Monday, October 09, 2006

If I was not a Libertarian...


I've not been very impressed with my party lately, the Libertarian Party (www.lp.org) that is. Although the most viable 3rd party option, we still get thumped by the green party in national politics, but what the hell; we keep chugging along. At the same time it gets frustrating. How do I make a change and really influence what I believe in? Do I keep sledging through the mud of 3rd party hell? or do I play the insurgent madman, join a major party and try to spark the larger debate from within? If my party did not exist, what would be closer to my beliefs, the Donkeys or the Elephants?

Why not let my friends here at bloggerville help me out. I have plenty of both parties represented in my list of visitors so I think I'll get my share of fair and balance (no pun intended). So I will give you my issues, point by point and maybe you guys can give me a brief paragraph as to why I soul join the Dark side, or light side, or whatever you deem you party to be. Here goes.

War / Military: As a classic conservative, I don't believe in foreign intervention (I leave that to the neo-cons). I believe in using the military only for domestic defense or in defense of my neighbor if I feel his ass is going to get run over by somebody who will soon by on my border. The whole notion of nation building and spreading freedom is a Liberal and idealistic concept that I simply do not subscribe to. Liberty may by a human endeavor, and democracy may be the best form of government (for us folks with flushing toilets) but I don't think its my or my country's business to shove my idea of freedom or governance to anybody.
(Am I a democrat? or a Republican?)

Education: I think public education, while noble in intent, has failed miserably. The unions have made their member's well-being more important than the audience it serves, the kids. But, unlike my Libertarian brethren, I believe government can assist and enable national standards of grading, curriculum and systems. The problem is that there is no choice. You mention vouchers and the unions go ape-shit, the districts see their $8,000 per student federal dole flying away and before we know its a cluster-puck of politics. Why not have more charter schools? why not have tax deductions for home-schooling? Abe Lincoln was taught in a one-room class and to this date I don't think any of OUR kids has his penmanship... I think public education is good, I think it has to be overhauled at the core level, unions have to be peeled from holding the states by the balls, and parents HAVE to be forced (yes forced) to participate in the education of their kids. If uncle Sam is pony-ing up 8 grand to put your offspring through school, then you should show your damn appreciation by doing your part in after-school programs and helping with their schoolwork. But that's just me.
(so what am I, a republican? or a democrat?)

Social programs: Morally I believe it brings the best of us when we as a society care for those who cant provide for themselves. There I threw you a liberal bone. Now lets get down to brass tax (damn that work makes me jumpy). Social Security?... kill it. This was a little program plowed through congress by FDR that was supposed to be a temporary fix during the great depression. As all Federal programs, it never died. It got bigger and bigger, to the point that politicians use it to scare the shit out of seniors. Republicans say that the system is broken and it needs to be fixed or it will bankrupt in however many years, so they want to privatized it, make it more individually manageable,... basically then want to have what Congress and Galveston Texas has but nobody else does, the ability to make more that the paltry 1% interest rate it gets now. Democrats, tell me that those mean Republicans want me to whither on the vine when I am retiring by killing the holy grail of social safety nets. How did we ever make it before social security?... I wonder about that. I believe we should kill the program, give the money back to the people and let them invest it as they see fit. Why the hell does government have to baby sit my ass? Besides, since when do the Feds manage anything better than private enterprise? Name me one, ONE paragon of fiscal success in any Federal level..... I'll wait while you think of one.
(don't even bother, I know this makes me a quasi-Republican in this matter but go ahead and tell me anyway)

