters of free speech. We completely oppose corporate welfare, and we hate the way big corporations often manipulate the government to get subsidies and protection from competition. And we are more immigration-friendly than either Republicans or Democrats."
The Libertarian Party has 21 candidates for U.S. Senate and 169 candidates for U.S. House in the upcoming November 2010 elections.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.
The LP is America's third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party at our website.
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