When Ron Paul was running for President, he spurred a lot of discussions over his controversial views and policies; one of these debates started at the June 13th Republican Presidential Debate, where in answer to a question about Gay Marriage, Candidate Paul said:
“The federal government shouldn’t be involved. I wouldn’t support an amendment. But let me suggest, get the government out of it. Why doesn’t it go to the church? And why doesn’t it to go to the individuals? I don’t think government should give us a license to get married. It should be in the church.” (1)
So Mr. Paul believes that the government should have nothing to do with Marriage, rather, it should go to the Church and the people. To be blunt Mr. Paul, you couldn’t be more wrong, the Federal government must have a role in marriage. Now before all the Libertarians accuse me of being for big government, let me tell you I’m not; I actually do believe in limited government, and I am as Conservative as they come, but I believe that Marriage is one of government’s limited duties, because without the government, Marriage is unenforceable.
Let me explain:
Simply put, if government were to be taken out of marriage, marriage would no longer have legal teeth; but what does this mean? What people who call for marriage to be left to the church overlook is that the reason government is involved, is to provide a legal protection within the marriage. This legal protection provides insurance for those individuals in the event of divorce or death (alimony, child support, property rights, outside interference etc.).
Churches do not have these legal teeth because they have no legal authority. Where the government succeeds in providing a legal document certifying the marriage of the two individuals, providing validity and protection, the Church fails to do so. Since Churches have no legal authority, a marriage license can (and will) be different from Church to Church, making marriages different from Church to Church. With both marriage certificates and marriages themselves differing between Churches, marriage becomes unenforceable. You cannot enforce a marriage without legal authority, and you cannot enforce a marriage if one church recognizes it, and another does not. But there are many other chaotic consequences to be found when you leave marriage solely to the Church.
The first consequence of leaving marriage to the Church is; because there is no legal teeth in the Church or their marriage certificates, a man (for all intents and purposes) can get married one day and then decide the next day that he is no longer married, and there would be nothing anybody can do about it (legal consequences are now gone).
The second chaotic consequence is a similar one to the first, assuming one does not claim not to be married anymore, one could get married and then very soon afterwards “divorce” their husband/wife; say that their marriage is over and leave their spouse high and dry with no legal consequence or protection afforded.
You see, if government is taken out of the picture for marriage and the legal protection removed, marriage would be reduced to nothing more than a symbolic promise; imagine for example one of these instances were to occur and after pledging themselves to their spouse in marriage, the husband decides to just up and leave his wife. Now let’s say the wife decided to take her “ex-husband” to court to get some sort of restitution for his betrayal; sad as it may seem, she would be denied by the court because she would have no legal case.
Since government has been removed, they no longer have the legal authority to handle such cases; it would be the same as if a girlfriend told the Judge that her boyfriend should be punished for breaking his promise of “I’ll never leave you baby.” The same situation applies to a marriage that has no governmental legal protection; a promise may have been broken, but the law would not, and thus, the offended party is for all intents and purposes screwed.
The third consequence of leaving marriage solely to the church is that under that system, one could marry someone in one church, and then go to another church and marry someone else without the permission or knowledge of their original spouse, due to the different unenforceable marriage licenses of each church. Now obviously this can happen with government having a hand in marriage as well, but under our current system if one is caught being married to multiple people, he/she will pay the legal consequences. But take government out of marriage, there is no longer a legal consequence to be had, and one could get away with being married to two people at once, without the permission of either of their spouses.
A fourth chaotic consequence is that if marriage is left to the church alone, incestuous marriage would be perfectly legal. Without government involvement in marriage, a father or mother could marry their daughter or son, a brother could marry his sister, an aunt her nephew and an uncle his niece. There would be no legal restrictions barring such abhorrent behavior, and society would only be negatively affected by it; the same as said before would go for polygamous marriage.
But it gets worse, for if government is taken out of marriage, the situation would dissolve into the obscene; for if marriage is left solely to the church, marriages of bestiality can and in some cases will take place. Don’t believe me? Well, if marriage and its definition is left solely to the church with no governmental involvement, all one has to do is find a church (or temple, mosque, church of Satan etc.) that will accommodate his or her beliefs, and is willing to perform the marriage. As disgusting as it sounds, if left only to the church, we may soon be hearing of marriages between a man/woman and their dog or cat.
But wouldn’t the problem be solved if no church agreed to this kind of marriage (which you can’t guarantee)? No it wouldn’t Assuming all churches and religious houses of worship do the right thing and deny this kind of marriage, this does not solve for the fact that anyone can become a certified pastor/priest literally overnight. This means that if no one else is willing to do it, then anyone can become certified and marry themselves to whatever they want: “I now pronounce you man and lamp.” All these “marriages”; incestuous, polygamous, bestial, object-based etc. will all be perfectly legal if government were to be removed from the institution.
Now some have suggested that the (local) courts can have a hand in marriage, only in the sense that those who did not want to get married in a church or other religious setting (an Atheist or a Homosexual who do not agree with a Church’s doctrine for example) could get married there, and leave all other marriage up to the church. There are however, a few problems with this suggestion; first of all, if this were to occur, only half the problem would be dealt with: those who decided to get married in the court would effectively have some sort of legal protection since their marriage via the court would have a legal element, but those who get married through a church alone will still not have that protection.
Secondly, this suggestion allows for each person or couple to define marriage for themselves, which is wholly unacceptable. Marriage being between man and woman is Natural Law, it is included in what Jefferson termed “the laws of nature and nature’s God.” It doesn’t matter who you are; whether you are straight, bi-sexual, gay, or French, no one has the right to change a Natural or Moral Law that God has infused into our very being. To quote Dr. Michael Milton:
“No one has the right to take away freedom of thought or choice unless that freedom turns to licentiousness by hurting another OR BY DENYING THE INVIOLABLE LAWS of nature and nature’s God…To give in to libertarian or more accurately licentiate, muddle-headed notions and cries for ignoring what is encoded into the very laws of life is to not only go down with the ship, but share in the culpability of destroying it. Marriage is an inviolable law that cannot be tampered with by man. It is lunacy and suicidal to think and act otherwise…” (2)
Founding Father James Wilson cements the truth of Traditional Marriage being part of Natural Law, when he wrote in “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals”:
“The most important consequence of marriage is, that the husband and the wife become in law only one person…Upon this principle of union, almost all the other legal consequences of marriage depend. This principle, sublime and refined, deserves to be viewed and examined on every side.” (3)
Government should not be involved in “defining marriage”; they must however be in the business of defending the only true and legitimate definition of what marriage actually is. There are those who try to take morals out of the situation, but this is impossible, for without a moral society, freedom and limited government cannot last, for with the spread of societal immorality, comes the loss of respect for freedom, and the breeding of a bigger and more intrusive government; as one author said “Conservatives rightly uphold the institution of marriage between a man and a woman because marriage is the seedbed of society, the necessary precondition for limited self-government.” (4)
There are some who say that government being involved in marriage is itself big government, but this is simply not true; the government is there to protect our civil liberties and defending the definition of marriage and providing legal protection for those involved in marriages is nothing if not protecting our liberties. But what of those who disagree with the traditional view of marriage, do they not have the right to marry whoever they want? Well, it depends on what you mean by “right to marry”; there is no intrinsic “right to marry”, as you cannot petition that your right to marry has been violated because nobody will marry you.
That being said, the government cannot stop you from marrying the woman (if you are a man) or man (if you are a woman) of your choice (assuming the person you intend to marry consents to join you in matrimony). We do not have the “right” to marry, we do however have the freedom to marry; and at this present time, homosexuals and others have the exact same marital freedoms that any straight person does; in the same way that I as a straight man am free to marry any woman who will have me, any gay or lesbian person has the exact same freedom that I enjoy, as they can marry anyone of the opposite sex that will in turn have them. They may not like it, and it may sound amusing at first glance, but it’s true, there is no inequality within the freedom to marry, what people are calling for is an open definition to marriage, which is completely incompatible with a free society.
So having established that government must be involved in marriage for all the reasons stated above, the question must be asked: “why can’t we just leave this up to the state governments?” The simple answer is that if marriage is left up to the states, you would experience all the same problems (minus the legal issue) listed above. If left to the 50 different states, we would have 50 different marital laws, and the possibility of many different definitions of marriage, only this time, they would have legal protection. Every single non legal problem with leaving marriage up to the church alone is carried over to having the states define it, and thus, nothing is actually solved; it is sadly the same fate as taking government completely out of marriage.
But there is also the fact that taking government out of marriage will lead to a mass violation of religious liberty; I mention this now rather than earlier due to the example I am about to cite taking place at the state level. In this present day we see gay marriage being legalized in certain states, and already people’s (in this case Christian’s) rights of religious conscious are being trampled on; in the state of Washington a homosexual couple went to a flower shop in order to purchase flowers for their “wedding.” The owner, being a Christian and being against gay marriage refused to provide the flowers for religious reasons, and now she is being sued:
“A Washington florist is being sued by the state’s attorney general for refusing to provide flowers for a gay wedding. Barronelle Stutzman owns Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Wash. She objected to selling a gay customer flowers for his same-sex wedding because of her Christian faith. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a consumer protection suit against Stutzman. He says Stutzman discriminated against the customer based on his sexual orientation.” (5)
A second example takes place in the State of Oregon, a state where gay marriage isn’t even legal yet:
“A Christian baker is under a state investigation in Oregon after he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The Oregon Attorney General is investigating Aaron Klein, the owner of Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Klein reportedly refused to make a wedding cake for two lesbians. Klein, who is a Christian, told the couple that he would not sell them a cake based on his religious beliefs that marriage should be between one man and one woman.“I believe marriage is a religious institution between a man and woman as stated in the Bible,” Klein told the Portland Oregonian. “When someone tells me that their definition is something different, I strongly disagree. I don’t think I should be penalized for that.”One of the women filed a complaint alleging that his actions violated the Oregon Equality Act. If the baker is found guilty, he could face $50,000 in fines. Religious beliefs don’t outweigh state law, attorney Matthew Ellis told the Portland Tribune.” (6)
People are already being sued over what amounts to their personal religious choice not to provide services to gay “weddings”; if this is happening where gay marriage is both legal and not, can you image just how much this will happen if marriage was solely left up to states or the church? I can guarantee you that especially if marriage is left solely to the church, there will be an outbreak of lawsuits against people of faith who refuse to provide services to gay, polyamorous, polygamous, incestuous, bestiality, pedophilia, etcetera “marriages.”
If the true natural definition of marriage is not protected by the government, all kinds of marriages will by default become legal/normal and occur without punishment; and when this happens, as we have already seen, religious rights to disagree and refuse service get thrown out of the window. When this happens, people’s rights are demolished and the Constitution is undermined. Do we really want to risk/allow an assault on religious liberty by taking the government out of marriage? It is already under assault at the state level and it would only get worse if the church(s) were allowed to define marriage however they want and the government had no role in protecting the Natural Law and defintion of marriage. Anyone who truly believes in religious liberty should for this reason alone (among the many others mentioned) be against the proposition of leaving marriages to the church (as well as the states).
But this is not to say that the state governments have no role in marriage; the federal government, state governments, and churches must work together on the issue of marriage. It is up to the federal government to protect the only true definition of marriage as they are the only entity with the power to actually do so; from there, the state governments can be in charge of the legal aspect of marriage (licenses and court issues), while the church handles the spiritual aspect of the institution.
Marriage is much more than just a spiritual or emotional commitment, it is also a social and legal contract for the protection of society and the individual; those seeking to remove the government’s role from the institution of marriage are no doubt well-intentioned, but the consequences of this action would do more harm than good, and sadly bring about some of the problems that they themselves are worried about. This is why marriage should not be left solely to the Church, and if we want to protect freedom and limited government, government’s role in marriage should not be rescinded.
1. Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsZfSJ3V4bc
3. James Wilson, Collected Works of James Wilson: http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=2074&chapter=166652&layout=html&Itemid=27
4. Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org/2012/11/28/the-future-of-marriage-and-the-wisdom-of-tradition/
It is no secret to those who know me that I have major problems with Libertarianism; I have problems with its core beliefs (due to my belief that they claim one principle and then argue for things that contradict that principle), I have problems with what they want to legalize, with the way they frame the debate, etcetera. I also have problems with the way I and those similar to me have been treated by the vast majority of Libertarians; in my countless debates with them I have found Libertarians to be very arrogant and nasty with me. BUT it must be understood that despite my problems with Libertarianism, I don’t hate Libertarians. I have many friends who I really care about who subscribe to Libertarianism, and when it comes to economic issues I am 100% in their court.
I also believe that many Libertarians, despite their illogical arguments, are actually smart people; but there is one issue that when Libertarians try to make their case, they use an argument that makes them look absolutely stupid. The reason I say this is because in their zeal to make a point, they fail to use the English language correctly and look very bad in the process; as my example, I’d like to turn to former Congressman and Presidential wannabe Ron Paul. Now I know I pick on Mr. Paul a LOT, but given that he has made himself an inviolable standard of what being a Libertarian is (at least according to every Libertarian I have ever seen, including Lew Rockwell and Thomas Woods who are pretty big themselves), I think he is a fitting example to use; and in a speech on the House floor he said:
“…Could it all be a bad dream or a nightmare? Is it my imagination or have we lost our minds?… An empire replacing the republic… We police our world empire with troops on 700 bases and in 130 countries around the world…” (1)
Now there is so much else in his four minute long speech that we could argue about, there is so much else that I think he overstates or flat out gets wrong; but it’s the claim about our supposed empire that I’m taking issue with, because it’s this claim that makes Paul and so many other Libertarians look like fools.
Let’s be real here; the United States does not have an empire overseas, if having 700 bases in 130 countries constitutes an empire, then the English language is officially meaningless and obsolete. To understand this, all one has to do is look up what the word “empire” actually means; according to Merriam-Webster:
“A: (1): a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign authority; especially: one having an emperor as chief of state (2): the territory of such a political unit. B: something resembling a political empire; especially: an extensive territory or enterprise under single domination or control.” (2)
A second definition to look at is a legal definition of the word empire:
“This word signifies, first, authority or command; it is the power to command or govern those actions of men which would otherwise be free; secondly, the country under the government of an emperor but sometimes it is used to designate a country subject to kingly power, as the British empire” (3)
Rome, Alexander the Great, Persia, Great Britain; these are all powers that had what is defined both normally and legally as an empire. Historian Christopher Kelly describes the Roman Empire thusly:
“Then the empire stretched from Hadrian’s Wall in drizzle-soaked northern England to the sun-baked banks of the Euphrates in Syria; from the great Rhine-Danube river system, which snaked across the fertile, flat lands of Europe from the Low Countries to the Black Sea, to the rich plains of the North African coast and the luxuriant gash of the Nile Valley in Egypt. The empire completely circled the Mediterranean … referred to by its conquerors as mare nostrum—’our sea’.” (4)
The Roman Empire included ownership of nations all across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; the combined territory once owned by this empire is now split between 40 different countries. (5) According to PBS “one in every four people on earth lived and died under Roman law.” (6) The conquered people of the empire were mostly treated as second class citizens, subject to heavy taxation and not entitled to all rights and privileges one would expect with citizenry. The take away is this; the Romans invaded and took ownership of many countries and people groups all over the world, depriving those nations and individuals of being free and treating them as lesser beings within their vast empire; keep this in mind as we examine the empire of one Alexander the Great.
The achievements of Alexander the Great’s empire are very impressive; he moved through Asia Minor and Egypt, he conquered the Persian Empire and captured Babylon and even crossed into India. (7) Like the Romans, mentioned above, Alexander’s empire qualifies under both definitions as he conquered countries and added them to his rule. The empire that Alexander defeated, the Persian Empire, was the largest geographical empire of ancient times; it covered three continents:
“The empire was forged by Cyrus the Great, and spanned three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. At its greatest extent, the empire included the modern territories of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.” (8)
Finally, the British Empire was one that stretched all over the world; from Europe to India and Africa, Britain captured and colonized nations to the extent that it was said that “the sun never sets on the British Empire.” The point is, no matter which of these empires we mention, Rome, Alexander, Persia, or Britain, they all have at least one quality in common; all of these empires conquered other nations around the world and brought them under their rule. They went out with the purpose of ruling the world, or at least gathering as much foreign land as possible. Those were empires, they fit the definitions; but as we will soon see, America does not.
America’s history is not a history that one sees with empires; America has categorically not gone on the prowl looking for lands to conquer and rule, and anyone who says they have is either ignorant or a bald-faced liar. In World War II for example, the United States helped to drive the Nazis out of Allied-Europe, and they did not even try to take over any of those countries. Same goes for the Allied invasion of Germany; last time I checked, the United States owns no countries or significant land in Europe or Japan, although they had the strength to obtain some if they wished. More recent examples can be found in Afghanistan and Iraq, the two nations we have most recently been involved with militarily. The United States has not tried to take over either country; instead the U.S has helped each of these countries set up new governments and elections. The United States is even leaving Iraq, withdrawing its troops and officially ending the Iraq war. The United States could have easily taken over Iraq to add to their supposed “empire” when they deposed of Saddam Hussein, but that is not what happened.
