Thomas Jefferson vs. the Libertarian Party


Mercer,, Jul. 16

Not allowing the clouds to cap one’s

vision is an admirable quality, but allowing them to cloud reality

is hardly praiseworthy. The principled positions of the Libertarian

Party should have the potential to unite America in a common political

purpose. Not the current Libertarian Party, however. Not after nominating

a presidential candidate who refuses to see the perils of free,

unfettered immigration.

For the first time in an eternity,

libertarians can begin to make political inroads. The libertarian

opposition to unprovoked wars of aggression appeals to a sizeable

anti-war constituency, left and right, for which the invasion of

Iraq was a watershed event.

The LP’s stellar stands on civil

liberties, and privacy, and its firm opposition to the war on drugs

? these are bound to attract yet more liberals and some conservatives

who rightly believe that government has no place in the nation’s

medicine cabinets, snuff boxes, or hovering over their deathbeds.

The Patriot Act, tariffs, First Amendment

infringements, the unparalleled expansion of Medicare entitlements,

and the scrofulous spending are making it hard for neoconservatives

to continue to pretend that Emperor George is clothed.

Ideologically, Kerry is also naked.

When Howard Dean primal screamed his

way out of the race, left-of-center Democrats were left less.

John Kerry will not capture these disaffected voters. The LP has

the potential to so do. Considering its candidate’s

strong commitment to the actual defense of America (as opposed to

gratuitous foreign offensives), the LP might even manage to woo

neoconservatively inclined Democrats.

Why, the sky could be the limit. The

chaos neoconservatives leave in their wake may just prime Americans

for an awakening.

The canonical William F. Buckley recently

apostatized over the invasion of Iraq, prompting other Big Government

conservatives (or neoconservatives) to do a double take: “If

I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would

be in, I would have opposed the war.” Buckley also confessed

to being enormously bothered by the growth of government under Bush.

With a vital program that promises

to beat back government and reinvigorate civil society, the LP is

well positioned to return America to the vision of the founders:

a free society founded on individual rights and responsibilities.

Yet hardly any of my readers will

cast a vote for this party.

As traditional Taft Republicans, they

are the natural allies of libertarians. But like most Americans,

left and right, they desire greatly reduced legal immigration and

a swift end to the illegal influx. What an opportunity for the LP

to fill the void and become the only party to respect the

people’s leave-me-alone (negative) rights.

On immigration, however, the LP is

no better, and perhaps much worse, than the Democrats and the Republicans.

“Inviting an invasion by foreigners and instigating one against

them,” I

wrote, “are two sides of the same neoconservative

coin.” A Libertarian government may never invade, but

it’ll definitely invite an invasion.

Against such an eventuality Thomas

Jefferson famously cautioned in “Notes on Virginia” (Q.VIII,

1782. ME 2:118):

[Is] rapid population

[growth] by as great importations of foreigners as possible . .

. founded in good policy? . . . They will bring with them the principles

of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or,

if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded

licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another.

It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of

temperate liberty.

These principles, with

their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion

to their number, they will share with us the legislation. They will

infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render

it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass . . . If they come

of themselves, they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship:

but I doubt the expediency of inviting them by extraordinary encouragements

. . .

Alas, the LP has selectively picked

and chosen from the richly textured words of Jefferson, and turned

this classical liberal into their Emma

Lazarus.” But somehow, our state-planned,

multicultural, egalitarian quota system, which divides visas between

nations with an emphasis on mass importation of people from the

Third World ? the short and sweet of our immigration system ? didn’t

enter Jefferson’s consciousness.

And not because his was not an extremely

advanced consciousness.

Writing of immigration to George Flower

in 1817, Jefferson worried about “consecrat[ing] a sanctuary

for those whom the misrule of Europe [my emphasis] may compel

to seek happiness in other climes.” And to J. Lithgow in 1805,

“A first question is, whether it is desirable for us to receive

at present the dissolute and demoralized handicraftsmen of the old

cities of Europe [my emphasis].” Jefferson feared that

immigrants under “the maxims of absolute monarchies” again,

he was not talking about the monarchies of Buganda or Ethiopiamay

not acclimatize to “the freest principles of the English constitution.”

What would he say about arrivals from

Wahhabi-worshiping wastelands whose customs not only preclude “natural

right and natural reason,” but include killing their hosts?

That would have appalled Jefferson, and again, not because of his

limitations, but because of ours; because of how low we have


The greatest-ever American (no, it’s

not Tamar

Jacoby”) would not have “lower[ed]

the requirements for coming to the U.S.,” as the LP proposes,

but would have raised them to impossible heights. And most Americans

share his standards.

In order to complete the construction

of a serious alternative to the current “Tweedledumb

and Tweedledumber

electoral alternatives, the Libertarian Party must heed Jefferson

on immigration and scatter the clouds of unreason.

Ilana Mercer is a columnist for

WorldNetDaily. Her new book is “Broad

Sides: One Woman?s Clash With A Corrupt Culture.”

To learn more about Ilana and her work, please

visit her website.


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