LP Monday Message: If Libertarians save one life

July 26, 2010

Dear Friend of Liberty,

The War in Afghanistan has dragged on for almost nine years. According to the Washington Post, there have been 1,189 American military deaths, which is more than two per week.

And of course, today’s big news about WikiLeaks raises a lot of questions about whether we’ve been honestly told how badly the war is going.

I’m often asked how Libertarian candidates make a difference in cases where they don’t win their election. We have over 150 candidates running for U.S. Representative, and over 20 for U.S. Senator.

Here’s how: ending the war sooner will save both lives and money. I’m also convinced that ending the war sooner will reduce terrorism, although I understand some others disagree.

I’m not attempting to put a dollar value on a life saved, but I’ve seen reports that some environmental and safety regulations cost anywhere from millions to billions per life saved. The cost of training and equipping replacement military personnel is also very high.

The entire national Libertarian Party budget, plus all of the funds raised by Libertarian candidates and affiliates, is a few million dollars at most.

I don’t know when this war will end. But if our party and our candidates help end this war just one week faster, that alone could save two American soldiers’ lives, plus contractors, and many more civilians. And with just a few million dollars in spending, Libertarians could save lives at a far lower cost than what the government spends on its attempts to save lives.

I think we can do even better than that, but I’m just trying to make the point that even a small improvement makes the whole effort worthwhile.

Libertarian candidates for Congress can help end this war by putting pressure on incumbents, particularly Democrats, who voted to authorize Afghanistan and Iraq. Simply mentioning it in a voter survey or media appearance makes a difference.

Any Libertarian volunteer can write a letter to the editor reminding people that Libertarians support a non-interventionist foreign policy. I often think that short letters work better. You could try, “I thought President Obama and the Democrats would end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring our troops home quickly, but I was wrong. Congressman ___ voted to authorize the wars and keeps voting for additional war spending. That’s why I’m voting

You can check here to see if there’s a Libertarian running for Congress in your district.


Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

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