Sigh

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

In the midst of an otherwise straight-on write-up of the Libertarian Party “debate” at reason headquarters yesterday, The American Spectator’s Philip Klein feels obligated to take this jab:

No doubt to the disappointment of some libertarians, all three candidates took a stand against kiddie porn.

Yes, Phil. And no doubt to the disappointment of some conservatives, all of the major GOP presidential candidates for president this year opposed bombing abortion clinics and lynching black people.

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

24 Responses to “Sigh

  1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I’m surprised at how bitter conservatives have become toward libertarians. My theory is that we’re like their conscience. They used to beat the smaller government drum, but after expanding government power, intrusiveness, and spending by huge levels they now feel guilty and are forced to pretend that wanting smaller government is naive and impractical.

    We’re the stone in their shoe and I like it.

  2. #2 |  Bronwyn | 

    I’d rather be a nail in their shoe. A rusty one. So the GOP can get tetanus and – wouldn’t it be loverly? – lockjaw.

    I think you’re right, Dave. They don’t like being reminded of their betrayal of conservative principles.

  3. #3 |  pam | 

    I never really looked at Liberterians as conservative, just reasonable. But certain people in our society do need government help, which both Liberterians and Conservatives seem to be opposed to. That’s not really fair.

  4. #4 |  Matt Moore | 

    pam – Certain people need help, certainly, but why does it have to be government help?

  5. #5 |  Drew | 

    Well we’ll never stop getting tarred that way if kooks keep asking the question. The issue came up when one yahoo asked the candidates to meet his libertarian purity test: legalized heroin and child pornography (sale of existing, not production of new–cause that would be sick).

    Maybe we’d be more credible if our supporters weren’t such whack jobs.

  6. #6 |  Matt Moore | 

    For certain, certain people certainly need help. Certainly.

  7. #7 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I think you’re right, Dave. They don’t like being reminded of their betrayal of conservative principles.

    Conservatives are the new liberals. They almost all believe that “if we just get the right person to lead government” everything will be spiffy. They used to reject this idea, but now they embrace it wholeheartedly betraying some of their most fundamental and oldest beliefs.

  8. #8 |  Jim Lippard | 

    “Maybe we’d be more credible if our supporters weren’t such whack jobs.”

    Is there any group, movement, or organization of any kind that doesn’t include supporters that are “whack jobs”?

  9. #9 |  Chris M | 

    “But certain people in our society do need government help, which both Liberterians and Conservatives seem to be opposed to. That’s not really fair.”

    Pam:
    I’m not opposed to people in need receiving help. I’m opposed to the government using the threat of violence to finance said help.

  10. #10 |  Steve Verdon | 

    But certain people in our society do need government help, which both Liberterians and Conservatives seem to be opposed to. That’s not really fair.

    I’m not opposed to helping people. I am opposed to forcing others to help people, especially with the threats of violence and financial ruin. I’ll even argue that I personally am less likely to go out of my way to help someone in need because I figure, “Hey, the government takes over 1/3rd of our household income, let them help this person, I’ve already done my part.”

    And consider that taxes are determined on a basis of income not ability to pay. There is little or no consideration to my situtation when the politicians get up there and say, “We are going to raise your taxes because I want to take your money and spend it on these people over here.” And lets not get into the whole issue of rotten incentives that result of government acting as a safety net. Sure sounds nice when you are up there on the high-wire of trapeze to have a safety net….but maybe you shouldn’t even be up there in the first place. The “safety net” government provides can and indeed does induce people into taking actions that they otherwise might not if the safety net were not there.

  11. #11 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Government help usually does more to prolong problems them than solve them.

  12. #12 |  UCrawford | 

    Bronwyn,

    They don’t like being reminded of their betrayal of conservative principles.

    Actually, I think it goes beyond that…it’s more that conservatives don’t like it being pointed out to them that they don’t really have any principles. A lot of conservatives consider themselves devout Christians, and yet many conservatives’ responses to 9/11 were pure racist bile and advocacy of unconstrained violence, a betrayal of the “turn the other cheek” admonishment of real Christianity. A lot of those conservatives are adamantly opposed to government repression of their beliefs, but they’re ecstatic when Bush earmarks funding for one of his “faith-based initiatives” that forces taxpayers to subsidize their religion (basically theft). A lot of conservatives are strict law and order types…so long as it’s not people who look like them getting the shaft when the cops bust down the wrong door or when Steven Hayne or Mike Nifong decide to railroad a defendant.

    Basically, I’m increasingly of the opinion that many conservatives (primarily Christian conservatives) hate libertarians not because we point out a few instances of hypocrisy on their part but because we do an excellent job of pointing out how completely full of shit many of their core beliefs really are.

  13. #13 |  Pamela | 

    Matt I totally agree. It doesn’t have to be government help. I believe private citizens can do a much better job and with compassion and love that the government absolutely lacks. Based on Katrina we learned the government can’t even pass out bottles of water. We learned how needy and neglected people are and how our government failed miserably. And what the hell do they do with all that money?? Rhetorical question.

    Liberterians need a new message and a Barack Obama. I think the total package is too much for most people. Talk of doing away with the Federal Reserve and taxes is just way too scary for most people. I believe the people of this nation can do what the government tries but fails to do only much much better. I believe in the people, not the government. If every well off family or even middle class family (if there is still such a thing) would “adopt” a “poor” family and take care of that family and their needs getting involved personally with them, it would be a much better place. The government is lame in every way, but Liberterians go too far and scare the crap out of people because they need to feel a safety net. Maybe start slow and see how it goes. I truly believe we can take care of our own better and with compassion and caring than any corrupt government buracracy(sp) can and we would rise to the occasion just as we did with katrina. The government should be put out of business in my opinion, but not in the scary way Libs advocate. Ya know?

    I’ve gotten personally involved in saving a 15 year old from life in prison. He had a government paid PD. It was an utter failure. If he talked to that boy for 15 minutes over the course of 9 months, that would be an overestimation. When a private citizen came along, me, things got done., and it didn’t exactly break the bank. But the difference was I cared, I was devoted, I was personally involved by choice, I was not being paid. I have no regrets and feel if more private citizens would find someone who needs help and help that family or person to the best of their means and ability, it would be a wonderful world. And we could get out from under the massive burden of government intruding into our lives. And we wouldn’t be so fucking lazy, cause we wouldn’t have the do nothing government to fall back on. I wrote this in a hurry, so not sure if it came out right, but anyway… there it is.

  14. #14 |  UCrawford | 

    Pamela,

    So you’d refer to yourself as the libertarian version of a “compassionate conservative” then? :)

    Seriously, I see where you’re coming from and I agree. Often the way libertarians portray themselves tends to create the image of money-obsessed sociopaths or cranks because we harp so much on the anti-government angle and not enough on the positives that are achieved in a society that doesn’t have a government safety net…where private individuals can step up for charity and outreach and do a better job. It’s a really good point.

  15. #15 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #13 Pamela
    Liberterians need a new message and a Barack Obama. I think the total package is too much for most people.

    We don’t choose the message based on it’s likely popularity. You must have us confused with Republicans and Democrats.

  16. #16 |  UCrawford | 

    Dave,

    She’s not talking about choosing the message, she’s talking about selling the message. There’s a difference.

  17. #17 |  pam | 

    Yes, selling the the message is where Libs fall short and short change what they stand for. Truthfully, I think I am more of a Liberterian than a Democrat these days, but I just don’t like some of the “meanness” that seeps out of the message, it scares people. Everyone wants to feel that safety net, including me. A softer approach to reasonableness would help. Obama is delivering a message that “the people” can believe in themselves; they are the government. The Libs are basically saying the same, believe in yourself and what you can accomplish for your fellow citizens and the love you can give is infinite. Obama doesn’t seem like a traditional political hack to me; he is kind of an everyman. I think the Libs should find that person too. Someone who can deliver the message, who feels it from the heart, who can make “the people” feel empowered OVER the government, and so much smarter.

