Monday, June 18, 2007

You Might Be A Libertarian If ...

There are a lot of folks out there calling themselves “Libertarians” these days. I hate to break it to you, but most of you are idiots.

The majority of you Libertarian converts have no freaking clue what Libertarians actually believe. All you know is that they aren’t Democrats, they aren’t Republicans, and they seem to have this thing against taxes. A lot of new Libertarians were recently Republicans, until the Republican Party got hijacked by a bunch of crazy Bible thumpers. Before that, I daresay a lot of you were Democrats, before the Democrats became a bunch of spineless wimps scared of their own shadows.

Face it, you just want a political affiliation that doesn’t embarrass you, right? Admit it, you know I’m right.

Well, before you fill out that Libertarian Party membership card, let’s take a look at the official Libertarian Party platform, shall we?

• Freedom of Speech. Personally, I love freedom of speech, but I also believe in limits. For example, I don’t think we should have televised executions, or let young children watch XXX porn. I don’t think we should publish blueprints of nuclear power plants on the internet, or tell people how to bypass Secret Service security measures to assassinate the president.

Libertarians don’t agree. Libertarians also believe in “full market ownership” of the airwaves and abolishing the FCC. That means anyone with a bucketload of money--say, Rupert Murdoch--could own all the media in this country and broadcast whatever he felt like. Sorta like Pravda, without the government (Or, in the case of Murdoch, with the government.) Bye-bye dissent, unless you can find someone with another bucketload of money to build you a radio station. If all of this sounds good to you, then you might be a Libertarian.

• Freedom of Religion. Libertarians believe in strict separation of church and state. No problem there. They “defend the rights of individuals to engage in (or abstain from) any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others.” This all sounds great on paper. Now, if you believe that Scientology, the Moonies, or even Pastafarians should be classified as a religion, then you may be a Libertarian.

• Property Rights. If you don’t believe in building codes, zoning ordinances, resource management like protecting the watershed or air quality, National Parks, State Parks, public parks like Centennial, public ballfields, levees and dams, public boat ramps, etc., then you may be a Libertarian. If you like the idea of paying a steep fee to put your canoe in at the Harpeth, to hike the trails at Warner Parks, or to picnic at Centennial, you may be a Libertarian. There’s a decidedly feudal principle at work here, this whole “all publicly owned infrastructures including dams and parks shall be returned to private ownership” thing. Don’t forget, we had revolutions over such things.

• Right To Privacy. True, the Libertarian platform emphatically opposes the government’s use of any kind of covert surveillance or snooping on citizens. They also oppose random sobriety checkpoints on holiday weekends. They also oppose any kind of government-issued identification: passports, Social Security cards, voter registration cards, etc. I can’t imagine how people are supposed to travel out of the country without a passport, or how elections are supposed to be managed without voter registration cards.

• Right To Bear Arms. No restrictions. None. Honey, is that Nike missile in your backyard, or are you just happy to see me?

• Conscription. An all-volunteer military service, with no Selective Service registration. In fact, the Selective Service System will be abolished and all records destroyed. I guess if a foreign army lands on American soil, we can all just aim our personal tanks and nuclear missiles in the right direction and fire away. Yee haw.

• Sexuality & Gender. Libertarians call for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the Defense Dept.’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, “one man, one woman” marriage laws, etc. This sounds great on paper but I wonder how many “New Libertarians” are willing to take this to its next logical place: legalized polygamy, polyandry, marriages to pets and trees, etc. Just wondering.

• War On Drugs. It’s over! And the drugs won! If you believe in the legalization of marijuana, heroin, meth, cocaine, etc., and if you believe that all drug offenders should be pardoned and released from jail, then you might be a Libertarian. Also, if you think that children should be allowed to purchase these things, alcohol, and tobacco, you are definitely a Libertarian.

• Immigration. Give us your tired, your hungry, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Seriously, they mean it.

I’m sure some of this sounds good to a lot of us. But I don’t think the majority of self-professed “Libertarians” agree with half of this claptrap.