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What can libertarians share with the Iraqi people about voting?

Written by Subject: Voting and Elections
What can libertarians share with the Iraqi people about voting?

Posted in Liberty's Friend by R Lee Wrights on November 5th, 2006

(Originally published in Liberty For All February 9, 2005)

by Ernest Hancock

Many of us close to the political process here in America already know the path that has been laid out for the Iraqi people, and where it leads. The Western World has a culture that legitimizes the most horrendous acts of their governments with the ritual act of voting. We have been conditioned this way for many decades and in some cases for centuries.

No matter what we are being told I have no problem going on record before the Iraqi vote what can be expected. And I have every confidence that I will be just as accurate as I was about where we’d find ourselves after the invasion of Iraq. The elections represent a process that we are familiar with here in the United States of America. There will be the creation of a centralized government with many powers that will be given the power to use force to protect itself. This power will have the stated goal of insuring the peace, security, prosperity of Iraq as a country while protecting the lives, liberty and property of each Iraqi. Very soon the Iraqi people will learn that the promised role of the new centralized government will be abandoned to make certain that the interests of those in power, and those that make certain they stay there, are forwarded above all else. Opposition to the increasing tyranny will be encouraged to seek a political solution so that they are bound by the result of a process that they willingly participated in.

Should violent resistance continue, there will be many deaths and further escalation of the war for control. While peacemakers are often martyred for their methods, we should understand why. Refusing to legitimatize an oppressive government can be done in many ways and I am of the opinion that peaceful means are the most effective. I am very supportive of defending your life with deadly force if required, but it is this popular belief that is manipulated in to an escalation of violence that rarely serves the interests of those doing the killing and dying.

By creating an intolerable situation in Iraq, almost any rationale for stopping the violence is sought. This is by design in my opinion. We have learned here in the west that it is far easier to maintain and enhance power behind the shield of ‘the vote’ than with a bullet. Once in place, it will be much easier to rule millions with voting computers than with tanks.

I remember Jay Leno commenting on the Tonight Show that the Iraqi effort to draft a constitution based on ours was a good idea and that they should just take ours since we are no longer using it. I know he was referring to the abuses of the Bill of Rights and how the United States government has abandoned the role as a defender of individual liberty, but he was wrong. The US Constitution is working just as many of the founders intended.

Over a decade before the US Constitution’s collectivization of America, the revolutionaries that drafted the Declaration of Independence were of a different mind. “I smell a rat” summed up Patrick Henry’s view of the US CONstitution, and for good reason. While the Federalist Papers are often quoted to clarify the intent of the US Constitution, it was the counter arguments known as the anti-Federalist Papers that have proven to be prophetic. While the federalists argued that the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government would provide checks and balances on each other, it was the anti-Federalists that pointed out what was so obvious to them,… what happens when the 3 branches of government are aligned against the individual? ‘Free Speech Zones’ created by the Legislature signed into law by the Executive and supported by the Judiciary has proved the anti-Federalist right and is just one of thousands of examples.

The “compromise” made with all of the naysayers of the day, the anti-Federalist/anti-central planners/anti-collectivist/anti-statists/libertarians, was the creation and addition of the Bill of Rights. These “thou shalt nots” of government revealed what the revolutionaries feared most. They knew that the collectivization of power would eventually lead to the passage of laws like the PATRIOT Act that were designed to further empower and protect the collective from a population unwilling to live under tyranny. Regulation of the ability to share ideas, detention without access to a public hearing, trials by jury at the discretion of the government, state sponsored programs inside places of worship, forced indoctrination of our children, disarming the populace, forced military service and stealing of property are clearly signs of a tyrannical government that supporters of the Bill of Rights had hoped to prevent.

At the foundation of the relationship between each individual in America and the government is the Constitution. It is this document that provides the structure and the legitimacy for their existence. The US and State Constitutions are the “deal” the “contract” by which we delegate power to them under strict restrictions. What happens when one side of the agreement refuses to honor the contract? At what point is that contract considered ‘null and void’? In light of this understanding the issue of widespread vote fraud at the hands of those in power almost seems irrelevant.

So what are we offering the Iraqi people? Should they support the legitimization of a new regime that is destined to follow in the footsteps of its creator? To think that over a hundred thousand innocent lives and hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent/sacrificed/wasted to bring the Iraqi people the government _they_ want is to be fatally naïve.

So how can any libertarian support what is being done in Iraq? We should leave now and simply allow individual Americans full access to the Iraqi people in an effort for each of us to help build friendships and trust without the interference of governments. In my opinion there is no other way that does not lead America down the path of all Empires… the fall.

Originally published in Liberty For All February 9, 2005.

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