Bill Clinton's Reichstag Fire

by L. Neil Smith

         How very convenient.
         How very damned convenient.
         A heinous act is committed in Oklahoma City -- the bombing of a federal building in which many lives, including those of a dozen innocent children, are blasted away -- and the spokesmen of both established political parties see nothing in it but another opportunity to nourish their insatiable desire for control over the lives of others at the irrational, unnecessary expense of a sacred American tradition, more than two centuries old, of unfettered individual liberty.
         The spectacularly popular Republican showman who frequently identifies himself on his national radio program as the "Doctor of Democracy" spends two days wallowing in orgiastic fantasies of collective punishment -- a variety of socialism characteristic of Europe or Japan (where the light of the Constitution never shines) wholly alien to anyplace in America but the Army and the public schools. He pompously declares the moral equivalent of war and implies that it is time for Americans to sacrifice their time-honored and vital liberties for mere physical security.
         Meanwhile, American history's most discredited president and his power-hungry wife get a second lease on their worthless and destructive political lives as, lower lip extended and trembling, he struts and pouts on national television like the comical transvestites in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, pretending to a strength of character and resolve he never possessed and never will.
         Having done her level best to start a second Civil War, his Attorney General, a dangerously stupid and incompetent piece of work who has allegedly stated on more than one occasion that anyone is a potential criminal or terrorist whose opinions regarding life's most fundamental issues happen to differ from her own, is now free to assert without public opposition that she is vindicated.
         Likewise, equally stupid and incompetent people in the national mass media, who have sucked up unceasingly during the 20th century to those in power and have lately made a habit of attempting to identify distinguished and respectable civil rights organizations such as the Libertarian Party and the National Rifle Association with hate-motivated groups like the skinheads and the Ku Klux Klan, continue to profit from the lies they shovel daily at the public.
         Efforts in Congress -- some of them apparently in earnest -- to repeal more than four decades' worth of viciously unconstitutional legislation get sidetracked and, if the president and his cronies have their way, derailed altogether.
         Outlaw government agencies responsible for one increasingly illegal, murderously violent attack on innocent citizens after another receive a massive whitewashing by the whorish, authority-bedazzled media, while local police who have taken to imitating those agencies renew their "license to kill".
         Private talk and public forums on the computer internet, previously immune to scrutiny, censorship, or control by the establishment media or the government get closed down "for the duration" -- for which anyone even faintly familiar with history reads "forever" -- to the colossal relief of both major parties.
         Americans who were beginning to regain control of their own political lives can now be lumped together with racists and perverts -- and effectively silenced. The Bill of Rights, threatening for the past several years to make an unwanted resurgence in American political life, goes into the shredder, instead.
         What a windfall.
         What a damned convenient windfall.
         It's exactly the kind of windfall enjoyed by Adolf Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party when the Reichstag, the seat of representative government in that country, burned down and the newly-elected Nazi chancellor, blaming the fire on his political enemies, used it as an excuse to turn his country into a dictatorship. Historians are generally agreed that the Nazis themselves started the fire -- whereas the pattern of the Democratic Party in America has been to wait around, like vultures on a cactus, until something horrible happens (the assassination of a presidential candidate, the shooting of a score of restaurant patrons) that they can make the best political use of.
         Nevertheless, the effect is the same.
         The simple, politically inconvenient fact, however, is that terrorist incidents do not stem from any insufficiency of government, but invariably from too much of the stuff. This country's problems in the Middle East -- very much on America's guilty conscience following the explosion in Oklahoma City -- would not even exist if American politics were kept within American borders. Yes, that's what I said -- and if this be isolationism, let us make the most of it!
         If, as it presently appears, the Oklahoma tragedy relates, instead, to the infamous and tragically needless events of 1993 in Waco, Texas, then it is time to drastically reduce the role of government in American lives, as well, not to condone and expand the scope of the state terrorism which apparently provoked it.
         There is only one way to accomplish that -- and to prevent this bombing from being used as yet another excuse to terrorize and punish millions of Americans who had absolutely nothing to do with it -- but there are many ways to begin.
         First, all federal agencies must be disarmed, their employees forbidden to carry personal weapons on the job (or to wear masks or to affect military clothing), and their heavy weaponry and vehicles-of-war surrendered to the nearest units of a denationalized National Guard. These agencies must then be reduced to that number specifically authorized by the Constitution under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. If a few remaining federal investigators wish something to be done that is both lawful and requires the use of force, they may apply to local law enforcement for assistance -- and, more importantly, for consent.
         Next, the "War on Drugs", a disastrous Republican error which, by design or otherwise, has provided most of the justification for government incursions on individual liberty in recent years -- and which has served only to enhance departmental appropriations, numbers of personnel, and the dictatorial power of bureaucrats and politicians (while enriching their nominal enemies the so-called drug lords) -- must come to an immediate, screeching halt. It was never anything but a war on the Bill of Rights in any case. And any law -- like RICO -- which authorizes unconstitutional seizures of property must be repealed.
         All foreign aid, defense assistance, and overseas military presence must end, and a drastic reduction in "diplomatic" activities undertaken, as well. Americans are not the "cops of the world" and every attempt to make them so merely adds to the likelihood of another disaster such as that we have just witnessed. Scholars mindful of the dismal political history of the 19th and 20th centuries, once warned that the Vietnam War would lead to shrinkages of freedom at home, and they were right. We are witnessing the culmination of that process.
         Stringent -- make that, "draconian" -- enforcement of the highest law of the land, the Bill of Rights, must become America's number one political priority. The population that must be scrutinized all collect government paychecks.
         These measures would constitute a good beginning. The question arises, how is it to be accomplished? Certainly not by relying on the Democratic or Republican Parties which have long since betrayed all of their constitutional responsibilities. Before the Oklahoma City bombing, the media were full of reports that Americans are hankering for a third party, although mention was seldom made of which party it might be or what they believe it should stand for.
         America has had a third party for more than twenty years. Perhaps it's time to make use of it. Those who wish to see it achieve power and do the things listed above (and more) must work with those who only wish to continue living in a free country. If both groups -- to give an illustrative example -- were to begin putting bumper stickers on their cars that say, "NEXT TIME I'M VOTING LIBERTARIAN", it wouldn't matter what all those bumper sticker stickers really intend. For some it would be the literal truth. For others -- those who only want their own parties to straighten up and fly right -- it would be a threat, one that could be conveyed in letters and phone calls, as well.
         Try thinking of the Libertarian Party as a rolled-up newspaper, useful in making the Republican puppy (I've given up on the Democratic bitch) go where he's supposed to -- not on that beautiful antique carpet we call the Constitution.
         BAP! BAP! BAP!
         BAD Bobby, BAD Newtie!
         BAP! BAP! BAP!
         Of course to Janet Reno, such an exercise of free speech would be terrorism.
         But then, so is the rest of the Bill of Rights.

L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of 19 books including The Probability Broach, The Crystal Empire, Henry Martyn, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Pallas, and (forthcoming) Bretta Martyn and Lever Action. An NRA Life Member and founder of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, he has been active in the Libertarian movement for 34 years and is its most prolific and widely-published living novelist.

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