There are however foreign lands that the United States has taken over due to war, but I can’t think of any of these acquisitions that came through imperialistic invasion for the desire and purpose of getting more territory and more subjects to rule. Let’s think about foreign land that America has obtained through wars: Puerto Rico, Guam, the Philippines, and Cuba. That’s about it; not only were none of these lands acquired to bolster territory for the U.S., but none of these examples help the U.S. to fall under either definition of an “empire” which was stated above. Owning the above lands does not even come close to matching up with historical empires, and it does not constitute a major political unit having a territory of great extent, nor a number of territories.
Even more evidence that the above territories do not constitute an American empire is the collective status of those territories; Guam for example was ceded to the U.S. in the Spanish-American War, it was not taken by conquest and is an unincorporated territory; hardly the work of an empire. (9) Puerto Rico is another example in the vein of Guam; it however holds the title of Commonwealth which is a legal status above territory, but below state. Interestingly enough however, it’s not as if Puerto Rico is in a helpless state of servitude; Puerto Rico does have the option of becoming a state, equipped with every right and privilege that each of the current 50 states enjoy; if they so wish. When it all comes down to it, they are not a state because they don’t want to be. They also do not want to be completely independent either; in their eyes by and large they are in a good position. It is clear that neither of these territories ceded to the U.S. help them to fall under the moniker of empire, but what about the last two?
Both the Philippines and Cuba were acquired from Spain in the agreement to end the Spanish-American War; like Puerto Rico and Guam, neither was obtained by conquest and neither was obtained in order to expand America’s power over other people. How do we know? The point of an empire is to expand your territory, but in both these cases, the United States did not keep these countries; instead they were granted their independence! The Philippines, which was purchased for $20 million in 1898, became a self-governing commonwealth in 1935 and ten years later became a fully independent nation; (9) likewise Cuba also obtained in 1898, was given their independence four years later, minus the area known as Guantanamo Bay.(10) Obtaining two nations and then within a (relatively) short time giving them their independence is hardly the action of an empire; even with these last two countries, the idea of an American Empire is proved to be patently ridiculous.
There are a couple more instances of American territorial acquisition that happened outside of any instance of war; however these also do not prove by either definition, an American Empire. One of these territories in known as American Samoa, and it is hardly a vast expansion of territory. American Samoa was, like the previous examples, obtained by treaty (the 1899 treaty of Berlin) which essentially split Samoa between America and Germany (for the purposes of trade). Currently, American Samoa is an uncategorized and unincorporated territory of the U.S., much like Guam. (9)
There are also a few minor islands owned by the U.S. that are so insignificant, they too do not lend to the theory of an empire; but something that does need to be mentioned are the so called “Trust Islands.” Certain territories; The Federated States of Micronesia, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, The Republic of Palau, and the Northern Mariana Islands are considered Trust Islands, or territories that the U.N. gave America the responsibility of taking care of. Out of all these Trust Islands, the Mariana Islands are the only territory that is currently a U.S.-self-governed Commonwealth, the rest of the “Trusts” mentioned have since gained full independence, but work with the United States in exchange for defense. It is interesting that Libertarians try to claim America has an Empire overseas, when every single territory obtained by the U.S. came by treaty, and except for three of them, (Guam, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa) all have obtained their independence.
There is only one minor exception to all this, and it really isn’t that much of one; the Virgin Islands were also obtained via treaty, this time with Denmark, the reason being that after the sinking of the Lusitania by the Germans, the United States were afraid that Germany would try and annex Denmark and the Virgin Islands (at that time called the Danish West Indies); this was viewed as a problem because the fear was that the Germans could use the Indies as a submarine or naval base that could be used militarily against America. (11) The reason that this is a minor exception is not because it fits the definition of a great extent of land or a people who would otherwise be free (The Indies were owned previously by several different countries), but rather because the U.S. under the leadership of the nightmarish progressive Woodrow Wilson and his administration essentially insinuated that it was either treaty, or occupation. The way Wilson handled it is what makes it a minor exception, the way it was acquired, or even the overall motive of stopping Germany however, does not.
But what was the reason that Ron Paul gave for us being an “empire”? He, like most Libertarians claim it is our “700 bases…around the world…” but as we have already seen, having 700 bases in no way falls under either definition of empire. Military Bases are neither a great extent/number of territories or peoples, nor is it “the power to command or govern those actions of men which would otherwise be free” given that by definition, American military bases are American buildings that house and are run by Americans. While a base, like a consulate or embassy is considered “American territory”, even 700 of them do not constitute an empire under any official definition. If you were to tell Alexander, the Romans, the British, or the Persians that 700 military bases around the world constitutes an empire, they would laugh at what a pitiful excuse for an empire that would be, and when they were done doing so, they would probably kill you for wasting their time.
