A couple summers ago, I found I could agree with 52% of the platform of the Libertarian Party of South Dakota.
I can agree with 100% of the LPSD’s response to Ron Branstner’s anti-refugee, anti-Clinton paranoia session in Aberdeen on August 11:
This entire country is built upon refugees. Good, honest, hardworking people that just want to leave the evil and devastation of their home land in hopes of just increasing the chances their kids will have a better life. As natural born citizens, we all want immigrants to become citizens. We want immigrants and refugees to become part of our community and contribute to our local economy. If you’re against that, then you’re against liberty, you’re against freedom, and you’re against everything this nation was founded upon [Jon Boon McNutt, State Chair, Libertarian Party of South Dakota, “Aggression & Anti-Muslim Rhetoric,” LPSouthDakota.org, 2016.08.13].
Chairman Jon Bon McNutt doesn’t just speak from principle and history; he rebuts Branstner’s “falsehoods” and “lunatic” sources with data:
The case for refugees can easily be made. Besides it being the right thing to do, there is a huge economic advantage. As of 8/12/2016 there are over 600 jobs available in Brown County South Dakota (and that’s ONLY on the Department of Labor site). Aberdeen is begging for people to hire at all levels and educational backgrounds. We don’t have people leaving their cities in droves to move here and all the notable employers in town are scrambling for employees to train.
And now the data shows that immigrants are exponentially less violent than natural born citizens. Refugees and immigrants are individuals, they’re families, and they’re willing to do jobs that a large majority of Americans won’t do. If you generalize refugees and immigrants as violent and criminal then you might as well generalize all black youth as gang members, all latino’s as job thieves, and all white males as mass shooters [McNutt, 2016.08.13].
McNutt acknowledges his party seeks a world with no refugees, but that means a world where we aren’t killing each other and driving innocents from their homelands:
One of the reasons refugees exist is because of war. Our wars. Our involvement in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya has created more refugees with drone strikes then their own government ever could. We can’t un-bomb those sovereign nations but we can stop it now. We can stop the perpetual war machine and do the right thing and the humane thing.
If you agree, then you should join us and join the pro-peace party [McNutt, 2016.08.13].
Libertarians as the pro-peace party—I like that angle. Keep at it, Jon!
The Libertarians have denounced the false and violently hateful rhetoric brought by anonymous organizers to sully our city. So have I. So has our local paper. I wonder when our local Republicans will get around to denouncing the harmful rabble-rousing that hinders civil discourse and offers no practical solutions for Aberdeen’s challenges.