From today’s edition of the Libertarian Enterprise, L. Neil Smith’s open letter to Rush Limbaugh:
Dear Mr. Limbaugh,
I began listening to you early in the Clinton Administration. For years you’ve said you’re playing with half your brain tied behind your back “just to make it fair”. For the same number of years, I’ve been saying (admittedly to a much smaller audience), that if you ever untied and started using the other half of your brain, you’d be a libertarian.
That was all in fun (although I do believe it). But what I have to tell you now is intended quite seriously. I’ve been involved in the libertarian movement for 50 years, since 1962, when I was 16 years old — almost before the word “libertarian” was in common currency. In all of that time, we libertarians have learned to handle the Left, better, I think, than the Right does. Partly that’s because we aspire to many of the same things that they do — except that we really mean it.
And more importantly, we want to achieve it by ethical means. We want women to be safe and secure, for example. Do we give them little plastic whistles, or blue-lit telephones on college campuses, or hold candle-lit “Take back The Night” parades? We do not. We teach them to shoot.
And when we call it “Victim Disarmament” instead of “gun control”, the so-called “progressives” look like they’ve been punched in the stomach.
We’re not afraid of “taboo” topics, either, because today’s “nutcase” explanations of the way the world works is tomorrow’s given wisdom. Oil, for example, is expensive, not because it’s scarcer or harder to get than it was (in fact, it’s the second most abundant liquid on Earth), but for purely political reasons extremely similar to those that keep Third World people hungry on a planet awash in food.
You know global warming is a complete fraud, and talk about it frequently. So is Barack Obama — the first illegal alien to occupy the White House — but you appear timid, afraid to speak the plain truth about that, and a great many other critical issues of the day that would win you hordes of new listeners and the sponsors to go with them.
This young woman you’re accused of having mortally insulted: you were right about her, she is a prostitute, but not in the traditional sense. She has prostituted herself politically, to the vile minions of collectivism. You should have said that, instead of apologizing and looking foolish and weak in the process, vulnerable to even more savage attacks. I believe the public would have been a great deal more sympathetic with you, and more willing to listen to your side, if you were more independent, and didn’t sound like an RNC mouthpiece all the time.
I stopped listening to you shortly after the campaign season began because I got tired of hearing you mock and insult the only man in the Presidential race who is intelligent, honest, and thoroughly sane: Ron Paul. Only Dr. Paul has the courage to call out the crooks, cowards, bullies, and lunatics of which the past several governments have been very largely composed. In stark contrast, the candidates you tacitly support are little more than store dummies without an ounce of brains, spine, guts, or testicles among them. But they’re a credit to Disney’s Audio-Animatronics.
More to the point, not one of them has even the faintest shadow of a clue about getting America out of the mess it’s in. Listening to Gingrich, Romney, or Santorum rave is almost physically painful, like hearing some maniac who wants to throw kerosene on a fire to put it out.
That’s enough for now. I suppose this letter is something of an exercise in futility, unlikely to get past your gatekeepers (one reason I’m making it public), but if it should, I strongly suggest that you listen more closely to Dr. Paul from now on. I’m not a part of his campaign, I can’t speak for him, but I’ll bet he’d have a private conversation with you if you asked. I also suggest that you read my book DOWN WITH POWER: Libertarian Policy In A Time Of Crisis.
Finally, you should read a little book by Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, a 34-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, twice the recipient of the Medal of Honor, and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. The book is called War is a Racket; as you read it, remember that when the great Paul Harvey changed his conscience about the War in Vietnam, his audience increased, and listeners loved him even more than they had before.
L. Neil Smith