The State of the Union is still a state of war with no end in sight because Democrats, Republicans and their corporate and special interest supporters benefit and profit from conflict, said R. Lee Wrights, a candidate for the Libertarian nomination for president.
A year ago, after President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union message, Wrights published an op ed with the title “The State of the Union is a State of War.”
“Lamentably, a year later, I am compelled to write that the State of the Union is still a state of war,” he said. “And there’s no sign that the wars will come to an end anytime soon, particularly so long as Democrats, Republicans, and their corporate and special interest supporters keep using our tax dollars to fund these wars so that they can benefit and profit.”
Wrights noted that while the president used the words “fair” and “reward” repeatedly in his speech, he thinks “fair” means taking money from those who produce and “reward” means giving it to those who don’t.
“His idea of fair is to reward companies that keep jobs in America by taxing companies that try to stay in business by outsourcing jobs overseas,” Wrights said. “His view of fair means rewarding schools that meet federally-imposed education standards by threatening to withhold money from schools that fail to do so.”
Wrights said that despite President Obama’s claim there would be “no bailouts, no handouts, and no cop-outs,” the address was a full of promises and pledges, threats and offers of reward that are precisely some sort of bailout, handout or cop-out.
Even while acknowledging that government is broken, all the president could offer was more interference and government mandates as solutions to the problems government itself has created, Wrights said.
“Government is not just broken,” Wrights asserted. “It is running out of control, destroying our lives, our liberty, our security and our livelihood.”
Noting that President Obama called for a change in the tax code so that “people like me, and an awful lot of members of Congress, pay their fair share in taxes,” Wrights asked, “Was the president admitting that he does not pay his fair share? If so, what prevents him from giving some of his wealth to charity – or to the federal government?”
Wrights said that the president has a distorted understanding of economics because he thinks that when anyone, especially the rich, get a tax break or pay less in taxes, someone else has to pay the difference or the supposed shortfall adds to the debt.
“His assumption, typical of most Democrats and Republicans, is the government is owed a portion of the fruits of our labor,” Wrights said. “It never occurs to him that perhaps the government has no business taking money from people who earn it in the first place. He never thinks that the solution is to stop government spending and stop robbing Peter to pay Paul.”
The prevailing view among what Wrights called the “ruling elite” is that the economy is a pie. If one person gets “more,” someone has to do with “less.”
“It never occurs to them that the free market is like a bakery that can produce many pies, and bigger pies, and different kinds of pies so that everyone has their fill,” Wrights explained.
Wrights was also critical of the president again using the courage, sacrifice and selflessness of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces as a prop to support more spending, higher taxes, and more wars.
“Our president doesn’t seem to realize that the way to reward such sacrifice by our men and women in uniform is to keep them out of harm’s way unless absolutely necessary,” he said. “As Commander-in-Chief I would take care that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are never sent on interventionist adventures in the first place”
If elected, Wrights said he would stop the “grandiose and wasteful display of meaningless pomp and circumstance” that surrounds the State of the Union Address and return to the practice started by Thomas Jefferson, our third president. Jefferson thought the sight of the President of the United States appearing before Congress to make a speech smacked of monarchy, reminiscent of the British king’s Speech from the Throne.
Jeffrson, and every president until Woodrow Wilson, simply sent a written report to Congress to fulfill the Constitutional requirement for the president to report to Congress on the State of the Union.
Wrights, 53, a libertarian writer and political activist, is seeking the presidential nomination because he believes the Libertarian message in 2012 must be a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war. To that end he has pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be spent for ballot access so that the stop all war message can be heard in all 50 states.
He is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and co-founder and editor of the free speech online magazine Liberty For All. Born in Winston-Salem, N.C., he now lives and works in Texas.