Over the last couple of years, libertarians have complained about the emphasis conservatives, particularly the Rick Santorums and Mike Huckabees their movement, have placed on social issues. We’ve noted that conservatives should focus their message on issues where they can attract agreement — such as repealing ObamaCare, lessening regulation on businesses, cutting spending, and reducing taxes.
While I support same-sex marriage and have grown increasingly pro-choice within reason, the Republican National Convention was a largely a breath of fresh air from this perspective . That’s not to say that I agree with everything said on the budget, economy or foreign policy, but the discussion of social issues was relatively mild with Republicans choosing instead to place a heavy focus on the economic record of President Barack Obama.
But watching the Democratic National Convention off-and-on for a couple of days, one can’t help but notice the heavy emphasis on social issues. There is certainly a discussion and defense of President Obama’s economic record, but abortion, same-sex marriage, and labor unions been featured heavily.
Of course, this is really isn’t surprising. Democrats have tried to change the narrative at several points since the beginning of the year; usually by complaining that there is some supposed “war” being waged against a segment of the American public.
Most people seem to come to libertarianism from the right. It honestly makes sense when you think about it. The right tends to be a place of minimal government and typically argues for more freedom. The problems kick in on some specific issues. Many libertarians came to libertarianism after searching for a more consistent ideology.
Me? I’m a bit of an oddball. I came from the left. I came from a place of seeking more consistency on the issue of civil liberties that I was getting from the Democrats. There have been times when I wondered if there was ever being a small “L” libertarian in the Democratic Party. Based on what’s being reported over the party’s new platform, I can see that is a resounding “no.”
The piece points out several issues where the Democratic Party has decided to back away from their stances on civil liberties just four years ago. Issues like indefinite detention, closing Gitmo, illegal wiretaps, and racial profiling all pretty much continue without any modification from President Bush’s era. Even torture, for which many wanted heads on the proverbial pikes, has reportedly continued despite an executive order ending the practice.
So which conservative or libertarian publication makes such remarkes about President Obama and the Democratic Party? Townhall? Nope. Red State? Not even close.
The Weekly Standard? No. The National Review? Hardly. Reason? Wrong again. Try the left leaning Mother Jones.
Many on the left are less than pleased that Obama has done so poorly on civil liberties. That says nothing over any meaningful move on gay rights (besides the appeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) or a host of other issues.
It is a sad trend that after every shooting in this country, there is a group of people who, without fail, rush to use it to make some political point. There’s always the perfunctory debate about gun control, with advocates stating that somehow gun sellers should predict when someone will use the weapon for evil. And when the target is political in any way, one side always uses it to make the case that the other side is “encouraging hate” and thus somehow to blame for the shooter’s actions.
We saw this clearly in the Gabby Giffords shooting, when those on the left tried to tie Jared Loughner’s actions to Tea Party rhetoric and even absurdly to Sarah Palin by posting pictures of a “target map” she had created, clearly referring to taking POLITICAL action against certain incumbents, not violence. Yet this did not stop liberals like Paul Krugman from plainly implying that she and other conservatives were partly to blame for their so-called “incendiary rhetoric”. This is not to say that the language of Palin and Bachmann is not often excessive and overheated, but it is plainly not encouraging violence.
Fast forward to this week, when a gunman decided to take out his disagreement with the Family Research Council by opening fire, wounding a security guard before being wrestled to the ground. Now, it should be known that I vehemently disagree with basically everything the FRC stands for. But never in a million years would I or any other sane person think this warranted violence. It’s clear that the main issue here was a severely imbalanced person who decided that the way to express his feelings was firing a gun at innocent people.
Fifteen years ago today, I married my high school sweetheart. Since the topic of marriage is at the front of my mind, I thought I’d write about an issue of double standards that surrounds the whole marriage argument. The issue of marriage is, to say the least, a very sensitive topic, and this post might end up being one of my posts that steps on some toes. You’ve been warned.
My wife and I were married in a small church in Warner Robins, Georgia. Our wedding was a ceremony committing our lives to each other before God and our friends. We had a state-issued marriage license, but Georgia’s stance on our marital stance was (and is) inconsequential. If Georgia were to revoke our marriage license and declare us single, we would still be married in the eyes of our church because our union is a religious union.
As with most things, the problem with marriage comes when government gets too involved. Since marriage is a religious partnership, the government has no place defining – or redefining – what marriage is. That is the role of the religious institution that administers the wedding; it is not the role of government.
To take it a step further, government has no right to dictate to a church who it will or will not allow to be married. It’s very similar to the issue of a church’s qualifications for pastors or priests. Some churches forbid women pastors while some allow women to serve in that capacity. Some require celibacy, while that’s not an issue for other churches. Each church enforces the qualifications according to its own doctrine, and the government – state or federal – has absolutely no business dictating behavior to a church.