    I don’t know if I would ever call myself a compassionate conservative, kind of makes me gag, cause I’m about as liberal as one can get, but not in a political sense, in a openminded way.. IN a sense of being broad minded and caring. Probably what actually keeps me from voting Liberterian is the gun issue, I have children, guns are dangerous and in the Chicago area, 24 school aged children have died in gun blasts this school year, that is 4 a month and I’m f-ing sick of it altogether and I don’t feel safe with all these guns floating around this country and I feel like that infringes on my right to have peace of mind. Owning a gun myself would only make me feel even less safe. Reasonable gun laws would go a long way to advancing the Lib agenda. IMHO. And I mean it is humble!

  18. #18 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #16 UCrawford
    She’s not talking about choosing the message, she’s talking about selling the message. There’s a difference.

    “…Reasonable gun laws would go a long way to advancing the Lib agenda…”

    I rest my case.

  19. #19 |  Chris M | 

    “Probably what actually keeps me from voting Liberterian is the gun issue, I have children, guns are dangerous and in the Chicago area, 24 school aged children have died in gun blasts this school year, that is 4 a month and I’m f-ing sick of it altogether and I don’t feel safe with all these guns floating around this country and I feel like that infringes on my right to have peace of mind. Owning a gun myself would only make me feel even less safe. Reasonable gun laws would go a long way to advancing the Lib agenda.”

    Pam,

    Chicago already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. What makes you think that more government intervention is the answer to the violent crime problem?

    Also, libertarian ideals and “reasonable” Chicago gun laws are like oil and water.

  20. #20 |  pam | 

    Guns are a huge problem in our society, Liberterians won’t face up to that. They are in denial, something about the 2nd Amendment or whatever Amendment that is. It is outdated. Slavery was once permissible (and still is if you are imprisoned) under the constitution, but isn’t anymore. Guns have no purpose except to kill. What is so useful about that?

  21. #21 |  UCrawford | 

    Pam,

    Sorry, but you lost me there. Gun ownership is an essential part of living in a free society (which is why the Founding Fathers put it immediately after the amendment guaranteeing free speech), which is why libertarians oppose gun laws.

    Guns are a huge problem in our society

    People who kill other people are a huge problem in our society. The only thing that gun laws do is make it easier for criminals to kill law abiding people by removing an option from self-defense from the law-abiding (case in point, Washington D.C., which has some of the most restrictive gun laws, is among the top cities for murders every year).

    Guns have no purpose except to kill. What is so useful about that?

    Ask a hunter who uses game to feed his family. Or a woman defending herself from a would-be rapist who is more powerful than she is. Or someone defending their home against multiple intruders. Violent actions are sometimes justifiable, even when those actions have sometimes lethal consequences.

  22. #22 |  Chris M | 

    “Guns have no purpose except to kill. What is so useful about that?”

    Pam,

    They help protect us from an encroaching tyrannical government. It’s easy to take our freedom for granted. It’s also easy to forget that, throughout history, the liberty that we enjoy has far and away not been the norm. It may seem paranoid, but it’s naive to think that it can’t happen here in the US.

  23. #23 |  Greg N. | 

    Radley,

    Obviously I’m as sick of conservative brushes-off of libertarians as anyone, but this jab seems reasonable given that one of the LP front-runners, Mary Ruwart, wrote this (from Short Answers to Tough Questions):

    “Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it’s distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess. When we outlaw child pornography, the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives for parents to use children against their will.”

    Crazy, of course, and that’s why reasonable folks like you and me have to put up with the insults of Klein, et. al.

  24. #24 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » One more thing… | 

    […] this, I think I probably owe the American Spectator’s Phil Klein an […]

Leave a Reply