Open Letter to Glen Beck

Mr. Beck:

As I watched your excellent interview with Ron Paul for the second time, I felt moved to write to you, for two purposes.

Firstly, I want to thank you for giving Ron the chance to explain his ideas in detail, something I have have never before heard him permitted to do in a national forum. Libertarian ideas, especially our ideas on economics, do not easily reduce to sound bites. For example, Libertarianism sounds like it would be disastrous for the poor, until you understand that poverty could be almost completely eliminated, except in cases of severe mental or physical incapacity, by our policy of economic freedom. This point is essential to understanding why Laissez-Faire capitalism is the most, not the least, humanitarian approach to economics.

In reference to your assertion that in order to subscribe to Libertarian philosophy, one needs to be willing to "step over homeless people". This is false. Consider the 10 commandments. These are moral rules for living, which may be embraced by people of any political persuasion. People might find that there are valid reasons that the government should not force others to "Have no other gods before me". These same people may well feel that it is a moral imperative that they have no other god before their God. Their unwillingness to force their morality on others does not reduce their commitment to their morality. It merely acknowledges that if God wanted to add an 11th commandment, saying "Thou shalt force thy neighbor to live by these commandments", he would have done so, and he did not. Likewise, the Libertarian unwillingness to force others to spend their money on charity does not imply unwillingness to spend their own money on charity, and in a prosperous, free, and lightly taxed America, there would be much more money to devote to such things, and fewer people who needed them.

Secondly, I want to apologize, on behalf of some of my fellow Paul supporters, for any threatening or abusive mail you have received from them. Sadly, when you advocate real change, you tend to attract some people, e. g. conspiracy theorists and extremists, who may feel justified in attempting to achieve their goals "by any means necessary". I have been embarrassed and saddened by some of those who have joined me in supporting Ron Paul. I was horrified to discover that a white supremacist group understood so little of the philosophy of individualism that they endorsed Ron Paul.

I appreciated your refusal to blame Ron Paul for the antics of some of his supporters. My logic, in reaching the same conclusion, is similar to that I use to defend border control activists. Although some racists may support the Minute Men, that does not imply that all Minute Men are racists. I understand the economics of immigration well enough to know that even though there are invalid reasons to oppose illegal immigration, there are valid reasons to oppose it as well. That two people reach the same conclusion does not imply that their motives and reasoning are the same.

In conclusion, I enjoy your show, and I hope you will ponder the following questions: If left alone, it is clear and obvious that many Muslims would continue to hate Americans. But would they, if they did not feel themselves (rightly or wrongly) to be under occupation and under threat, be likely to resort to desperation tactics like suicide bombing -- which is the only way a backward precapitalist society could possibly attack America on it's own soil. I also hope you will consider whether our security could be increased by redeploying the troops currently in Iraq, Germany, and Japan to Afghanistan, where they might well be able to catch bin-Ladin, and to America, where they could defend our borders and our nation, rather than defending our defeated enemies.

No comments: