Tag Archives: libertarian

Rand Paul at Howard University

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“Some argue with evidence that our drug laws are biased-that they are the new Jim Crow.

But to simply be against them for that reason misses a larger point. They are unfair to EVERYONE, largely because of the one size fits all federal mandatory sentences. Our federal mandatory minimum sentences are simply heavy-handed and arbitrary. They can affect anyone at any time, though they disproportionately affect those without the means to fight them. We should stand and loudly proclaim enough is enough. We should not have laws that ruin the lives of young men and women who have committed no violence. That’s why I have introduced a bill to repeal federal mandatory minimum sentences. We should not have drug laws or a court system that disproportionately punishes the black community.”  Senator Rand Paul

Senator Rand Paul spoke at the predominantly black Howard University. This is not exactly like Marco Polo discovering China yet in terms of naked symbolism it was significant. Senator Paul’s actions in going to Howard are most significant considering that Senator Paul is a Republican, but less so given the Senator’s brand of libertarian inspired conservatism. In point of fact, there is more in common between liberals, civil libertarians and libertarians than between either of these groups and some elements in the current GOP. The liberty movement can and should embrace civil libertarianism and parts of liberalism because if it does so, it has a much broader demographic appeal than it may yet realize. It is possible to have libertarian tendencies and embrace the civil rights acts because they are an important arena in which the federal government protects the civil liberties of all Americans.

The GOP’s Theoconservatism Problem

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“The impact of the sound bite mentality which you find in both parties…is there’s been a debasing of the system. Because if you listen to these — I call them the Stepford candidates — on both sides in these debates the only two candidates that speak clearly are the ones they call the kooks.” Victor Gold to Bill Moyer in 2007 interview

 The GOP needs a dose of libertarianism and much less social conservatism if it can ever  honestly claim to be conservative again. Victor Gold, who served as Press Secretary to Barry Goldwater and speechwriter for Reagan and Bush 41, wrote a book entitled, Invasion of the Body Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP. Victor Gold understood a problem for the GOP that would make proclamations of limited government and fiscal responsibility hypocritical and at odds with the desires of its social conservatives. Gold’s diagnosis is prescient; as the GOP has gone on to lose two more Presidential elections since the publication of Invasion of the Party Snatchers in 2007. His book remains a better diagnosis of why the GOP lost 4 of the last 6 Presidential elections and may continue to do so than Reince Priebus’ $10 million “autopsy” written in platitudinous consultancy speak.

Artificial intelligence, Zombie cells and Libertarian philosophy

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There’s a big and strange story popping up on many news sites; MSN, CBS and Huffington Post. They are talking about dead cells being brought back to life by scientists at Sandia National Laboratories and University of New Mexico. The cells are coated with a silica then heated up to 400 degrees which somehow creates living cells out of lifeless cells – Zombie cells. At the moment it appears this is contained and we are safe from human flesh-eating monsters taking over the Earth.

However, the CDC recently wrote a story Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse  which is a spoof blog post based on the recent violent attacks by people who were eating other people alive, blamed on bath salts insanity. But does the CDC possibly have real reason to be concerned and is their blog post only half-joking?

 

What the GOP Offers the Libertarian Kids on the Lawn

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Chicago, March 21st 2013 - Senator John McCain’s characterization of Senator Rand Paul’s 13 hour filibuster, was as a stunt to get young “impressionable libertarian kids” riled up. Lindsay “when they say ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, “Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer’” Graham, concurred. However, many of Senator McCain’s fellow Republicans and conservative commentators from Mike Huckabee, George Will to Rush Limbaugh see the libertarian kids as necessary to the future of the GOP-from an actuarial basis this is tough to deny. But who needs who more?

If the liberty kids are the future of the GOP, then they will have to change it to make it consistent with a liberty minded platform because many parts of the GOP’s platform, in its current iteration, are not consistent with liberty. Repackaging a tired platform, as Sen. Paul suggested at CPAC, will not work—nor by the way will repackaging slightly warmed over old ideas merely by having them articulated by the closest available ethnic speaker. Tokenism does not make your tent bigger, it looks transparently so.

Ideas formed more by opposition to liberal ones than an internally consistent value system will be exposed as Sen. Paul suggested by a “’Facebook generation’ [that] can detect falseness and hypocrisy a mile away.” Many liberals love to label the GOP the Party of Stupid because they find it easy to mock an ideology that is heard expressing itself more often in terms of the hatred of ‘sluts’, the discussion of legitimate rape, naked Islamaphobia, birthers, vagina probes, and a distrust of higher education and science that smacks of crude, bumper-sticker ideology more than it resembles the higher aspirations of a kinder, gentler society-completely leave aside bringing a thousand points of light into the matter. And while CPAC speakers like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and Donald Trump are admirable people -you might be in trouble if they constitute your party’s intellectual brain center.

 

Thanks to Rand Paul, libertarian politics is more popular than ever

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Rand Paul won the presidential straw poll at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), but he appears to have won the debate on drones by an even larger margin.

A poll of CPAC attendees found that 86% opposed the use of drones to “kill US citizens,” while 70% were against using them to “spy on U.S. citizens”. More strikingly, 50% of respondents at America’s largest gathering of conservative activists agreed with the following statement: “Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II, it’s time for our European, Asian, and other allies to provide for their own defense.”

Only 34% agreed with this statement: “As the world’s only superpower, the US needs to bear the responsibility of protecting our allies in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world.” Another 17% didn’t know, weren’t sure or preferred not to say.

The wording of the questions certainly made conservatives more likely to give non-interventionist responses. One simple edit in the drone questions –changing “US citizens” to “terrorists” – might have elicited a somewhat different answer. Nevertheless, the momentum definitely appears to have shifted. Gone are the days of Americans supporting anything in the name of US security.

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Earth to Rick Santorum: Libertarians Founded the United States

Andrew Napolitano recently showed a clip in which Rick Santorum explained his views on libertarianism. His comments are also instructive in understanding his animosity (politically) towards Ron Paul. Santorum said:

“One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a Libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”

As David Boaz pointed out in the interview with Napolitano, Santorum seems to oppose a basic American principle- the right to the pursuit of happiness. I agree with him on this, but there is something even more fundamental here than that. It has to do with the conservative philosophy itself. One of the statements that Santorum makes is true. “That is not how traditional conservatives view the world.”

There is a great disconnect between average Americans who refer to themselves as “conservatives” and the small group of politicians and politically-connected businessman who likewise refer to themselves. The members of the former group believe in the founding principles of the United States, including the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They believe that these rights are endowed by their Creator. In other words, they preexist the government. They are not created by the government. It is the government’s one and only job to protect those rights and when the government fails to protect them and instead violates them, it is the duty of the people to alter or abolish the government.

 

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Libertarian Feminism is Superior to Liberal Feminism

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