Taxes: Please forgive my up-chucking as I plow through this most painful of subjects. I believe that taxes are necessary, yes I do. The military (capped), roads, infrastructure, public schools and universities, police, firefighters and hospitals,... Basics of society's needs. Got it?... ok now the carving knife comes out. Mass transportation? only in cities. These quaint little railway systems are money pitts. They work great in Europe where the populace is centered around the metro areas, but in USA where suburbia is exploding? forget it. Amtrak? kill it. Gas tax? Instead of blaming the recent high gas prices on the flavor of the month issue, maybe by cutting the obscene dollar or so that state, federal and local government's make per gallon, we would have never been so damn expensive in the first place. Let's see, every one of my take-home checks is 40% light. Imagine that. Then I pay taxes on food, gas, sales, insurance, utilities, DMV fees, ... I am being bled to to the bone, all to subsidize crap I don't want, or don't need,.. or care for an increasing percentage of socialists who want to live on the largesse of a system they rebel against. Ironic, isn't it?
(So what am I? A republican or a democrat?)

Small or Big Gov?: What ever happened to the founding fathers ideal of LIMITED government? Seriously... what happened? Both parties spend like fiscal savants. I was just watching a debate between two candidates for a congressional seat in Texas. It was comical to see them tripping over each other to see who could promise MORE to the audience,..... huh? Is that what we have become? Do we vote for the one who gives us more? I thought we were vigorously self-sufficient, weary of government, and fiercely independent! Since when do we demand that our officials give us MORE? when was the last time someone said, "I am going to cut something", and won? What started with FDR going ape-shit with the raw , er... new deal and giving up the store, has permeated to neo-cons giving away billions of dollars in prescription drugs and education grants, billions of dollars in missiles to kill the planet 50 times over (in case we miss the first 49 times) and adding trillions and trillions to the national debt. What the hell is going on? I am for minimal but effective goverment. I am for fair use of our treasure. I am for giving incentive to the wealth and business creators of the nation so that the bastions of capitalism can reign supreme. But I am also for a goverment that is fair in taxation, able to care for the oppressed and unable to care for themselves, and a goverment smart enough to stay the hell away from my pocket and what I do with my crotch.
(Am I a democrat? or a republican?)

Ok Thats enough issues, don't want to get anybody bored, after all, Monday night Football is on in a few minutes.....

20 comments:

betmo said...

i don't care about the broncos or the ravens- it is currently the 4th quarter and with 4 minutes or so left- denver is winning. whatever. i think you sound like a moderate repub. you are definitely more right leaning than left- but you have a conscience- so i am going moderate. :)

tugboatcapn said...

Putting my obvious bias aside, and just going on the information you gave in your post, I would say that you seem to be a Socialy Conscious Republican.

Republicans wil probably never be able to (or even try to) eleminate all of the socialist hand-out programs for the "less fortunate" from the American System, so they will be cared for.

On all other issues, (with the exception of the war, which we are already in so Victory is the only option at this point...we will clkean up the mess later...)you lean solidly to the Right.

I have a few Libertarian Leanings myself.

But at this point in time, voting Libertarian in a national Election, or even in a Congressional or Senate Race, is exactly the same thing as casting a vote for the Democrat Candidate, who will gladly raise your Taxes and enact even more socialist programs which will never go away, and subsidize worthlessness while punishing productivity.

Remember this...

Bill clinton would never have been President, were it not for Ross Perot.

Brooke said...

I would, for once, like to see someone other than a Republican OR Democrat get the big chair, just to teach the other two parties a lesson in humility, if nothing else.

The GOP sits idly by and lets our borders go unguarded, while the Dems burden the American public with even more draconian taxes.

Time to throw the bums out!

Robert said...

A very interesting post. I will humbly offer my few comments.

First, I understand your frustrations. I am a conservative, and have always aligned with the GOP. The first presidential race I was old enough to participate in was 1984, and could not wait to vote and cast it for Reagan. The GOP has really lsot my confidence as the place for conervatives the past decade. We have had some great people who could make great leaders, but then they get bogged down in things such as Clinton/Lewinsky and other really nonsensical things. Yes, Clinton committed perjury. It is disgusting and he should have been impeached for it. BUT - Had the GOP not made an effort to discredit him on something other than his political agenda, we created the mess.

