Libertarian Party: A message to Obama

Posted at LP.org by Andrew Davis

Today’s “Monday Message” is primarily one for President-Elect Barack Obama. Though the Bush administration, which has undoubtedly been one of the worst in American history, will be leaving office on Jan. 20, there is little room for celebration as Obama looks to take over as commander-in-chief.

Obama’s attitude towards wealth, the marketplace and economics is reason enough to worry about his administration in this extremely fragile economy. But, there are other areas where Obama must tread with care if he wishes to follow the Constitution and foster an environment of liberty that has been lacking these last eight years.

Therefore, the Libertarian Party wishes Obama the best of luck, and offers him the following suggestions for his presidency in the following areas:

* Civil Liberties:

This is one area where we thought Obama could bring real change to the table following the Bush administration, which held the protection of civil liberties about as high as they regarded things like the flu and traffic jams. However, when Obama’s feet were put to the fire, Obama sold out and capitulated to the enemies of freedom during the reauthorization of the Amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

It’s not unjustified to be skeptical of Obama when it comes to upholding civil liberties.

If Obama looks to separate himself from the Bush administration, he should—and must—work to undue the legislation of the last eight years that have left Americans incredibly vulnerable to government surveillance and spying. We must have our liberty restored and the despotic surveillance tactics of the “War on Terror” abolished.

Secondly, Obama must not use the Department of Justice as a tool to bend and break the law as he sees fit, as the Bush administration frequently did. The DOJ has much work to do to rebuild its reputation with the American public, and it can start with the Obama administration.

* Economic Freedom:

The necessity to defend and protect the marketplace from regulation and interference by the government is key to the long-term prosperity of the nation. This point cannot be stressed enough.

The Bush administration believed it had a right and duty to get involved in the economy when they thought it wasn’t working to their standards. Instead of letting the market work out its problems, Bush got involved and turned a bad situation into a worse one.

Obama should take a hands-off approach to the economy, stepping in only to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. Any attempt to “redistribute” the wealth through regulation or taxation should be avoided at all costs. If this is attempted, it will have dire consequences for the economy.

* Social Freedom:

Usually you don’t have to jump on Democrats about protecting social freedom, but as of late, Democrats have increasingly become more heavy-handed when it comes to personal choice in people’s lives.

The “global warming” hysteria and push for more regulation of Americans’ diets has put Democrats in the same corner as those who seek to institute moral standards through government regulation.

Obama must buck this new trend by Democrats and work to protect individual choice—even if it seems like the government needs to help people make these decisions. Obama can also take this opportunity to reform national laws that make victimless crimes a federal matter.

* The War:

This has to be one of the most obvious areas for improvement, yet one are that Democrats have consistently failed in since regaining control of Congress in 2006.

The power to end the war in Iraq is now in the hands of Obama. He also has a power to finally end what we began in Afghanistan long before we began military action in Iraq. What he must do is avoid moving troops from one theater to the other instead of simply bringing the troops home.

It is time for Obama and Democrats to follow through with earlier promises.

If Obama takes all of these suggestions, we will have one of the best presidencies in American history. If he takes none, then we will surely see times far darker than those under the Bush administration.

In all likelihood, we will see improvements over the Bush administration in some areas, and setbacks in others. This is why it is paramount that the Libertarian Party be a strong, shining beacon of liberty for all Americans looking for true change from the last eight years.

Live free,

Andrew Davis
Director of Communications
Libertarian Party

15 thoughts on “Libertarian Party: A message to Obama

  1. TheOriginalAndy

    “Ross Levin // Dec 1, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    The national LP continues to show its stupidity by acting like Republican lite and being nothing but negative about Obama’s election.”

    Why should anyone who is any kind of libertarian be positive about Obama’s election? I see no reason to celebrate.

  2. Ross Levin

    They could focus on the fact that there is a chance he might reduce the power of the presidency or restore some civil rights. There’s also the fact that he called for a 16 month withdrawal from Iraq, which is an improvement over Bush. Overall, that’s the bottom line – he’s an improvement over Bush.

    There’s no reason why they have to be so divisive, even if they are calling Obama out on not being as “pure” as his supporters often believe he is.

