Thursday, August 17, 2006

Why I can't vote Libertarian

Several times I've referred to myself in the blog as a 'libertarian'. Note the small L. I believe in personal liberties and believe that the government has gotten too big, and too in bed with special interests, rather than looking out for the citizens. I agree with Libertarians that government meddling in the business of individuals is one of the biggest issues in America today. Government's role in our country is to maintain order, secure our borders, secure our streets, and settle disputes between citizens & between businesses. Unfortunately, many Libertarians draw the line right there and say that's it. I disagree and will attempt to explain why over the next few paragraphs.

While it would be a great world if we didn't need laws to govern peoples behavior, it's more of a fantasyland than reality. I believe in freedom. I believe that helmet laws are an unnecessary part of our legal system that are merely used to collect fines and oppress bikers. I also believe that seat belt laws are also unnecessary and intrusive. I believe that people who are smart enough to protect themselves will do so, and those who don't, will evolve themselves right out of the gene pool. I agree with simple things like that. However, the Libertarian party believes in the free availability of abortions, something that I'm completely against. Their stance is that it's an inidividuals body, they should be allowed to do with it as they like. My belief is that as soon as the child is conceived, it ceases to become the individuals body. Libertarians also believe that individuals should be allowed to take 'drugs', as long as the individual doesn't hurt anyone else.
While I believe that the 'war on drugs' has been a huge waste on resources and has worked to fill our prisons to the ceilings for no apparent reason in many cases, I don't believe that the majority of drugs should be legalized for adults.
No matter how much the Libertarians would like to argue that people can make their own rational decisions, I'd welcome them to come visit the real world for a day or two before they go back to their fantasy. Look around you guys. There are plenty of people who can't make their own decisions, either their too friggin stupid, or merely short-sighted. If you truly think that someone on their 18th birthday is suddenly more intelligent than the day before when they were still 17, and can make life decisions, you need to stay in the ivory tower.

The biggest issue that I have with Libertarians is that they take the stand that the war is completely over oil and that we shouldn't be there. Just a few notes about this:
1. The war isn't over oil. Yes, there's oil there. Yes, if things finally settle down, we will probably get a large amount of oil from Iraq. But saying that this is a war over oil is like saying the Normandy invasion was a war for wine. Or that Iwo Jima was a war over rubber. It's idiocy. Yes, our economy runs on oil. But there's no big business cabal that says "Hey, go invade Iraq so we can have some cheap oil". Who is hurt the most by high oil prices? Big business? Hell no, they just pass the cost down to consumers. So who actually benefits the most by lower oil prices? Consumers. So, don't you think that if a 'war for oil' were really the case that consumers would benefit in the long run anyway? Example: Things suddenly just stop in Iraq. no more violence, the pipelines settle down, the supplies start pouring out into the world and the price of oil drops to $40/barrel. Do you REALLY think that the price of gas is going to stay at $3.00 a gallon? No way that happens. The market won't allow it because someone is going to lower their price just a penny or two in order to get more market share. Then their competitor will lower theirs, etc. The beauty of the 'free' market.
And as for 'big business', that's just an amazingly ignorant joke altogether. Big business? Do corporations just walk down the street? Who makes up corporations? People. Shareholders. You, me, your neighbors, your families. We all make up corporations. Our 401ks hold shares of them, our IRA's hold their stock, and if we work together, WE ARE big business. To think otherwise ignores the rules of the market.

Anyway, while I will give the Libertarian candidate for governor in Michigan some props here, he needs to put his positions out on his site more for someone like me to support him. And until the Libertarians put aside their utopian ideas on drug laws and abortion, I'll stick as a Republican with libertarian values.

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