Since we have been in control, there has been NOTHING accomplished that I sent them there to accomplish. Social security, tax system reform, fiscal management, and other issues have fallen by the wayside while we enjoy the short time we have had in power. So where do I turn? There is no viable option, and I don't want to run for PResident, so I guess for the time being I have to work within the GOP to get us back on track.

Your stance:

WAR - Neither. Both parties have fallen prey to nation building. I do think that we have not only the moral authority, but are the only country with the resources and assets to accomplish most good things in the world.

War must be more than self-defense. It muct be protecting our interests because of the global economy and the global reach of technology. Right or wrong, our economy depends upon oil, for example, and we cannot tolerate tyrants who can choke us economically and threaten an entire region of the world militarily.

You are neither, but if I must pick one it would be democrat. They don't want to use the military except for "peace missions."

Education - Republican. The Department of Education has never educated anyone, yet stifles initiative and creativity in the local schools. I have two teens who complain about their workload at school, but I laugh at their curricula sometimes.

The DOE should be abolished, and the savings distributed pers student nationwide.

Social - Republican. Social security, if run in the private sector, would be illegal. We should stop new entries into the system, allow me to take my money that I have contributed and invest it as I see fit. Make good on those of a certain age, because it is too late for them to invest it for retirement.

Taxes - Republican. The tax system is unfair and immoral. There should be a flat tax of 10%(or national sales tax, I haven't completely decided yet), that affects everyone the same. I choose not to raise my familly on minimum wage, I shouldn't be expected to raise someone else's family who made the choice to do so. Of course we must fund some things, and we must take care of those who cannot for themselves. However, middle class status shouldn't be a right, but a reward for hard work.

Big Govt - Republican. I yearn for the days of Gingrich, who actually believed in this as our founders. Alexander Tytler said "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until a majority of voters discover that they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury." And so it has been shown to be true.

Stay to the right and help me right the ship!

And, BTW, the libertarian party would be much more successful if they simply abandoned their drug perspective. It taints everything else they stand for, and I, for one, cannot put my trust in people who advocate legitimizing cocaine or anything like it. The use of serious drugs affects the entire country. My recreational use of adult beverages does not.

Mustang said...

I am not impressed with any political party. By definition, politicians are about pursuing that which benefits their own careers most and to hell with what’s best for the country and its people. There are NO heroes in the halls of congress – at least the way I define what a hero is. Congress has become a nest of snakes and is not trustworthy. They deserve a lot more attention than they are getting from the electorate. I generally regard myself as a moderate conservative; I don’t much agree with either the far right or left on most issues. So perhaps, overall, you share that along with me.

Armed conflict is the LAST thing that any American should want as a national policy. Sometimes, however, wars are necessary. I believe that the war on terror is necessary, but I’m not convinced that our elected officials are fighting it smart enough, and I’m not sure that in the end we’re going to win it. Our military is doing a fantastic job, but the national love affair with “political correctness” has removed the venom that I feel is necessary to win this conflict. I recently wrote about what is missing, in contrast to our “greatest generation.”

I absolutely agree that our educational system is horribly broken. In my view, it is time to throw the baby out with the bath water and start anew. As a former teacher, I can tell you first hand that when students arrive at the high school level with a 4th or 5th grade reading ability, and when they cannot perform addition and subtraction problems (let alone algebra), and when they are unable to draft a cogent sentence – then there must be a realization that the system isn’t working. Again, with some background in testing, the conservative approach is to test students beyond reason, while the liberal approach is to dumb down the tests to the point where everyone is doing “just fine.” I have actually seen psychometric adjustments to test data so that a preconceived result is achieved. Such conduct, in my view, underscore a serious lack of integrity among educators at the state level and by the test publishers – and these are the same people who boast about the value of “values education.” Worse still, with so much testing going on, today’s teachers simply “teach the test.” On this issue, given what you’ve said, you are probably a moderate. You care about education, but you also realize that the system is self-defeating.

