Monday, October 29, 2007

Where the Libertarians Lost Me...

A number of years back, I was very much supportive of the "Paleo-Libertarian" portion of the LP. Smaller government, lower taxes, more freedom, it was all good.

Then in the wake of the First Gulf war, many Libertarians began railing against "the welfare/warfare state," which admittedly troubled me a great deal because security is one of the few Constitutionally mandated federal functions (the "to insure domestic tranquility" clause supporting police powers and the "to provide for the national defense" clause make that very clear. Both those Constitutional clauses legitimized both police powers and the military responsibilities of the federal government - the, if you will, "warfare state" that even many "Paleo-Libertarians" have taken to railing against.

Initially, I wrote it off as a cheap, even misguided attempt to appeal to Leftists by throwing them a bit of a bone, but after 9/11, when some of the Rockwell/Raimondo crowd began assailing the WoT as a "U.S.-initiated" conflict, those guys (and Ron Paul was one of them) pretty much lost me right there.

One of the bizarre ironies of all this is that one of the groups that has most staunchly opposed these wars in the Mideast from back in 1991 and before, has been the Neo-nazis (the Aryan Nation types, etc.) because the Arab States from Turkey to Morocco had been aligned with Hitler in WW II.

So, from a historical perspective, I can see the objection modern day nazis would have with this (or any) war with the Arab world, what I find much harder to understand is how a formerly rabid Libertarian, like Ron Paul, could find himself in sympatico with such people (National SOCIALISTS).

The "esteemed Dr. Paul" has come to embrace the inane "Truther" ideology, or at least large swatches of it, and has recently accepted donations from Stormfront, a neo-nazi organization.


What in the hell happened to the Libertarians?!


PoorGrrl said...

I always knew there was something about those Libertarians.

Eric said...

My parents, and the majority of my family are life long Dems. Unlike many of my family members, I grew up, evaluated my values, and began to seek my own political identity. In doing so, I once had an interest in the Libertarians.

I liked what they had to say about freedom, limited government, and the US Constitution but I found them too focused on Hemp and Marijuana legalization. I believe in freedom, but I believe that abortion is a moral wrong, so I don’t see eye to eye with the libertarians on that either.

Today, I belong to a very small political party. It’s just me and my wife.

JMK said...

Well, poorgrrl, I think the primary problem the Libertarians have is that they're seen by many people as "a collection of kooks."

Their Conventions are circuses, with the HEMP people fighting to legalize marijuana, a group called PONY (mostly women looking to legalize prostitution) and other assorted fringe elements.

And now Ron Paul isn't helping, at ALL!

I think the basics of Libertarianism are GOOD - limited, more localized, small government, less governmental intrusion, etc., but sadly those core principles get lost in amidst the cacaphony of kooks.

JMK said...

"I liked what they had to say about freedom, limited government, and the US Constitution but I found them too focused on Hemp and Marijuana legalization" (Eric)

You're not alone Eric.

When I think of Libertarians I think of the great Walter E Williams, not the kooks at the annual LP Conventions, but I think the face of the LP Convention (the circus freaks) ARE the face of Libertarianism for most people.

In a very real sense, that's too bad.

Walter E Williams is a great ambassador for Libertarian ideals. It's too bad that their are so many poor ambassadors that counteract the Williams'.

And at least you and your wife are thinking for yourselves.

It seems most of the time our general elections come down to two poor choices and it's more a matter of choosing the lesser of two bad choices.

PoorGrrl said...

Eric and JMK you're both right about the drug/circle of freaks thing. My late father once said he liked the Libertarians, then I told him that they believed in legalizing drugs. Daddy never spoke of the Libertarians again.

JMK said...

There really are a lot of great Libertarians Poorgrrl, such as Wlater E Williams and the late Milton Friedman, but there are also a fair amount of kooks.

It's too bad that the kooks have succeeded mainly in marginalizing a truly Americanist ideology.

Today, virtually all of America's Founders would be called "Libertarians," but of the Williams/Friedman variety, NOT the fringe kook variety.

American Ideas Click Here!