After enjoying a wonderful Christmas with friends and family, I started thinking about the cards I sent and received. Some of them have “Peace” inscribed on their fronts with an attractive picture or drawing. The carols we sang included the word “peace” quite often. But I’m feeling uncomfortable about it. Not the word “peace”, but rather the fact we don’t have it as a country. We have allowed Democrats and Republicans to put our nation in a condition of perpetual war, and I do not believe this is healthy.

I looked up the Libertarian Party platform and here’s what it says about US foriegn policy:

3.3    International Affairs

American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should
emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding
foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention,
including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and
defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of
terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by
political or revolutionary groups.

This sounds good to me, but we are so far from this idea right now in American foreign policy it’s not even funny. Even worse than the financial burdens of perpetual war on a debtor nation like the USA are the effects of frequent military interventions on the lives of the men and women serving in our armed forces, and on their families. Their sacrifices should be honored and used only in extreme national need, not as a “flavor of the month” adventure by the President and our empire-building State Department. Our pathetic, lap dog Congress does not assert its ownership over the decaration of war as stated in our Constitution, but rather lets whoever is President use American force on the flimsiest of excuses (Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011 being two recent examples). We owe those troops more than that. In a healthy democratic republic, using the military outside our national borders would be a really big deal done only after proper deliberation and legislation. We are not currently a healthy democratic republic, but we can become so in 2012.

As we celebrate New Year’s Eve, let’s reflect on what the whole “peace on earth, good will to men” idea means. How should we apply that principle in our national political life? I suggest it begins with finding and supporting candidates in the 2012 elections who know and respect our Constitution, and understand that war should be the last option, never the first.

Tim Keirnan, Vice Chair
Livingston County Libertarian Party