Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Letter to my faux-libertarian friend

Dear D,

When we first met you were thrilled to have someone of your political persuasion in town. It is a town almost entirely composed of leftists and your penchant for wearing a gun on your hip and spouting off politically incorrect statements had made you something of a pariah. Here I arrived, eagerly defending my personal libertarian viewpoints and agreeing whole-heatedly that owning firearms is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. You thought you had found a fellow traveler and assured me that you too were a libertarian.

Alas, my friend, you are not a libertarian. You are a Conservative Republican and you drink deeply from the groupthink of Fox News and the NRA and all the other partisans of the right side of the spectrum. And I told you this the other day when you were ranting about Obama and the pending Socialist Order and your conviction that all the guns will be taken away. You balked at my assertion and professed that no, you are, indeed, a libertarian.

The problem is that, at least as I see it, a libertarian believes in liberty for all, not some selective liberty that only benefits he. You do not support gay marriage, or drug legalization, or open borders. In fact, on that last point you openly declare yourself a racist and support deporting all the Mexicans and the building of a wall. You also regularly call Arabs “Sand Niggers” and freely opine that we should kill them all. You support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in spite of all the arguments against. Your best friends (a couple of whom I have had the unfortunate experience of meeting) are reactionary wing-nuts. Should I, for a moment, not think that you are closer to their kind than mine?

You are dumbfounded when I respond to some of your statements and seem unwilling to listen to the content, preferring to hold some hope that I think as you do. I tell you that I think that all borders should be done away with and you shudder to think of all the brown people coming here to take advantage of our public services. I respond that in “libertopia” that would not be an issue because such services would be negligible at best (but then opine that we’ve always been better off with hard working people coming here rather than simply exporting jobs and in any event, who is going to keep Social Security going (Not that it should) if we don’t let people in?)

I would leave marriage to contract, but so long as marriage is a codified thing that provides legal benefits then it should be open to anyone. In libertopia any consenting adults could enter into any contract they so wished…. And no one would send troops to break up possible polygamists. You complain that the town is full of dykes, unwilling to see that more of my friends in town are lesbians than straight people of either gender. And yes I disagree with their political views, but unless you have not cottoned on, I disagree with most of yours.

The drug war should end and people be allowed to do as they please with their own bodies. Most libertarians support such a statement, at least to some degree. You disagree.

The Empire must end, our wars brought to a close and our troops brought home. National security is a legitimate function of the state, but only barely. As long as there is no existential threat such as Nazism or Soviet Communism (“We will bury you”) there is no need to project force or have on hand the means to destroy the world. Countries that do not pick fights do not get picked on. Let the people arm themselves and have the tiny government maintain a dozen or so nukes for deterrent. And leave everyone alone.

You want our young men actively making enemies by killing people’s brothers and sisters and sons and daughters. “Blowback” is a meaningless phrase to you.

And you are in that minority that supports Sarah Palin. Can you really not see that you are a member of the Republican base?

I won’t send you this letter since you walk around armed. But I wanted to post it because there’s a catharsis to it.

And I doubt we will have a discussion of this nature because my wife is so tired of your views that she does not want to associate with you anymore. I suppose I am too. If I want to hear invective I can always phone my octogenarian father in South Carolina. Something I really should do more often.



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So I voted for Obama

I struggled with the decision a little. I like to vote Libertarian since the “party of principle” is much closer to my viewpoint but I don’t cotton to Babar and cannot forgive his Arch Conservative past, which included being a drug warrior, proponent of anti-gay marriage legislation, backer of the Patriot Act and the various wars we’re waging. I think that he is no Libertarian.

McCain/Palin are simply out. We must reduce the Empire, close bases, end the foreign wars, stop spying on citizens, decriminalize drugs, etc etc etc. McCain and his ilk would continue with the same misguided nonsense of the past and even might try to do more of them or just do them more vigorously. Obama will continue much of it too, or course, but with a difference.

Obama is more likely to retract our claws from far-flung parts of the globe. Not right away, but over time. He is also likely to downplay the Drug War and the War on Terror and much else that allows the government way too much say in people’s personal lives. And he represents a change in rhetoric, color, generation, etc.

And though I would usually prefer divided government, I don’t see the policy reactions to the current fiscal crisis changing much based on who is in office. Let’s face facts, both the Republicans and the Democrats think that government will be a solution and deny that it caused this whole fiasco in the first place. And face it, the Fed and Treasury are playing the legislators like violins. All they have to do is make a proposal and then say that not passing it will lead to catastrophe. The congress-critters even consider debate and the markets swoon, making a self-fulfilling prophesy of the warning.

So it matters not who the technocrats are, what really matters is what else the government plans to do to screw with us. We were not going to avoid cockamamie health care reform in any event.

But at least we might have dodged a Palin presidency.