The Aldrich Alert
Gary Aldrich

A Publication of the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty

Third Party Emerges

July 31, 2002

by Gary Aldrich - Volume 2, Issue 37

This article appeared on on Saturday, July 27, 2002.

Sometimes Iím asked why I am a Republican. Lately, Iím asking myself the same question. I thought I knew. I believed that even in times of war – maybe especially in times of war – Republicans would have the clarity of purpose and the institutional knowledge of the Foundersí intent to rise to the occasion and lead the nation to victory – without seriously curbing our liberties.

For years, conservatives have been shouting that liberals only want more power, want to create more rules for ordinary citizens and micromanage our lives – in favor of a "big brother" utopia. I thought Republicans knew this and were fighting for our liberties, weighing every new law against the ultimate controlling legal authority – the Constitution and our precious Bill of Rights.

But Iím beginning to doubt that even if we prevail upon the terrorists, the federal government weíve built up to repel them will not stand down, will not automatically reduce its presence in our lives, but will find support for the notion that these extraordinary intrusions weíve rushed to embrace should be maintained "just in case."

My fellow conservatives have worked so hard in the past to maintain and protect the country we love. During the Clinton years there was a sense that Bill Clinton and his cronies were not averse to using the power of the federal government against their political enemies. IRS audits of conservative foundations became routine, for example.

In fact, after the Democrats lost the House and Senate in 1994, the Clinton White House was convinced there was a conspiracy to undo Clintonís presidency, and they used White House resources to investigate those they considered to be the leaders of this emerging "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy." They rationalized this abuse by deciding that any move against the administration could be considered a threat to national security.

Just as some say "Whatís good for General Motors is good for the country," some actually believed that what was bad for Bill Clinton was bad for the country. Thus, any who attacked him, even for very good reasons, were considered "the enemy."

Although many thought the Clinton White Houseís misuse of federal tax dollars was "illegal activity," Congress didnít act aggressively enough to stop Clintonís brigade of lawyers and investigators from gathering intelligence that was later used against those they considered threats. Congress could have cut the White House budget to stop this abuse, but it did virtually nothing.

After the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma in 1995, the Clinton administration, the Democrats and their supporters in the mainstream media worked hard to establish the fiction that the bombing was the work of fringe elements of the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy." New evidence is emerging that suggests there might be some connection to our current terrorist foes. But Clinton and his friends were convinced it was the "Right Wing" that was responsible.

Thus, new federal laws were passed which gave the FBI and other agencies new tools to investigate "domestic terrorists." An entire class of "angry white males" was identified, and gray-haired men wearing flannel shirts and red suspenders and living in Western states were deemed to be very dangerous and worthy of federal investigative attention.

The fact that there has not been a single important indictment or conviction of any of these supposed large-scale, highly organized angry white male domestic terrorists has somehow escaped the notice of the mainstream media that helped to create this ridiculous "boogeyman."

While the FBI was sent out to investigate this horrible domestic threat, Osama bin Laden was establishing his deadly terrorist network right under our noses.

The fact that most of these men from the "right" were patriots, concerned that Bill Clinton and his strident wife, Hillary, were intent on trashing the Constitution and taking away their Second Amendment rights, meant little to FBI agents assigned to investigate them. If agents complained about investigating citizens who worshipped God and adhered to the Constitution, nobody ever heard of it. FBI agents did what they were told.

Which brings me to this: While itís all well and good to build a massive government intelligence structure to defeat foreign terrorists, it is the undeniable truth that our federal government is still hung up on political correctness and refuses to concentrate on the real terrorists out of fear of being accused by a vocal few of racial profiling.

Instead, leaders and bureaucrats take the easiest path to try to defeat our enemies: They treat every citizen as if he/she may be a suspect. In order to do that, they need new laws that give them incredible new powers, and all at the expense of our liberties.

The folks who love government have found common cause. Love of government has no party lines, apparently. Members of the Republican and Democratic parties join hands in favor of a massive buildup of federal agencies, federal intelligence ranks and law enforcement officers. No thought is ever given, apparently, to downscaling a single federal agency no matter how ridiculous, how expensive or how irrelevant. Thus, the federal government grows and grows.

After the terrorists are defeated, what remains is a massive intelligence-gathering "machine" that can be aimed at any group, foreign or domestic, thatís considered a threat to national security.

Those currently holding the power apparently learned nothing from the abusive years of the Clinton administration. In the wrong hands, that "machine" currently being assembled to fight foreign terrorists can be misused against the political enemies of a newly elected president. Those "enemies" may be traditional ethical dissenters and common political adversaries.

But the former Clinton administration should serve as a reminder that once created, the terrible forces of the federal government will be used. We have learned the hard way that there are no real safeguards against political abuse.

True bureaucrats donít know how to act otherwise, and dishonest politicians could care less about your rights. To some in politics, winning is everything. Those who call themselves Republicans or conservatives should remember that.

Nevertheless, there is a vast "coming together" of all those who believe that the federal government is the answer to all our woes. They are from the "left" and from the ranks of the Republicans who call themselves moderates.

Iím certain that supporters of the emerging "Green" party are also celebrating. After all, big government is what they need to enforce their extreme environmental agenda.

The new "third party" is all of those who love government, wallow in government, know of no other way, no other solution and, not incidentally, have no other employment. The new third party is made up of bureaucrats and big-government politicians and is supported by "dreamers" who crave security over all else and canít appreciate the fact that liberty is exactly what sets us apart from all other civilizations.

If we allow the new "third party" (call them Government-Loving Bureaucrats) to trade our liberty for security, then all weíll have left is real estate. We must not let that happen.