To me, the term “social program” suggests “social engineering.” When federal and state governments begin taking over responsibilities that belong to parents, the result is always less than desired. Americans, by their nature, are the most generous people in the world. In my view, private, nonprofit foundations should run social programs because they are in the best position to see that the people, who need assistance, get it. Again, the involvement of government is a guarantee that any system created will be seriously deficient and criminally inefficient.

Even though I realize that taxes are necessary, I generally hate taxes – and I hate anyone who likes taxes. What taxes provide, in my view, is a check for politicians that just won’t bounce. I would happily consider a flat tax where everyone pays the same percentage, which I think ought not to exceed 10% -- or a national sales tax of no more than 1%. Why should the government assess more than the Lord Himself imposes? Now if any private individual or bank that charged the same rate of interest that the government imposes in taxes, they would be charged with usury. Most importantly, in my opinion, a flat tax would mandate judicious spending at the national level. No more deficit spending folks, and this means that you have to “prioritize” what’s most important. Screw that up, and the voter’s toss you out of office in the next election. Again, I think you are moderate.

In determining the appropriate size of government, let’s mosey on back to the Constitution. Not too big (look what happened to Rome), but big enough to do the job that the Constitution mandates. Do we need an education department? No. Do we need a department of Indian Affairs? Health and Social Welfare? In effect, the states should be taking care of THEIR citizens, and the federal government ought to be concentrating on the things that are enumerated in our founding document. Again, you are a moderate because on this issue, there is no clear distinction between either political party.

Let me conclude by saying that this was a very thought provoking article, and I enjoyed it a great deal. Thank you for causing us to think – and for your kind words at Social Sense.

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

I'm a libertarian.

But I would not even consider voting for a Libertarian Party candidate.

Why?

Because the Libertarian Party negates any credibility it has by it's pro-choice stance.

How can one be a true Libertarian if one refuses to stand up for the rights of the least of his/her fellow citizens?

The only way the Libertarian Party will ever have success is to denounce the murder of US citizens in the womb!

(Sorry, TP. You touched on a nerve that has been exposed for some time.)

We can have all the discussion about choice and women's rights we want, but until a sincere and honest judgement is made as to when life begins in the womb, the rights of the unborn should take priority.

That's my story--I'm stickin' to it!

Truth-Pain said...

WOW! What great responses! I love when minds can mash and give me more to muse on than the original posting meant to give:

Betmo: You think I'm a moderater Repub?... I agree. And I agree that I lean right,... but then you say "with a concious". Are you implying most right-leaners don't have one?... or maybe that there is a perception that they lack compassion?...

Tugboat: Nice seeing you again. You wrote, and I quote:

"But at this point in time, voting Libertarian in a national Election, or even in a Congressional or Senate Race, is exactly the same thing as casting a vote for the Democrat Candidate, who will gladly raise your Taxes and enact even more socialist programs which will never go away, and subsidize worthlessness while punishing productivity.

Remember this...

Bill clinton would never have been President, were it not for Ross Perot."

I feel ya'. That's what I thought in 92', same thing. Who are these boneheads voting for Perot? But then I realized the following. Bush 41 shot himself in the foot. The "read my lips, no new taxes", the milking of Gulf War I to death and not caring for the looking soft recession around the corner, the stupidity of looking at his watch during the debate with Clinton,.... Sorry Tug. The sucker (my sucker too since I voted for his ass) had an 89% approval rating just a year before the elections. 89 percent!! Anybody who blows a lead like that deserves to have his butt handed to him. Perot did not happen, Bush 41 just imploded. But don't think I'm just hammering him. Gore is 2000? Same thing. If you can't carry your own damn state, and if Clinton (with all his said popularity) could not carry Arkansas for him?... screw them both. They did not deserve it either.
Thanks for the thoughts though, ... I love your site Man.

Truth-Pain said...

onward:

Brooke Darlin':
Ditto, ditto, and uh, oh yeah DITTO! (pardon the Limbaugh-ism's).

