A conspiracy of silence and misinformation

A conspiracy of silence
and misinformation

By John Silveira

Issue #136 • July/August, 2012

Since I first started paying attention to politics, there’s been what amounts to a conspiracy of silence and misinformation about libertarians and their ideas. This is especially true lately regarding Ron Paul, the libertarian-minded candidate who’s creating a stir in the Republican Party. Paul is bidding to become the party’s presidential candidate, but there are powerful forces that do not want him. Many in his own party wouldn’t want him even if they thought he was the only Republican who could unseat Obama.

Even the mass media, which has big-government sympathies, does little more than patronize Paul with comments like: “His ideas would be good for the 19th century, but they’re irrelevant today.” As if today’s raging deficits, smothering regulations, curtailments of liberties, and endless meddling in the affairs of other nations, all of which were brought on by Democrats and Republicans and all of which libertarians oppose, are somehow beneficial to the American people. Worse was the silence in the media when the National Taxpayer’s Union said Ron Paul was the only candidate whose plans would reduce the National Debt. The report was ignored by the mass media. That story should have run with banner headlines.

A more curious statement bandied in the press is simply: “He can’t win!” While others who caught the media’s eye — Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Bachmann, Huntsman, Cain, and a host of others — have all fallen by the wayside, Paul is the only one the media continues to try to stigmatize with a “can’t win” label. Even though he continues to fill auditoriums wherever he speaks, the media acts as if he isn’t even in the race. As I write this today, some news outlets, after ignoring him for weeks, are erroneously reporting that he’s dropped out. He hasn’t!

Libertarians and corporations

Along with ignoring Paul, the media spreads misinformation about what he and the libertarian-minded think. I’ve heard everything from, “If libertarians had their way, there’d be no stop signs” to “libertarians want corporations to control our lives.”

I am a libertarian and I’ve never read any of these things in the libertarian literature nor have I heard a fellow libertarian express these views, especially the “corporate control” thing. If that statement were true, why aren’t corporations funding Paul and other libertarian-thinking candidates? Instead they are backing Democrats and Republicans.

That’s because libertarians want to repeal more than a century of laws, passed by both Democrats and Republicans, that favor corporations. Libertarians scare the corporate pants off CEOs because we insist that corporations live and die by how well they do in the marketplace, not by how well they do in Congress. Their fates should depend on how well they serve you, not your Representative or Senator.

We want no subsidies, no bailouts, no laws protecting them from startup competitors, no favors at all. In a libertarian universe, the individual is king. The way things are now, through decades of influence of both the Democratic and Republican politicians, corporations are kings. And here’s a sobering thought: Had libertarians had a significant presence in Congress four years ago, none of your money would ever have been used to bail out Congress’s Wall Street cronies.

Here’s the sad truth about corporations and politics: The overwhelming majority of corporations donate to either the Democrats or Republicans or both. They expect (and get) legislation introduced into Congress that favors them. They also expect and often get favorable consideration when it comes to lucrative government contracts. Almost none of these corporations are going to donate to any libertarian-minded candidates because there will be no payback.

Right now the most influential corporation has the support of both of the major parties. Unbeknownst to many voters, The Federal Reserve, a private corporation, has more control over our country, its wealth, and your economic welfare than any congressman, president, or judge. However, in a century of operation the Fed has undermined what was once a rock-stable currency until the dollar is now worth just 1/25th of the value it had when they first got control of it. While the Democrats and Republicans don’t want to acknowledge this, libertarians and Ron Paul want to shut the Federal Reserve down.

And this brings us full circle: The powers that be, including the corporations (and also the unions and the government bureaucrats), like the current setup where they can contribute to political campaigns and get favorable treatment in return. Libertarians and, in particular, Ron Paul, want to put an end to that.

Come November 6, 2012, we could be witnessing the most important election of our lifetimes — or it could turn out to be just another milepost in what appears to be the decline of a great republic. It’s the voters’ choice. All of the great civilizations of the past have waned or died. I just hope it’s not our time.

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