  3. TheOriginalAndy

    “Ross Levin // Dec 1, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    They could focus on the fact that there is a chance he might reduce the power of the presidency or restore some civil rights.”

    I’ll believe this when it happens.

    “There’s also the fact that he called for a 16 month withdrawal from Iraq, which is an improvement over Bush.”

    Yes, and when he was running for President, George W. Bush claimed that he was a “strict constructionist” of the Constitution and that he did not favor any nation building.

    Obama, like any politician, can say anything, but this often times has little connection to what
    they actually do.

    “Overall, that’s the bottom line – he’s an improvement over Bush.”

    I see no evidence that he is an improvement over Bush. Obama seems like another big government politician to me.

  4. VirtualGalt

    Does anyone really doubt that federal spending as %GDP will be higher 4 years from now?

  5. Ross Levin

    TheOriginalAndy – that’s ridiculous. You’re saying that anyone who you judge to be a “big government politician” is just as bad as Bush?

    Regardless, the LP could act as a force to push Obama in the right direction rather than just being divisive and glorifying themselves for no reason.

  6. G.E.

    Ross – “Republican lite”? You’re not reading the Republican press, apparently. Imperialist organs like Investor’s Business Daily, the Weekly Standard, etc., are all pleased with Obama’s cabinet selections and are generally supportive of the Israel-first neocon of the left… That is what they REALLY are anyway.

  7. hogarth

    What he must do is avoid moving troops from one theater to the other instead of simply bringing the troops home.

    It is time for Obama and Democrats to follow through with earlier promises

    Err. That *was* his earlier promise.

  8. rdupuy

    I agree that Bush was one of the worst presidents we’ve had, but presidents, in general, are trending worse.

    It’s yet to be seen whether Obama will be worse than Bush, very likely he will be worse.

    I agree with G.E. McCain would almost certianly be worse than both Obama and Bush.

    McCain was not intelligent, like Bush, he was average in intelligence. But McCain, on top of that was a hothead. On top of that, he didn’t believe in anything particular… why he was one of the most dangerous presidents we would have ever had.

    Obama, is cool in demeaner. Thats good, its better than being a hot head. Obama is smart, also good.

    However we do not have a president that has our historical concept of civil liberties or the role of government. There is zero chance he will move the country in that direction.

    He likes Green technology. Well the economy will develop products as it has already been doing, that meet market needs. He will likely invest vast sums of money at the direction of beauracrats, that will invitably be invested in the wrong place…that is the governments track record of dalliance into private enterprise…to base it not on market demand, but on decisions of beauracrats whose political alliegances and constistutent needs will overrule market demands.

    Still all that will be a side show, a phenomenal waste of money…but the market will still implement Green technology, because its something that makes market sense, and Obama will be free to take credit for it.

    The main thing I hope for Obama, is that he doesn’t get us involved in Somalia or other foreign wars…but who knows. Bush was mr. ‘no nation building’ during the campaign…we’ll see what happens.

  9. rdupuy

    p.s. even though it is not Obama’s fault in the sense that he was only in the Senate for 2 years…

    the fact is Obama will preside over a horrible economy. I think the market has a lot further to drop…retirement savings wiped out, etc.

    But as Franklin Roosevelt, whose policies probably did nothing but extend the misery of the great depression for a decade, was neverthless remembered as a ‘good president’…thats a tough call, whether he presides over a country that shrinks its economy, expands its debts, loses its influence in the world…but nevertheless overcomes the bad facts to be remembered as a kind of compassionate president…thats a whole ‘nother ball of wax.

  10. langa

    Obama’s reign will be a huge disappointment for his many devout followers. By the end of his term, he will be almost universally despised.

    However, 50 years from now, both he and Bush will be worshipped as “great men” by the statist historians, like Truman and LBJ are now.

  11. hoosier daddy

    “Obama’s reign will be a huge disappointment for his many devout followers. By the end of his term, he will be almost universally despised.”

    And it’s your job as Libertaraians to make sure that this will happen by stirring up the political forums, as you’ve always done.

    Please tell us all why you folks can’t come up with a viable candidate? Is it because your party, all ten of you, is so disorganized that you can’t find another you can agree with more than 20% of the time.
    Republican Lite – I must agree.

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