Posted by Bob Lord
The Libertarian and Green Parties have a few things in common. Most noticeably, they've both been wandering in the desert for decades and, in terms of the struggle to gain popularity, they're both as lost today as they've ever been.
I wonder, though, if they seized on their other commonalities -- especially their intense distaste for U.S. foreign and military policy -- and put everything else aside, whether they might bring an end to their wandering.
I have connections of sorts to both the Libertarians and the Greens. Philosophically, I line up with the Greens far more closely than I do with the Democrats. In fact, I doubt there is any principle Democrats these days would not be willing to cast aside if doing so were certain to result in victory at the ballot box, whereas the Greens, to their credit, are a highly principled bunch. If the Greens were the least bit viable, I'd be right on board. But they're beyond incompetent, so what's the point?
My sister was the Libertarian candidate for Vice-President in 1992. When I ran for Congress in 2008, I became friendly with my Libertarian opponent, Mike Shoen. And I do read the comments to my posts, including those from our Libertarian friend, Thane. Overall, I don't subscribe to the Libertarian philosophy. But, like Greens, Libertarians are nothing if not principled. When I disagree with Republicans, whether they're of the "establishment" or "tea-party" variety, there's often an element of disdain, because, to me, their statements often reek of intellectual dishonesty or stupidity, or both. Not so with Libertarians. My disagreement with Libertarians generally is respectful, although I question their adherence to formulas that I believe are overly simplistic in a very complicated world.
So, my objectivity here may be severely compromised, even moreso than normal, but it seems that if the Libertarians and Greens united based on the principles to which they both subscribe, and cast everything else aside, they'd be a powerful political force. I certainly wish it were so, nut just because I'd love to be working with my crazy sister towards a common goal, but because I think the area where the principles of the Libertarians and Greens most vividly and completely intersect happens to be the area where America's survival as a nation is most endangered and where both the Democrats and Republicans are most royally screwing things up. That area of course is our foreign and military policy.
I'm speaking of the Ameican Empire: Our 1000 plus military bases strewn around the globe; our $700 Billion military budget; our endless wars; our military occupations; our support of third-world thugs who are all too happy to sacrifice the well-being of their people for personal wealth; and our plundering of the world's mineral resources. Libertarians and Greens understand well the danger we face if these ghastly policies continue. Democrats and Republicans, not so much.
It is abundantly clear from world history that great civilizations decline not from under-engaging militarily, but from over-engaging. Eventually, the empire cannot be sustained. From this perspective, great civilzations are not toppled as much as they commit suicide. The Libertarians and the Greens both get this, whereas our mainstream political parties are clueless.
So, hypothetically, what would happen if the Libertarians and Greens joined forces and spoke only to this issue, and perhaps a few others, such as pot legalization, where they agree and the Democrats and Republicans have their heads up their collective asses? Would a LibGreen Party win elections and send representatives to Congress? In the short term, probably not. They would, however, go from Ralph Nader and Gary Johnson type performances to Ross Perot type performances. They would very clearly bleed votes from both establishment parties. (I think the Libertarians already do this, but the perception is they hurt the Republicans far more, and perception is reality on this front). It's anyone's guess what might happen from there, but there would be chance, a glimmer of hope, that American foreign and military policy might be forced to move in a better direction, and that would be one hell of an accomplishment.
Or, the Libertarians and Greens could continue wandering in the desert.