limited government

Marriage and Limited Government

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.

Sugar Daddy Government

Women have come a long way in this country. Gone are the bad old days of when a woman’s place was solely in the home. Violence against women is rightfully condemned. Women participate in all aspects of American life from the workplace to the political arena. While we should remain vigilant to ensure we don’t take any steps back in protecting equal opportunity to women, you would think the feminist movement would declare victory. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.

I love women. I was raised by a single mother. I love strong, independent women; the type of woman you would think the feminist movement would embrace. However, the modern feminist movement; with few exceptions, are not about celebrating and promoting strong, independent women. The feminist movement has instead morphed into the womyn’s liberation left which has decided to destroy the sexist patriarchy and replace it with Sugar Daddy Government that will provide women with everything from free birth control, to subsidized child care, to student and small business loans, and taxpayer subsidized abortions.

The activists of the womyn’s liberation left of course are not entirely to blame. They have many willing accomplices in our political class like Barack Obama who even drew a little cartoon to pander to them. Like other groups who derive a part of their living from the plunder of taxpayers, the womyn’s liberation left and their fellow travelers are more passionate than most voters about keeping the benefits they have and, if possible, expanding their benefits than the average American who is just trying to make a living for their family. Instead of the males in the family providing for women or women providing for themselves, the womyn’s lib left now want women to rely on a sugar daddy, Big Government.

Predictions on the ObamaCare case

The case against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) — what we often refer to as ObamaCare — is in the books. Members of the Supreme Court will cast their initial votes today than begin their deliberations, issuing their rulings — likely in four parts — at the end of the term in June.

It’s hard to make predictions about which way a majority of the Supreme Court, particularly Justice Anthony Kennedy, is going to go on the individual mandate and severability. But as has been noted by Jim Antle and Stephen Richer, many legal pundits never took the case seriously and now seem out-of-touch due to how close the end result is likely to be, no matter whether liberty prevails or statism hacks away another limited government principle from the Constitution.

Admittedly, I wasn’t going to write any predictions about the case simply because I don’t want to get my hopes up. But over at the National Review, Daniel Foster has given his predictions based on what we read and heard from oral arguments. He believes the Supreme Court will overturn the mandate, but split on severability, which he says will lead to “Chief Justice Roberts ask[ing] one of the liberal justices to write the operative opinion as a way of extending an olive branch.”

So with that, here are my predictions. I really hope I’m not let down, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the court go the opposite way on severability. I think there is just too much concern in the mind of Justice Kennedy to sign off on the individual mandate.

Massachusetts Governor criticizes Tim Thomas for skipping White House event

Tim Thomas sure stirred up a hornet’s nest, didn’t he?  The Boston Bruin’s goalie made a personal decision to not meet President Obama.  He said his piece on Facebook about why he decided to forego the meeting.  Fair enough. Of course, Governor Deval Patrick seems to feel that Thomas was lacking “courtesy and grace”:

Governor Deval Patrick struck a disappointed tone today as he commented on Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas’s decision not to attend a White House event earlier this week honoring the Stanley Cup champions.

“He’s a phenomenal hockey player and he’s entitled to his views, but it just feels to me like we’re losing in this country basic courtesy and grace,” Patrick said.

I didn’t think much of President Bush’s policies – two wars on a credit card, prescription drug benefit that we couldn’t afford, deficit out of control – but I always referred to him as ‘Mr. President.’ I stood when he came in the room,” Patrick said in his monthly appearance on the “Ask the Governor” segment on WTKK-FM.

“There are rules to live by so I don’t want to make more of this than is deserving. I guess I’d prefer to pay more attention and offer more commentary when there are acts of grace as opposed to the reverse,” he said, moving onto the next topic.

Interesting.  Please note the part in bold.  Obviously, Thomas simply must have said something horrible. Luckily, we can go to the tape, so to speak…or at least Thomas’ Facebook page.  There, Thomas says this:

Tea Party Thomas: Boston Bruins goalkeeper pushes for limited government

As is often the case with victorious professional sports teams, the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins were honored this week in the White House.  Absent, though, was star goaltender Tim Thomas, a big part of the Bruins’ run for the Cup.  Thomas explained why he did not attend on his Facebook page:

“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT”

Now, sports figures and other celebrities making political statements is not exactly out of the ordinary.  What is unusual is that the statement carries a very distinct right-leaning, even libertarian flavor.  In fact, it sounds like it could come from a Ron Paul supporter.

