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September 21st, 2007

Libertarianism In The Age Of Bush

From our Reasons Why I Am Not A Libertarian department… 

Over at Box Turtle Bulletin, Timothy Kincaid notes the recent Values (sic) Voters conference down in Orlando

The “values voters” seem (so far) to be obsessed about homosexuality. And the candidates that showed up to pander are playing right along. They all weighed in on how to oppose “the homosexual agenda” with only Ron Paul hedging his anti-gay attitudes in terms of libertarianism.

Libertarianism…did you say…? 

Every single candidate present would veto ENDA, would support a federal marriage amendment, and would support healthcare policies that would reward a “moral” lifestyle.

Emphasis mine.  Ron is the kind of libertarian who would have (and probably did as far as I know) joined in the celebrations over the supreme court decision in Hardwick v. Bowers back in 1986, which upheld the sodomy laws.  It was a "state’s rights" thing see.  Now of course, it’s Let’s  Let The Federal Government Define What Is And What Is Not A Family

State’s Rights.  Libertarianism.

[Update…]  In the comments to that post, Ron Paul’s supporters note that Paul is apparently "on the record" as being against FMA.  However, that seems not to have been a record Paul was willing to share with the Values Voters.  Apparently he weaseled his way around the question.

See…this is the thing I noticed even back in the 1970s about many libertarians.  You can appeal to a lot of people by saying the government should get the hell out of (insert what government does that you despise most here), so long as you mute the part about wanting to dismantle (insert what government does that you really like here).  And almost without exception those libertarians who did that, turned out to be mostly right wing conservatives, wrapping themselves in libertarian language, trying to convince liberals that government is more a source of all our troubles, then a means to any good end.  They’ve been singing that tune since…oh…back around when the feds started desegregating the public schools…

I won’t deny that there are libertarians who would be perfectly willing to get up on that Values Voter stage, look that audience right in the eye, and tell them if they want the government to leave them alone, it has to leave their neighbors alone too.  They’d be tossing those votes away of course, but they’d say it.  Paul apparently, couldn’t bring himself that day to stand on…you know…principle.  There’s probably a reason for that.

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