With public acceptance of gay marriage at an all time high, social conservatives are feeling the pressure and are getting desperate. They are now planning to use race to their advantage, as an internal memo from the National Organization for Marriage reveals:
“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” read the memo, which outlined a plan to recruit African-American spokesmen to speak out against gay marriage, then organize a media campaign around their objections.
“Provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” the memo read. “No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.”
Apparently NOM’s opposition to social progression doesn’t stop at marriage. Merely a few decades past the civil rights movement for black Americans, they are content to hark back to an era of racial division in an effort to provide a lifeline to their dying, antiquated philosophy of government-sanctioned social inequality.
Using the government to enforce your views onto others is anathema to the principle of liberty, but dividing a people by race to do so is a new level of disgusting.
Fudgeknuckles. You can never be happy with politicians as a libertarian—just when they look like they’re on the path to true limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, they come out with something stupid like this:
“I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman,” Christie said. “I wouldn’t sign a bill like the one that was in New York.”
That sound you are hearing is my head slamming into my desk at Warp Six.
I admit, I was becoming a fan of Chris Christie. The way he was socking it to the parasitical public unions in New Jersey was inspiring. Sure, he was not perfect—he probably could have cut back more in some areas—but considering political inertia, he was doing a tremendous job.
Naturally, while I’m feeling really great about this guy, he throws a social conservative curveball just to keep me a grumbling libertarian.
The article does state that he will push for civil unions in New Jersey, as if, “Well, he’s not so bad.” But it is, in fact, horrific: what Christie is saying is that he supports discrimination based on sexual orientation, a boundary that says “You are not like us, you cannot be like us, you cannot have the same rights and privileges as us.” That’s a very disturbing thought. What I don’t understand is how it meshes with the small government ethos of most conservatives. Let’s end regulation and meddling in the economy, let’s make government smaller, cheaper, and more efficient—but then try and wedge it into the bedroom?
While most observers are focused on only one race in Massachusetts — the Senate between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren, there is another race that is starting to gain some attention. Richard Tisei, a Republican, is taking on Rep. John Tierney (D) in MA-06 in what is looking like a pickup for the House GOP.
Tisei, who served in the Massachusetts legislature from 1985 to 2011, ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2010 as part of a ticket with Charlie Baker, the GOP nominee for Governor. Tisei is an anomaly for a Republican in that he is openly gay, first coming out in 2009. In an interview with The Hill back in July, Tisei explained that he considers himself to be “a ‘live and let live Republican’ — the government should get out of your bedroom, off your back and out of your wallet,” adding that most his views are libertarian in nature.
Social issues aside, Tisei is also a fiscal conservative, though not entirely perfect. In its election issue, Reason magazine named Tisei as a “libertarian(ish) candidate,” noting that he “led the charge to lower the state income tax” and that he signed the “Massachusetts equivalent of [Grover] Norquist’s [tax] pledge.” However, Reason noted that Tisei voted for RomneyCare, which would later serve as the blueprint for ObamaCare. Tisei told The Hill that he will vote to repeal ObamaCare.
Clint Eastwood’s speech last month at the Republican National Convention (RNC) caught many people by surprise. His ad-libbed “conversation” with an empty chair, which Eastwood said was President Barack Obama, managed to overshadow Mitt Romney on the night he accepted the GOP presidential nomination.
Eastwood visited with Ellen DeGeneres yesterday to discuss his new movie, but also some of the reaction to his speech at the RNC, libertarianism, and his view on gay marriage.
The relevant part is within the first three minutes of the video. It was great to hear the reaction from the audience after Eastwood described libertarianism, the political philosophy to which he subscribes:
After a long day of hanging around the media center yesterday, some of us decided we wanted to party last night. We wound up over at the Honey Pot in Tampa’s Ybor City for “Homocon,” which was hosted by GOProud, an organization for gay Republicans. This was easily the best party of the week, folks:
Unlike their reception at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February, pro-gay rights conservative group GOPProud staged a great party here on Tuesday night, hosting hundreds of guests at The Honey Pot, complete with glittering disco ball lights.
The three-floor “Homocon” bash featured go-go dancers clad in black T-shirts with the words “freedom is fabulous” written on them, a message underscoring GOProud’s goal to highlight gays and lesbians in the conservative movement.
Seated in the VIP sections were MSNBC “The Cycle” co-host S.E. Cupp, former Rep. Mark Foley and Grover Norquist, the founder of Americans for Tax Reform. Both Cupp and Norquist are members of GOProud’s advisory board.
“I think the Republican party and the moderate Reagan conservative movement is the home for all right-thinking people, and it should be for gays as well as other people,” Norquist said at the event, which he attended with his wife, Samah Alrayyes Norquist.
As for Homocon in Tampa, just don’t call it run-of-the-mill.
“You can find dozens of coat-and-tie [parties], stand around with a cocktail, pose for a picture and then move to the next one. They have the same hors d’oeuvres at all of them. It’s one menu. Our events are different.” [GOProud Executive Director Jimmy] LaSalvia said.