“Anthony Gregory has a lot of litmus tests.” I believe Scott Horton said that about me on the air. Well, here’s one of my rules of thumb to see if someone is even close to being a real libertarian. It’s a three-part rule. You have to satisfy each condition. Then we can get into other issues—taxes, schools, drugs, etc.
1) Are you anti-Obama? He’s the most powerful man in the world. You have to hate the guy in power. But more important, you have to hate him for the right reasons. Obama being a social democrat and police statist are fine reasons. But first and foremost, you should hate him because he kills innocent people in large numbers.
2) Are you anti-Bush? Lots of people hate Obama, but have a soft spot for George W. Bush. Others hated Bush and like Obama. They are 95% alike. Any libertarian should of course dislike both presidents vehemently, and find them both to be among the worst in modern times. Bush started the worst war since Vietnam. If you are OK with that guy, you’re obviously not any kind of libertarian.
3) Do you hate Harry Truman more than Obama and Bush combined? Even though he’s long been dead, Truman should always be remembered as one of the very worst heads of state in the 20th century and one of the very worst presidents. I’m OK with people who think FDR, Wilson, or Lincoln were worse. We can agree to disagree. But what I don’t like is this idea that Obama or Bush is the “worst president ever.” I got that a lot during Bush—liberals claiming he was the worst president ever—and now I hear conservatives say the same about Obama. It’s not true. Both are awful. But neither compares to Truman.
Truman ended WWII by committing the worst terrorist acts in world history, bombing Tokyo after Nagasaki just for the heck of it, and assisting Stalin in the roundup of refugees to be sent back to the Gulags. After helping Stalin murder tons of people, he used Communism as an excuse to launch the Cold War. He intervened in the Mediterranean and waged an undeclared “police action” in Korea where he used napalm and strategic bombing to kill a million civilians. Even the worst Obama actions concerning the economy were foreshadowed in Truman’s Defense Production Act of 1950.
Caveat: I know principled libertarians who might find a plausible good reason not to hate Truman more than Bush and Obama combined. So this litmus test merely has the rebuttable presumption of soundness. One thing I do know, however, is that anyone who reads this and thinks it’s way out there is probably not a radical libertarian.