Monday, May 26, 2008

The Libertarian Presidential Debate

I tuned in to the Libertarian debate on CSPAN so I could see what the top candidates are espousing.

There was some very good stuff, and some stuff I thought was way off base. I like the socially tolerant yet fiscally conservative aspect, but there were some inconsistencies and some deal killers.

The deal killer is the national defense policy. They unanimously agreed that we should pull out of not only Iraq, but everywhere we have troops overseas. They equate overseas bases with imperialism and occupation. The fact is, when you have the most prosperous nation on Earth, you're the biggest target. Having defense forces positioned around the globe is just prudent. We are not "occupying" Japan or South Korea, or Germany. It would be neat if the US could step down from the world stage and nobody would step up to fill the void, but that's not reality. If we don't lead, someone else will.

There were also some philosophical inconsistencies. Several candidates mentioned Ayn Rand as a great influencer of their fundamental beliefs, yet one emphasized the importance of "duty" and "sacrifice" for society. Nothing could be more anti-Rand. Another disagreed with Rand's position that one should judge and prepare to be judged. She felt that tolerance means one should not judge. WRONG. Tolerance means that before you act on your judgement you consider "What are my damages?". You can judge someone to be wrong or goofy, or whatever, but if they are doing you no harm, you let them be what they are. That's tolerance. Turning off your brain is not tolerance.

The Libertarian party will not be successful if they don't understand the basis for the positions they take and promote. Individual freedom and limited government stem from the recognition that each individual is the center of their own universe. You reign supreme in your universe. I reign supreme in mine. When our paths cross we respect each others sovereinty. Society is a tool for the benefit of each individual that comprises it. It is not a master to be served.

The Libertarian debate illustrated that no candidate for that party understands any of the above.

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