Whatâ€™s in a word? When it comes to political rhetoric, everything. For those among us who like to proselytize and share the virtues of a limited state with card-carrying Republicans, I will help you along with a little Libertarian-to-Republican translation primer. Using the suggested phrases in place of phrases you would typically use will help you explain your points effectively and in a way which does not connect you with those groups and individuals that Republicans consider opponents.
Fascist: Where you would use this word, instead try substituting â€œLiberal.â€ While any astute Libertarian knows himself to be a Classical Liberal, it is a mis-communication to give this label a positive connotation when talking to a Goldwater Conservative. To him, Liberalism is a term that describes the Guns and Butter policies of Lyndon B. Johnson, whose draft, punitive taxation, and Great Society are seen by any good Libertarian as pure fascism.
Public School is a Propaganda Machine: When you find yourself motivated to utter these words, instead let fly the rhetoric â€œGet your tax money back to send your kids to private school.â€ The voucher system is a slippery slope to our goal of a private-only education, where history can be judged by the academic community, rather than a department of the State whose goal it is to make government policies and past judgments look grandiose and successful, regardless of the facts.
End the War on Drugs: When discussing this tough issue with a Republican, harping on the moral virtues of allowing or disallowing personal decisions will likely evoke the image of a society run by Cypress Hill or Snoop Dogg. Rather than forcing your listener into culture shock, try saying â€œGet tough on violent crime.â€ Anything tough sounds good to a conservative, and explaining how bad police response times can be when so much focus is put on the drug war allows you to segue into an argument for redistribution of criminal justice manpower towards stopping violent and property crime. With this as a priority, you can explain that the Drug War is an unaffordable mess.
End the Policy of Preemptive War: Never use the word â€œwarâ€ and anything negative before it when trying to convince a Bush-era conservative to oppose a certain foreign policy move. Follow the language of Pat Buchanan on this one and go with â€œAmerica First.â€ Talk about the costs associated with building bridges and infrastructure in other nations and complain about our own border insecurity. While, of course, most of us would like to see America without strict borders, this would have to be in a non-welfare state nation. No need to have that debate yet, though, as we are not within putting range of that one at all. Ultimately, you want to use the Robert Taft, â€œWho cares about other countries governments?â€ attitude, rather than the Code Pink â€œWar is wrongâ€ approach. Whether this is consistent with how you feel or not isn't important; your feelings arenâ€™t going to stop preemptive war, while getting the Republican Party to adopt the â€œno nation buildingâ€ mantra will. I think that despite the harsh, uncaring rhetoric, a million or so people in some third world nation with a lot of oil or uranium would thank you for it.
Legalize Gay Marriage: Most Libertarians rightly believe that the Stateâ€™s involvement in marriage is illegitimate, and has led to problems. Rather than suggesting that homosexuals have the right to whatever free association they choose, suggest â€œPutting marriage back in the hands of the churches, rather than the liberals in Washington D.C.â€ Obviously, taking away the Stateâ€™s ability to say yes or no to marriage would have the effect of legalizing gay marriage, as some churches would offer to marry homosexuals. However, by using this rhetorical approach you are giving that authority to the Church, something of which most conservatives would approve. This would not force anyone who disapproves of gay marriage to have to participate in it in any way, via the coercive power of government, so in that sense you would be offering the correct solution to a silly, ignorant problem.
Here you can see some examples of ways to Republican-ize your Libertarian views. Try making up some of your own and taking them to a GOP meeting. Iâ€™d be willing to bet that, with a little practice, you could make Lysander Spooner sound like Mark Sanford in no time. That is, assuming that Mark Sanford isnâ€™t doing that already.
"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man"
Inscribed on the roof of the Jefferson Memorial