Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Accidental Libertarian

The story I am about to tell you is true and as I scroll backward, I think it is odd how life shapes you. How values can shape political beliefs. Back in my police chief days- I was hell bent on telling the truth. That was my standard. I tried very hard to always tell the truth to people even when I knew they would not like it. I didn't really care for pollyanna spin or lying politicians which I was finding in epidemic proportions. And if I caught you lying and waxing some bullshit to me- I made a point of calling you on it. This prevented a lot of subsequent bullshitting. However, this penchant I had for truth telling - cut my career a little short. That was the downside.

We all make choices. Kiss up or tell the truth. Very often, those two styles are mutually exclusive.

Many years ago, I was at one of these giant statewide meetings in Boise promoting Idaho's seat belt law. There were mayors, local and state politicians, city administrators, chiefs, sheriffs, the media. Vendors selling stuff. That sort of thing. The Governor and the Idaho Department of Transportation had picked some gal to speak about the benefits of the seat belt law.

She was one of those bubbly, high energy gals. I liked her. She spoke about traffic statistics, injuries, deaths, and thus- promoted all of the magical goodness and improvements that wearing seat belts would bring us. I was ok with most of this. And then she made a fatal mistake. She began to preach about how our medical costs would go down. How insurance and litigation costs would go down. By the time she finished that part of the rant, I decided to let her have it. I stalked her at the break. I caught her in the hallway.

I told her that I didn't give a shit about whether we saved insurance companies money or not. I stated to her that we have been putting safety devices on cars since 1969, that driving fatalities have plummeted over that time, and I'll be damned but insurance costs have gone straight up. Not once had an insurance company ever sent me a refund or reduced my premium. Nor had medical costs gone down. In summation, I said, I am in the saving lives business and absent that- I hate seat belt laws. I hate that private business, insurance companies in this case, can lobby politicians to pass laws that strip me of my freedom. I agree with seat belt laws for reasons aside from fattening insurance companies' and their profit margins.

That was the day I became a libertarian. I had no idea how bad America was going to get.

More than ten years later, the statists and moonbats are in control. They pass ridiculous laws regulating every facet of human conduct. They want recycling laws, laws outlawing light bulbs. They've outlawed happy meals in some parts of California. In my hometown of Moonbat Valley, they are trying to outlaw plastic grocery bags. Earlier this year, some school kids tried to outlaw transfat in local restaurants. They have a dog poop law on the bike path. In Seattle, you must wear a bicycle helmet. You must wear a life preserver if you go into the water. The democrats of California passed the great "stolen valor law."

Screw freedom, pass laws. Worry about the enforcement costs later. That in a nutshell is how the left and the statists think. They can't stop. Statists will seek to regulate every facet of our lives. Statists hate freedom which in my mind- makes them de facto communists. That's right. I said it. If you want government regulating every facet of human conduct then get the fuck out of here. Move to N. Korea. Or China.

Am I the only one who is sick of the statists telling me what I can eat, how I can light my room, what is politically correct for me to say or not? Can I disagree with assholes like Al Gore who don't know anymore about global warming than I do? The libertarian party is refuge for me. The only place that makes sense in a world where all that really matters is regulation gone nuts and a kleptocracy/nanny government keen on stripping your wealth.  

I am a patriot and I love freedom or at least the dwindling illusion of freedom. That's how I became a libertarian. Libertarians realize that every time you pass a law we lose freedom and money. Sometimes we are ok with that, mostly we are not. Libertarians have an actual platform that doesn't mutate. Ron Paul adheres to it.

At the end of the day, the Democrats might be called the Big Government Party. The Republicans might be called the Big Business Party. The Libertarians are called refuge. Minimum government, maximum freedom. That's how I found them- quite by accident.


Anonymous said...

That's all well and good and BTW, I certainly am with you.

However our political system is a 2 party deal. And right now, even though we have GW signing, the law banning incandescent bulbs(noting your lighting comment) and Republicans seemingly on the path to socialism, only in the right lane, they are one of the two parties that still most closely mirrors my values.

I have choose to take a different tack. That is to elect Republicans that eschew the establishment types like Rove and seek a return to our Constitution.

There is no hope for Libertarians to take power, rather I believe the approach is ala Reagan, to turn Republicans back to our Founding roots.

Further, you might take a good look at the champion(?) of Libertarians now, that being Ron Paul. He makes some excellent domestic economic points but is naive when it comes to America's role as the lone super power. Isolation is not the answer.

Granted there's a certain appeal to, let's say, leaving Afghanistan and saying if we have to come back, we're leaving this place glassed over.

But what of our allies like Taiwan and Japan? Or our interest in keeping the free flow of oil coming through the Persian Gulf?

The old saying is nature abhors a vacuum and if we were to abandon our allies, there are forces that would gladly welcome that.

If you've watched any of the Republican debates, you can see the Tea Party has won. There is no talk of "liberal" solutions. All of our candidates talk of roll backs and real spending cuts.

That's the ticket dude, not a pie in the sky party that can make all the promises in the world because they'll never get the chance to implement them.

Also, is your home really in "Moonbat" Valley?

Brian said...

Dear Anonymous...

Thank you for your insightful comments. Let me say this. The only reason the Libertarian Party cannot win is because 180 million voters refuse to sign on. In fact, every American has made their choice. That same choice- Republican or Democrat has been failing for nearly 50 years. Every four years, a new con man arrives, and convinces the voting public that he will turn the ship around.

If you must fall for that again- please know that history is not on your side. This is not the time for fucking around. This is the time for courage. Immense courage. Reagan had some but he wasn't that hot and in fact if you look at his deficit spending you will see that he was a big government spender just like most.

Pick your poison. Big government or big corporate cronyism. Or get serious about turning this mess around. That's how I see it. You don't have to agree and at this point quite frankly- I don't think anyone has the balls to fix this. maybe Paul- but that would take a miracle.

I refer to my hometown as Moonbat Valley because the place is crawling with liberals and centrists. Suffocatingly so. We are the biggest democrat county in Idaho- Blaine. Certainly the wealthiest with a bunch of maniac egos that are all the smartest people in the room.