Robert: Nice to see you visit, thank you.
As to your comments on war? I undertand your thoughts. I do. But I still feel that if we did not dependo on so much foreign goods and oil, then there would be no "national interests" to protect, correct? Your assertion of Democrats is too forgiving. Wilson got us into WW1, FDR, in WW2, Truman nuked Japan, Kennedy invaded Cuba and eyeblinked Kruschev, Clinton bombed Iraq and Bosnia. The idea that democrats are historically pacifists is folly. Maybe the crowd in power now is, maybe, but liberals love to liberate, by word or by sword.
As to the rest of your fine and lenghty comments?.. dead on in most of them. I agree. I personally think Gingrich got the short end of the stick,... the guy is brilliant, and worked great with Clinton in welfare reform and other things. But he was just a lousy politician.
As to the drug thing from Libertarians?... yeah. Not everything in our platform is palatable to my liking,... but I thing we can say that about every party, no?

Truth-Pain said...

Mustang: Welcome to the house of pain. As a great admirer of your work I'm happy to see you share your musings amongst my humble friends.
We think alike as to what politicians have to offer, to make them heroes of any kind is detramental to our national health.
I've been railing against political correctness and 24-media's effect on the efficiency of war. Although, like you, I agree this war is being fought stupidly. Imagine if Eisenhower would have had to deal with a 6-hour news cylcle that splattered to the American homes that 20 thousands GI's died on D-day... He would have been done in.
I dont mean to offend but you stole my thunder on the tax thing, and I am not particularly of religions leanings. But Ive said it many times, if 10% is good enough for God, why not for Ceasar?
I did a rant not long ago called "show me the money", where I very tongue-in-cheek espoused the cuts I would make in the fed. My posting mimics your thought almost verbatim.
Lastly, it is always great to get concise comments,... no matter the angle, agreement or point of view. Thanks for stopping by,... your topics have always been fodder for good mind musings as well.

Truth-Pain said...

Al-Ozarka:
How ya' doing? Let me get to your points one by one,yes?
Your wrote:

"I'm a libertarian.
(~~You sure?...~!~)

But I would not even consider voting for a Libertarian Party candidate.

Why?

"Because the Libertarian Party negates any credibility it has by it's pro-choice stance"
(~~Well, that's were my posting on "Argumentation 101" comes to my rescue Daddio. I have to pick my battles. I dont think anybody is totally happy with all the points in their individual platform~~)

"How can one be a true Libertarian if one refuses to stand up for the rights of the least of his/her fellow citizens?"
(~~I love you for your passion, and MORALLY I agree with you. But since I let the law trump my compass of morality, and since nothing in the Law of the land says that an unborn child is a US citizen,.. as much as it pains me,-and it does-, I have to err in the side of law, no offense to your views of course~~)

"The only way the Libertarian Party will ever have success is to denounce the murder of US citizens in the womb!"

(Sorry, TP. You touched on a nerve that has been exposed for some time.)
(~~ dont be sorry Daddio, I want your opinion, not a mirror of my view.~~)

"We can have all the discussion about choice and women's rights we want, but until a sincere and honest judgement is made as to when life begins in the womb, the rights of the unborn should take priority."
(~~ True, but who is qualified to make that most subjective of judgements? the church? Government? Judges?...~~~)

That's my story--I'm stickin' to it!
(~~Then let the stickin' continue. I appreciate your views, always~~)

Obob said...

be a reoublican and join the dark side, we sacrifice babies to Ares. Keggers and the Bush twins or chardonay and Gore girls. Do the math.
There is nothing wrong with being an elephant or an ass, just use your God given brains and courage

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

"Tue, but who is qualified to make that most subjective of judgements? the church? Government? Judges?"

That's my point. Logically, it would SEEM that reasonable people would recognize there is noone qualified to make that decision and that fairness and uncertainty would force them to come down on the side of life.

Instead there is a group who wants to claim the moral high-ground who refuses to consider the rights of the unborn, LIVING child in the womb.

