Sunday, July 6, 2008

Measuring a Libertarian against a "Ron Paul" Republican: Thibeaux Lincecum

Possibly the most outstanding website generated by any Libertarian candidate is that of Thibeaux Lincecum in Maryland's 4th District, US House of Representatives. There you can find not only Thibeaux's stands on the issues, but those of Democrat Donna Edwards and "Ron Paul" Republican Peter James, matched up in parallel columns.

It is an informative experience to browse these positions. Not the Democrat positions, which are--after all--blandly Statist liberal pap, but to compare a Libertarian with a "Ron Paul" Republican.

This is an interesting comparison, and not intended to set up a straw man (sorry, Dominique, couldn't resist). From my personal perspective I find Lincecum more compelling on domestic issues, with the two of them headed in the same direction of foreign policy (but with James having better specificity).

I encourage readers to vist the web site and read through all the issue statements of both men (and visit Peter James' own site and also here, so you can assure yourself he has not been misquoted).

Here are some samples

For example, under Priorities, here is the match-up:

Lincecum:

Balance the Federal Budget by reducing spending on almost all government programs.

Increase Freedom by eliminating laws against 'victimless crimes.'

Improve National Security by stopping our interventions into foreign conflicts.


James:

1) Abolish the Federal Reserve - Congress will issue the money directly.

2) Abolish the IRS. By eliminating the $400 billion in interest and returning spending levels to 2000, the Federal Government can do without the $1.1 trillion it collects in personal income taxes and have a balanced budget.

3) Restore jury trials to all and the jury’s power to judge the law.


About same-sex marriage:

Lincecum:

I support repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, all laws defining marriage, and all laws assigning special benefits or discriminating based on marital status, family structure, sexual orientation or gender.


James:

Marriage should be conducted by the church or as an agreement between two people, not by the State. The State only fairly recently got involved in this issue for supposed public health reasons. The state should provide no more privileges to married people than it does to unmarried people. The only exception would be to take into account the burden of raising children.

The state should not interfere with any private contracts, so any two people can contract for whatever services they wish.

In any case, this is a state issue, not federal. I would not support any federal recognition of Gay marriage.


About the War on Drugs:

Lincecum:

I support rigorous labeling requirements and prohibitions against sale to minors, and I support the official Libertarian Party platform regarding the war on drugs.


James:

No position stated.


About the Department of Homeland Security:

Lincecum:

I would drastically cut the size of the Department of Homeland Security, using it initially only to facilitate communication between established security agencies. While greater integration between security agencies might be a worthwhile goal, change should be undertaken more gradually, to avoid the gross mismanagement and waste that has accompanied the rapid growth of DHS.


James:

Abolish it. The FBI should handle domestic terrorism and federal crimes, the CIA and defense intelligence should handle foreign matters. Local and state police should handle local matters.

While Homeland security sounds good to a fearful public, it is evolving just as ‘‘fatherland” security developed in Germany.

We so hated the USSR because of their secret police; now we have our own.


About the US Military:

Lincecum:

By not trying to impose values or gain influence in other nations through the use of force, we remove incentives for others to attack us and can reduce our military spending. The best guarantee for continued peace between nations is economic interdependence, and that results from free trade.


James:

Fully fund benefits for veterans. Stop fighting perpetual war. Reduce 700+ foreign bases to a number we can afford. Use military for defense only, unless we are attacked by a Country and Congress declares war. Pursue terrorist leaders with small antiterrorist units. Get Osama. Don't fight and die for dictators.


About the Deficit:

Lincecum:

To eliminate the deficit, there are three options: reduce spending, increase taxes and/or increase debt. I will work for only one: reducing spending in all major areas of government. Disproportionally taxing high income sends tax revenue to other countries. For an alternative, see www.fairtax.org.


James:

It’s not the deficit it’s the Debt. See: http://mwhodges.home.att.net/ The private banks create money out of thin air as Debt. They never create the money to pay the interest. This means debt always increases. See the “Money as Debt” video on www.peterjames08.com. Institute a Just Money system.


What to conclude from all this?

First, it is amazingly encouraging to find two of the three candidates for a Maryland House seat with such Libertarian views. This suggests a movement of culture and politics running beneath the standard MSM narrative.

Second, it suggest to me that Libertarians need to support Thibeaux Lincecum. This is not intended to dis Peter James, but to suggest that when we've got a Libertarian candidate with strong Libertarian views, we need to support him instead of Libertarian-leaning Republicans.

Why? Because we're trying to build the Libertarian Party, not invade the GOP.

Rational people may disagree on this approach, but I find it hard to justify contributing to Peter James' campaign via Freedom Slate '08 when to do so harms Thibeaux Lincecum.

1 comment:

Waldo said...

James is indulging the pious fraud Republicans practice when trying to seem progressive. They say they favor equal marriage rights as a state issue, but not a federal one. By that manes they preserve to the majority immigration rights, tax equality, social security survivor benefits, and a thousand or so other federal advantages. Gays are already second-class citizens. If that's the way James wants to keep them, what's a title among friends?