Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Why Libertarians are Losers...
As an unapologetic Libertarian I would like to take a moment to point out what is wrong with the folks that make up the ranks of our nation's third largest political party.
I, like many of you, voted for Ron Paul in 2008. I like his son, Rand Paul, and find him to be a breath of fresh air whenever he speaks on the issues that are dear to my heart.
And yet, Mr. Paul is on the verge - assuming it is not already too late - of being relegated to a footnote in our political history. This would place him in the company of other Libertarians who seem to take pride in losing elections. After all, it takes a special person to really understand how smart we Libertarians are. We, and only we, know that government best serves us when it leaves our wallets and bodies alone. The Democrats understand liberty as it pertains to our rights to engage in social contracts. Republicans understand liberty as it pertains to our rights in economic contracts.
It takes a real smart person to understand the value of liberty in all contracts between consenting adults.
Yet, Libertarians are really, really dumb in at least one respect.
Rather than slowly pulling Republicans and Democrats in our direction by showing them the value of true freedom, we open our extremist-sounding mouths and blurt out inumerable offensive ideas that send voters running away.
Take Rand Paul's recent remarks that the government probably overstepped its bounds in the 1964 Civil Rights legislation. Mr. Paul contended that private businesses should not have faced force desegregation of restaurants, hotels, etc.
Yes, I understand his point. No, I do not think I should have to let anyone in my home or car or other private areas of my life if I choose not to. The problem with what Mr. Paul said is twofold.
First, the voters are not Constitutionally astute enough to discern the broader meaning of his comments and therefore will think he is a racist.
Second, pragmatic Libertarianism might suggest that desegregation of businesses was a proper function of government. After all, black people in 1964 could have argued that they paid property taxes to maintain the sidewalks, roads, street lights, signs, sewers, police and fire protection for the local sandwich shop and therefore a sandwich shop that exists to sell food to the public should have to allow all members of the tax-paying public to peacefully enter and pay for a meal.
Liberty means "anything that is peaceful". A peaceful attempt to exchange private property in a business establishment seems to fit under that definition.
If Mr. Paul - and other Libertarians - want to start winning elections a strong dose of common-sense Libertarianism would help achieve that goal.
Until then, Libertarians will be confined to the wilderness where many of our best ideas our clouded by rhetoric that the voters find offensive or extremist.