Libertarian Purity and the Presidential Race

In March of last year, I wrote a post on “Libertarian purity”.  It was one of the most read posts of 2011, and probably the most read post I’ve personally ever written.  As we look onto the 2012 primary season and eventual general election, I figured it might be a good time to revisit that post and how it could apply to this election.

First, we have a unique year this year.  An actual libertarian - by most people’s definition anyways - has a legitimate shot and making some headway.  Ron Paul’s slow but steady rise in the polls has been something that fills me with a level of joy that is hard to describe.  “But Tom,” you might say, “didn’t you come out in support of Gary Johnson?”  I would answer yes.  I like Johnson more than Paul, but frankly a President Ron Paul wouldn’t exactly be anything close to bad in my book.

Further, Gary Johnson is challenging for the Libertarian Party nomination, so there’s still a good chance that I’ll get to vote for him in the general election.

It’s entirely possible that we’ll have two libertarians on the ticket, but it’s also possible that we won’t have but one.  So what do we do about that?

In that post from last year, I said that it was vital that we start winning elections, rather than just debating politics from the outside.  So let’s take a look at some of the options and how it relates to that post.

A shift toward libertarianism

Over at FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver points to a recent CNN poll showing that the public shifting more towards libertarian ideas (emphasis mine):

Since 1993, CNN has regularly asked a pair of questions that touch on libertarian views of the economy and society:

Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view?

Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?

A libertarian, someone who believes that the government is best when it governs least, would typically choose the first view in the first question and the second view in the second.
[…]
[I]n CNN’s latest version of the poll, conducted earlier this month, the libertarian response to both questions reached all-time highs. Some 63 percent of respondents said government was doing too much — up from 61 percent in 2010 and 52 percent in 2008 — while 50 percent said government should not favor any particular set of values, up from 44 percent in 2010 and 41 percent in 2008. (It was the first time that answer won a plurality in CNN’s poll.)

A Defense of the Free Market

One of the most common refrains from the political left and the media is that, regarding the economy, conservatives advocate for unchecked freedom for big business to do whatever it wants to do, and for no government interference with business at all. These assertions stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of conservatism.

For the conservative, the issue comes down to the proper role of government. To have no government at all is anarchy, and certainly no conservative would argue that. So the question is not whether or not there should be government involvement (there should), but what level of government involvement is appropriate.

When we look at the biggest financial scandals of the last decade (Enron, WorldCom, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, etc.), they all have one thing in common. At some point, whether through active complicity or negligence, government played a huge role in allowing the scandals to occur. And with every scandal, it becomes an excuse, or rather an imperative, to increase the level of government involvement to keep it from occurring again.

Some of the major scandals have occurred because the regulatory oversight assigned to one government agency or another was either inadequately enforced, or government employees were co-opted into the fraudulent scheme. Others occur because our statutory and regulatory law has become so complex that it is inevitable that a crafty thief will be able to find technical loopholes that fulfill the letter of the law while being contradictory to the clear intent of the law. Either way, we continue to add layer after layer of government bureaucracy, regulation and complexity, and yet the scandals keep getting more and more expensive. That is because the more complex the law, the easier it is to find a technical Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card.

Advice for Tea Partiers

The Tea Party movement’s endurance will be a testament to its ability to understand that cutting government means having a long-term focus and its willingness to move beyond Republican talking points. Cato’s John Samples, author of The Struggle to Limit Government offers an assessment of what Tea Partiers should do if they really want to sustain an effort to cut government. Five pieces of advice:

1. Republicans aren’t always your friends.

2. Some tea partiers like big government.

3. Democrats aren’t always your enemies.

4. Smaller government demands restraint abroad.

5. Leave social issues to the states.

Watch:

Ron Paul on Obama’s Federal Budget

See Video

Dr. Paul, once again, outlines the real culprits of the current economic crisis, and points to the real solutions- less government, lower taxes, decreased spending, the end of devaluing the dollar.

H/T: Matt Chancey

 


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.