Thursday, March 02, 2006

Harry Browne: Rest in Peace

I pause to note the untimely death of Harry Browne. Mr. Browne ran twice for President as the Libertarian Party candidate. Now, I am no "big-L" Libertarian; I'm more of an America-First, old-right sort of guy. But I like to think that I can usually recognize principled people, and that -- as far as I can tell -- was Harry Browne. To me, libertarians are like Catholics and Jews: I'm none of the above, but I like my Catholics very Catholic, my Jews very Jewish, and my libertarians real.

These days, the LP looks and smells to me like the GOP in drag; it seems much more like the party of Neil Boortz than that of Harry Browne. And it's much the poorer for the change. They seem to think that compromise and deception will bring them electoral success; but not only is that unprincipled, it is also unlikely to succeed even on its own terms. As 1 Corinthians 14:8 asks: "For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for the battle?"

So, as I say, I'm not a libertarian myself, and there were things about which I disagreed with Mr. Browne. But he always gave me the feeling that he was honest, thoughtful, and principled in what he wrote and said. I'll miss him.

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