Not very moral if you ask me.

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

"You sure?."

Absolutely! The liberatarian philosophy sis this-an individual should have the right to do ANYTHING that does not step on the rights of another.

I adhere to that philosophy closely! Because of its pro-choice stance, the Libertarian Party does not!

Yes--I'm libertarian.

5th Estate said...

off-topic, bec ause I just checked in and I'm busy building much needed Ikea furniture whilst the news makes a meal of the fact some pooor sods crashed their plane into a skyrise in IFR conditions, but re your comment on my last post, I agree with your mild objection to applying "stupid" to D.Limbaugh/ Not that I don't think he's stupid but because it affects the impact of the piece.

Very good point T-P and I'll be back to comment on this current post of yours, just as soon as I get this crappy furniture built.

Also I'll comment on your comment back on my blog--again as soon as I get this crap furniture built--but rest assured I agree with you.

Truth-Pain said...

5th:
Thanks for hunting me down, although I would have gone back today or tomorrow to read your rebuttal.

Too bad about the boys on that place, I just heard about that myself.

Lastly, (between you and I), It is tempting to slam some people with perjoratives, believe me, I am tempted every day; and I hope I did not come about sounding like I was on my soap box,.. God knows I have many of the same moments. I think my mild objection comes from the fact that you have a gift my friend, a gift of verbiage that is both a joy to read, and a wonder to contemplate, in all sincerity. And it is because I think you are so damn good at what you do that I would hate for you to loose a segment of a potential audience due to an insigficance that has little bearing on the body of your message.

Then again, I completely understand it has to be said,... stylistic bent is part of the coplexity of the posting and I for one won't stop reading you just because you maim someone with a "stupid" moniker here and there.
Peace to you, man!

Truth-Pain said...

Obob:
Sorry! I forgot to reply to your comment yesterday, it had me rolling on the floor,.. the "dard side" comment did.
I was a Republican in my "yute". But it pains me to see the party spend even more than the Demo's of the 90's, war needs nonewithstanding. Actually, I've considered registering as a Republican,... but then my better Angels get a hold of my Libertarian butt and haul me back into my credo.
How do you think the Bears will do this weekend?

Obob said...

I'm not thrilled about the "just don't stand, spend something mentality" of the current party. And I do hold dear many aspects the Libertarian party. Tragically, the Libertarians remind me of NORML, image. Any legalization rally with NORML, they look like burned out hippies, cliche. The Libertarians aren't slick yet. Yet.
And it isn't the image part that doesn't have me as their poster child. I enjoy being Republican to piss off Democrats/Liberals, they have no sense of humor and take themselves way to seriously. I also vote Libertarian in most elections to help them get extra money. We need to bolster a 3rd party.
As for the Bears, I wish the offense would hurry and score so I can watch the defense pummel the league. Watch the kid Hestor returning punts, in a couple weeks he will go gangbusters.

benning said...

Lemme see ...
War / Military: You are a modern Democrat in actual use, but a Libertarian in sentiment. I tend to favor more active use of the military to keep us safe.

Education: Republican, with Libertarian foundation. I agree with your conclusions here.

Social programs: Yeah, a Republican, but I agree. You want to be charitable? Great! Use your own damn money and time. Don't pick my pockets.

Taxes: Classic Goldwater/Reagan-style Republican. I agree.

Small or Big Gov?: Republican and Libertarian. Hey! If it ain't in the Constitution, the Gubmint ain't got the right to do it. They sure have the guns, but not the moral or legal authority.

How 'bout those Egales punding them Cowboys, huh? Heheheee!

5th Estate said...

t-p...sorry to hit and run , still haven't abosrbed your latest post--I've been building IKEA furniture in a very confined space--but drop on by my blog for a response to your last comment, in which I not only forgive you for being so "mean" but still and with emphaisis agree with your original comments.

Publius said...

I come in right there on the opposite side of you.