Apr. 14The Libertarian Party's executive director says Thursday's tax-day Tea Parties likely will draw plenty of Republican support, and for those who supported George W. Bush, any claim to favor limited government and fiscal conservatism is hypocritical.
Says Libertarian leader Wes Benedict: "The people participating in these rallies are saying 'There's too much government spending,' but Republicans, decade after decade, have supported massive increases in government spending. During the George W. Bush administration, Republicans in Congress supported spending trillions of dollars on foreign wars, a massive Medicare expansion, and banker bailouts. Republicans doubled the budget and doubled the federal debt. Why can't the Republican Party just admit that it loves big government?"
Benedict says he'd criticize Democrats, too, if they attended Tea Party protests: "However, I think it's safe to say that they'll be few and far between."
Benedict adds that he's not the only Libertarian who believes Tea Parties are too Republican: "Many Libertarians are enthusiastic about the Tea Parties, but many are not. Many Libertarians are concerned that participating causes us to get lumped in with conservatives and Republicans. In our online poll at LP.org, 28 percent so far say that 'The Tea Parties have become too Republican-flavored.'"
Libertarians, who want the government not only to cut spending but to stay out of people's personal lives, are not the same political animals as Republicans and other so-called "conservatives," Benedict said: "Libertarians are often frustrated when the press characterizes us as 'right-wing' or 'conservative.' Although we certainly support reducing government spending, which most conservatives also claim to support, we differ from right-wingers on many issues: for example, we oppose foreign interventionism, support immigrant-friendly policies, oppose overreaction to terrorism, and oppose the war on drugs."
Columbus' Tea Party will hold its tax day rally 5-7 p.m. at the city Government Center downtown. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Brion McClanahan, author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers." Other speakers will include state insurance commissioner candidate Stephen Northington, state House District 133 candidate Randy Kitchens and state Senate District 29 candidate Josh McKoon, said Sandy Toth, a Tea Party organizer.
Founded in 1971, the Libertarian Party is is America's third-largest political party and demands free markets and civil liberties.
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