My Letter to Mike Long

Once, I was a Magic: the Gathering player, who had made the Pro Tour. The nature of the professional level of M: tG players forces players to make alliances with other players because you need to share information with each other on what strategies and decks best work in a given set. Obviously, you need to be selective in whom your sharing this information with, because if you’re not getting as good as you’re giving then you’re there’s a degree of inequity in the relationship. As such, these other players become close associations and friends that you wonder what became of them long after your game involvement has ended.

For me, Mike Long was one such person. He was a very controversial figure on the Pro Tour, and had attained a level of infamy for both his skill as well as his outlandish behavior at the tables. That, and he was caught cheating a few times. He was one of M: tG’s many “bad boys,” but I always enjoyed working with him.
I recently got back in touch with him again, and proof read a copy of a new book her wrote. A political discussion ensued, whereby I learned that Mike Long was now a huge devotee of Rush Limbaugh’s. I, of course, unsuccessfully tried to talk him down from the heights of political extremism.

Here is an email I wrote to him that I thought I would share with the class:

Well I’m glad you feel you’re a Libertarian.
Just so you know, I ran as a Libertarian for State Representative in last years election.

I didn’t have to campaign much because I knew I wasn’t going to win. Strangely, with no campaigning, I still captured
19% of the vote.

I don’t really want to get into a huge political discussion with you because:
1. I’d just be rehashing what I wrote in the book that I sent you.
2. There’s honestly no right answer.
3. The nation is going to continue going on the same path its going on regardless of
what agreements you and I come up with.

I will say that I cringe every time you cite Reagan and Limbaugh as champions of Liberty, because they are/were
anything but that. America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. How did we get that way? With the
loving help of the Republicans and their “War on Drugs.” Furthermore, I strongly disagree with the laws
regarding prostitution. Both of these laws are based on the notion that I don’t have a right to my own body
and that the government knows better than I do what to do with it.

It is, of course, ironic that the government, specifically the Republicans, seem to engage us in all manner of wars
in the name of defending “liberty” and send our young soldiers away to die in a far off land. Taken all together,
I can’t pay money for sex, or smoke pot, because I need to keep my body and mind strong to go fight a war.

It’s insanity. And don’t even get me started on “Defending Marriage.” People ask me whether I think it’s OK for
gay people to get married. You know what I tell them, “When did it becomes the government’s task to decided
and sanction marriage in the first place?”

Of course, being a Libertarian, I already know the answer. The government got involved in the marriage business
to prevent interracial marriages. Now they just maintain the marriage business to keep the gays out.

I applaud that your quote Mises, but you seem to have missed where he talked about the most fundamental right of all
being a sound money. According to Mises (and Jefferson for that matter) once government takes control of money, they
use it to gradually strip wealth away from the people.

The Democrats gave us the instruments of our monetary destruction: the Federal Reserve and the Individual Income Tax. Both were gifts of the Woodrow Wilson Administration. The Wilson Administration then engaged us in a global war that nobody, then or now, could explain why anyone was fighting. He did it to “Keep the World Safe for Democracy.” Then, FDR ran roughshod over the US Constitution with his communist inspired Work Recovery Act, gold confiscation order, and Social Security.

Yes, the Democrats are no friends of liberty. They were once, the only time in our nations history we had no national debt was under Andrew Jackson, but that was a very long time ago. But the true enemies of liberty since 1980 have been the Republicans. Reagan tripled the national debt in order to fight a cold war than damn near turned into a shooting war, and for what? Furthermore, he ramped up the War on Drugs as well as instituted a crusade against pornography. He got us involved with Central American dictators who tortured and murdered their own people, just as long as they weren’t Communists. I simple don’t understand how anyone can accuse him of being a champion of liberty.

And George W Bush got his game plan straight from Woodrow Wilson: fight a global war so as to defend liberty and secure American interests abroad. In doing so, he also doubled the national debt while getting us involved in occupations that no one seems to be able to find their way out of. He passed the Patriot Act which gave the government god knows what powers, engaged in rendition, torture of war prisoners, classified people as “unlawful combatants”, detained people for years without charges, went further towards turning the US into a surveillance state than any president I’ve ever seen.

And who defended G W Bush the whole damned time. Your friend, Rush. He’s a political sellout that doesn’t seem to have an original thought in his head that wasn’t put there by the RNC. That, and I’ve heard he’s mildly entertaining.

Anyway, enough with all that. If you want to keep the politics in the book, fine. Personally, I don’t think it belongs there, but if it plays well with the audience you’re targeting, then great. There a great many other books I’d love to point you to written by great Libertarian minds such as Murray Rothbard, or William Bonner, but that can wait.

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