Tag Archives: libertarians

Libertarians and conservatives…

24 Feb

Earlier today I got a nasty comment from someone bashing me and my blog without attempting to put forth and real ideas or counter arguments so I deleted it. What struck me afterwards was that the person called themselves a libertarian and in the post they were bashing me for I was decrying big government’s involvement in people’s personal lives. This really puzzled me because the supposed difference between libertarians and conservatives is that libertarians don’t want big government controlling what you do with your body, who you marry, and when you have children while conservatives will gleefully enforce their version of morality on the rest of the population through big government.

Politically I consider myself a liberal with libertarian leanings. As a general rule I do not like big government dictating what its citizens can do. I’m pro gun, pro choice, pro gay marriage, pro drugs, and against the death penalty. However, I do recognize that community is important and that there is a need for government to provide things that support the public good like schools, healthcare, a fire department, libraries, highways, food/water/building/car safety, etc. I recognize that the “free market” is not a perfect system for producing a happy, healthy society. The pure libertarian idea of a free market is too idealistic and makes various assumptions about the players in the market that are unrealistic. America was very libertarian at the turn of the 20th century and the problems we had with robber barons, monopolies, tycoons, tainted food, snake oil salesmen, etc led to the development of protective regulatory agencies.

I also recognize that big government is a tool for ensuring legal equality. Oppressed and disenfranchised minorities in a small community can appeal to bigger government for protection. A small town of racist white supremacists in the south cannot oppress and deny blacks the right to vote because such rights are on a bigger scale than the small southern town. Big government at a federal level incorporates so many diverse people from different parts of the country that it dilutes out discrimination that would be practiced on a smaller homogeneous scale.

So I guess you can call me libertarian lite.

What really puzzles me about the other libertarians I see is just how easily they associate with conservatives. Many of the libertarians I know you would not know they were libertarians and not conservative unless you asked them. They post very conservative posts up on facebook or their blogs, they like very conservative speakers and authors, and they watch Fox “news.”

Why do I never see them railing against anti-gay marriage laws, or abortion laws, the jailing of journalists, or bills like the Patriot Act that strip us of our personal liberties guaranteed in the Constitution? The only explaination I can think of is pretty sickening:

Money is more important than social equality.

If they were concerned with the social equality of all people they’d stay well away from conservatives. I’d see them hanging out with liberals but grumbling when economics came up. Instead they’re hanging out with conservatives and staying silent when social issues come up.

I don’t get libertarians….

28 May

I have several friends who call themselves libertarians, one who keeps sending me anti-Obama stuff. Now, the way I understand it, libertarians are conservative on economic issues, but liberal on social issues. That’s cool, but what gets me is all the libertarians I know tend to vote for republicans all the time.

Now usually values trumps economics. This is why a lot of poor people vote republican. Yes the republicans are usually extremely rich business people who don’t like anything that even smells of worker’s rights, but they’re also religious. Many of the poor people are very religious too, they see the “values” connection and vote for a block of people that usually screw them over. This is what happened with Bush twice. The poor religious people loved him and voted for him both times because he was a “compassionate conservative”.

Now if values trumps economics, you’d think that libertarians would vote for democrats the majority of the time, yet still be angry over the economic policies. Instead it seems like they vote their wallets and then forget about the social ramifications of electing conservatives.

Now I can understand how someone would want government to just stay our of just about everything, but I feel there are some situations in which government should step in. When it comes to social issues, I feel the government should only step in to prevent discrimination and disenfranchisement of a group of people. This includes keeping the government neutral, i.e. separation of church and state. The government shouldn’t be regulating what you can do in the privacy of your own home.

Economics is tricky though. This is where I would disagree with libertarians. The problem with money is that people use it to unbalance the political playing field along with everything else. To many economic conservatives, regulation is a four letter word. Yet when you take regulation away, you get shit like what the economy is suffering though now.

Thunderf00t mentions regulation in the below video around 3:20. The main point of the video is something else entirely, but he makes some good points about how regulation is needed because the free market has no natural mechanism to protect the people when the needs of the people are out-weighed by what is profitable.

Now do I like the idea of a welfare state? No. I don’t want my money going to support someone like octomom. I also don’t want my money being used by people who could normally be working. I am fine with my money going to help the sick and elderly, and to temporarily help someone pay their grocery or heating bill while they are honestly trying to find work. I’m fine with welfare to that extent. But to take government out of it entirely would lead to the same sick social darwinism of the late 19th/early 20th centuries.