Monday, April 23, 2012

My Problem With Libertarians

I'm a conservative. You can even see that from my blog description. What you don't see in that little blurb is that I am a firm believer in Reagan's three-legged stool: free enterprise, strong national defense, and pro-family social policy. These three "legs" represent three factions of the Republican party: The fiscal conservatives, the war hawks, and the social conservatives. I'm somewhat of a minority in that I belong to all three groups. However, the GOP tent is usually big enough to accommodate all three factions comfortably.

Until recently, when the Libertarians started telling the war hawks and the social conservatives to shut up.

Now, I often mentally make a distinction between the two types of libertarians, so let me clarify. Small-l libertarians are the ones I usually get along with. They tend to believe in libertarian principles, but are content to let people live their own lives and decide things for themselves. I can get along with these libertarians because we can work together on fiscal issues. Big-L Libertarians, however, are the ones I have a problem with. They believe in libertarian principles, except the one about letting people live their own lives. They constantly try to convert people to libertarianism and disparage "so-cons" (social conservatives) as out-of-touch and war hawks as bloodthirsty idiots. I have a hard time working with them on our common ground of fiscal conservatism because they're too busy screaming insults at me.

I have a message for you Libertarians: I am not a libertarian, and never will be! In your quest for "tolerance," telling people to shut up because you don't like their views is not only a step down the wrong path, it also doesn't win you any converts. I am a "so-con," and proud of it. I also believe that our military is here to kill people and break stuff. You are essentially demanding that I give up most of my political identity. This is America, and I am allowed to not only have my own political beliefs, but express them as well.

As for the movement to do away with any stance on morality to get votes, let me tell you a story:

After Roe vs. Wade was decided in 1973, much of the GOP establishment had given up. They were convinced that the country was pro-choice (like they were), and that to get votes in the future, the GOP would have to embrace abortion.

My grandfather disagreed.

He fought tooth and nail along with other pro-lifers to get the pro-life plank in the party platform at a time when it seemed impossible. And he kept pushing the pro-life cause to the end of his days, talking about what a wonderful pro-life example people like Sarah Palin were to me as his own health failed.

My grandfather ultimately won. Through the efforts of the reborn GOP, the legal pendulum has started swinging back to restricting abortion. Pro-life identification is high for a number of reasons, but the main reason is the legacy that people like him left behind. A legacy of not giving in to the idea that we should embrace "social progress" for votes. A legacy of fighting for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What is popular is not always right, and I'll take my chances on being unpopular rather than giving up what I believe in: True conservatism.


  1. Politics splits us on at least 4 orthogonal axes: Economic liberty, personal liberty, foreign relations, and abortion. If you favor economic liberty but not personal liberty, you're "conservative", and the opposite is "liberal". If you favor both kinds of liberty, you're a "libertarian".

    Most people who are in favor of personal liberty are pro-choice, but Ron Paul is a great example of a pro-life libertarian. He's also an isolationist, which doesn't necessarily come with the package.

    I'm what I call an "anti-idiotarian libertarian". That means I support the strong national defense, but I'm not into sending our troops out to take on the whole world either. I want people who are thinking about starting something with us to think "You know... maybe that's not a good idea. The Americans will jack us up!"

    I don't want the US national ("federal") government involved in the question at all, either to ban or to subsidize the practice. If we moved the argument to the state level, it wouldn't be something we should care about when running a campaign for POTUS or Congress.

    In general, I want the national government to do a hell of a lot less than it does now, but the things it needs to do (national defense is #1) it needs to do right. If it would do that, we wouldn't be arguing about whether Obamacare can force Catholics to pay for abortions... the very idea that Obamacare could force anyone to buy anything would be laughable.

    It's not a question of being popular or not. It's simply a matter of whether you believe people own their bodies or not. I don't want the government telling me how to run my life. I want them out of my bedroom and my boardroom. I want them out of my wallet and your womb.

    Interestingly, I seem to piss off both the "pro-choice" and "pro-life" folks, because while I support a woman's right to control her own body, I don't think that gives her a right to rend a fetus limb from limb or have its brain sucked out. Perversely, both ends of the spectrum seem to agree that any abortion might as well include dismembering the fetus, as if there's no difference whatsoever between non-destructively moving it from the womb to life support, and grinding it into fetusburger.

    Both sides of the argument are dug in, fanning the flames of fear in their bases: "If those pro-choicers win, there will be compulsary government-funded abortions ordered by Death Panels!" vs. "If the pro-lifers win, we'll have women in prison for using IUDs or the Pill!"

    If we actually had abortion limited to non-destructive removal of fetae, and no government funding for the procedure, abortions would be rare, and the true pro-life people would have the opportunity to adopt a lot more "unwanted" babies. The money raised by "pro-life" groups could go to medical care for babies instead of elections, and the "pro-choice" people could spend their money on education and contraception.

    But that won't happen so long as the extremists on both sides think my position is evil.

  2. Yeah Pooky! and Yeah Monster! I am just an old lady, but I am so glad to see the younger generation get involved. Keep on Keeping on, and blessings to you, Pooky and the cats.