Latest posts by Joe Bast (see all)
- Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast on Trump’s Inaugural Address - January 20, 2017
- Libertarians, Heartland, and Frank Buckley on Immigration - December 9, 2016
- Wikipedia Is Post-Truth, Not a ‘Savior’ - October 18, 2016
The Web site of the National Libertarian Party has an online opinion poll that asks: “Which option most closely matches your feeling about the closing of the WWII Memorial during the so-called government shutdown?” I love it that they refer to the “so-called” government shutdown, so true in light of all the reports that government continued to spend our money at an alarming rate.
The first three proposed answers are what you might expect: “The government should not have closed the WWII Memorial” (58% ), “It was OK for the government to close the WWII Memorial” (3%), and “I don’t care much whether or not the memorial was closed during the shutdown” (5%).
But the next possible answer was a surprise: “The WWII Memorial should have been built on private property to avoid political meddling.” The thinking man’s answer! As Ayn Rand would have said, “check your premise.” If you rely on politicians to erect monuments, don’t complain if they choose to shut them down. An impressive 20% chose that answer.
The final possible answer, though, is even better: “A non-interventionist policy at the time of WWI might have prevented WWII.” I don’t think it’s possible to read that without laughing out loud. There shouldn’t even be a monument (to close down or keep open) because there never should have been a war. That’s really thinking it through! And 10% of the 5,516 folks who answered the poll chose that answer.
This is why I love libertarians. They think things through and for themselves, never accept the choices as they are presented by the political or chattering classes, and always check the premise. The result may not always be an effective tactic or strategy for advancing freedom, but that’s not always the point, is it? Finding the truth and speaking it out loud are their own reward, and they are toxic to totalitarianism of all stripes, eventually if not right away. No intellectual movement speaks truth to power better than libertarianism.
Diane and I just sent a gift to the LP to help them buy a building in Washington DC. You can learn more about that effort by going here.