So why do we have these bases? One of the reasons we still have bases in places like Germany is because those governments actually want us to be there; they enjoy the added security and it’s a preventative measure to make sure that these countries have a harder time acting out like they used to. Award winning writer Alan W. Dowd said it perfectly when he wrote:
“During the September 12 debate, Paul informed us that “we’re under great threat, because we occupy so many countries.” In truth, the U.S. occupies no countries. U.S. forces are welcomed by host governments in every instance, their presence approved by status-of-forces agreements or decade-old treaties. Afghanistan wants U.S. forces to excise Taliban scar tissue. Kosovo, Korea and Kuwait want U.S. troops to maintain regional stability. From Germany to Georgia, those who remember a Europe of concrete walls and iron curtains want U.S. forces on their soil as a hedge against a revisionist Russia. And across the Pacific, those who worry about a rising China are strengthening their ties with America. Australia just inked a deal with Washington to allow U.S. forces full use of Australian naval and air bases. In fact, several countries that once kicked American troops out-the Philippines and Vietnam, for example-are today eagerly seeking security partnerships with America. Whether these global commitments are “overstretching” America is open to debate. But whether U.S. forces are welcomed by host countries, whether the United States is “occupying” any country, is not.” (12)
But there is another very good reason why we have bases around the world; it is for our own national security interests, and if you don’t believe me, allow me to provide the perfect example: Benghazi.
On 9/11/12, the United States had one of their consulates in Benghazi, Libya, attacked by Islamic terrorists; the attack lasted for several hours and resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. What does this have to do with our topic? It turns out that the United States has an air-field/base in Italy that is only an hour away from Benghazi (by plane). If the Obama administration, who knew what was happening shortly after the attack started, acted swiftly enough, troops would have been able to make the flight and potentially stop the attack dead in its tracks:
“As the U.S. consulate in Benghazi came under a devastating attack last month, a rescue team of elite soldiers was being assembled behind the scenes – but not fast enough. The commandos, also known as the Commander’s In-extremis Force, is a highly-trained squad of soldiers utilized for the more risky missions…CBS News reported that the team was dispatched to an airfield in Sigonella, Italy, where they would only be about an hour away from Benghazi. But by the time the attack was over, the soldiers had not yet arrived in Italy, U.S. officials told the network.” (13)
There are two things to take away from this information; first that the Obama administration was completely incompetent in this situation, and second, that if the Obama administration had responded in a timely manner, our troops could have been sent from our base in Italy to our consulate in Libya and American lives could have been saved. THAT is why we have bases around the world; so that if and when American citizens or diplomatic stations are under attack, or anything else threatens our nation’s security abroad, our troops can get there as quickly as possible instead of having to fly all the way from the United States.
To my Libertarian friends, let me give you some advice; if you want to argue that we have too many bases around the world and that we need to reduce the number, go right ahead, I actually have no objection to that argument. If you want to question whether we should be staying because other countries want us to, that is a fine discussion to have; but seriously, lay off the argument that our bases somehow constitute an empire overseas, because it is totally contrary to the facts, and you look absolutely foolish when you say such things. If you really want to be able to make these claims about America, then go create your own version; I hear Age of Empires is a wonderful game to play, and if you insist on living in a fantasy world, it might as well be that one.
2. Merriam-Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empire
3. The Law.com: The Law Network LLC
4. The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction: http://www.amazon.com/Roman-Empire-Very-Short-Introduction/dp/0192803913
5. Keith Hopkins, “The Political Economy of the Roman Empire,” in The Dynamics of Ancient Empires: State Power from Assyria to Byzantium (Oxford University Press, 2009), p. 183.
7. Think-Quest: http://library.thinkquest.org/10805/alexmap.html
9. National Atlas: http://nationalatlas.gov/mld/usacqup.html
10. Amigospais-Guaracabuya.org: http://www.amigospais-guaracabuya.org/oagaq023.php
11. U.S. Department of State: http://2001-2009.state.gov/r/pa/ho/time/wwi/107293.htm
12. Front Page Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com/2011/alan-w-dowd/ron-pauls-revisionist-history/2/