Monday, December 31, 2007

Libertarians are Nutty

I've heard it all before. Libertarians are nutty. Ron Paul is a lunatic. He's a white supremacist. And so forth. And there is a bit of truth to that. There are plenty of libertarians who ARE quite nutty. That's part of why I call myself only libertarian leaning rather than a Libertarian. But then again, there are plenty of Republicans who are quite nutty, and Democrats, too. Yet somehow that doesn't automatically delegitimize either party (well, for some it does, but you don't see it used as a general bludgeon like it is used against Libertarians).

I think it is great Ron Paul is running and is doing so well because I agree with a lot of libertarian ideas. I also disagree with some of them. And I think some are a bit nutty. Some say that means one should not support Ron Paul because of a parade of horribles that would happen if he won. But that is rather crazy. Because any sane person could tell you that it doesn't matter if Ron Paul has some crazy ideas - they would never get implemented by Congress, and the media, in the GOP backpocket, would be all over him for it, stopping him at every turn. Because strangely, our system of checks and balances and our free media only really work as a check on power when someone in power tries to do something AGAINST the powers that be, which are generally rich and GOP (and lately fundamentalist). So the powers that be would NEVER let any of Paul's outliers get implemented. Not even close. So why emphasize them when they are not the real issue? Because they are afraid of the things he COULD implement, because those are the things that are extremely popular and part of why he is doing as well as he is.

Oh, and the claim he is a white supremacist? That concerned me, until I realized it was based solely on a single $500 donation given to him by a white supremacist that he refused to give back when confronted about it by some GOP schill, because he didn't want to play the stupid political games with such things. I'm sure probably hundreds, perhaps thousands, who are white supremacists have given to probably every single other GOP candidate running. Perhaps some have given to some Democrats as well, though I think that probably stopped happening right around the time the Southern states turned GOP from Dixiecrat. And yet because of this one single donation out of millions of dollars, suddenly Paul is smeared as a white supremacist. What is sad about this is that I've seen others I generally respect repeat this false claim.

In the end, none of it matters, because in today's GOP, a real small-government conservative has no chance at all of winning the GOP nomination. The GOP and the media have made sure to marginalize him or ignore him at every turn. Still, he may do better than they think. In any case, he won't win. So whether one supports him or not is less about him and more about what it says about the current state of the GOP and the Democrats.

Back to libertarianism. I lean that way. I lean that way because of my uncompromising position on civil rights and on my belief that it is best to keep government as small as possible - because power corrupts. I don't think the market is some panacea. I think there are things that only government can do. I just would rather limit the government to doing ONLY those things, and nothing else. As to what those things are - that is open to debate. Some are obvious. Some are less so. Some fall somewhere in between.

I don't feel like getting into all of that now. I do just want to acknowledge that yes, there are some nutty libertarians and some nutty libertarian ideas and I don't subscribe to either. But then again, I don't belong to any political party and my opinion of the two major parties couldn't be lower.

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