Thursday, June 10, 2004

Why I'm Not Libertarian: I like a lot of Libertarians. Penn Jillette, Dave Barry, Timothy Sandefur, Mark Skousen, Larry Elder--you get the point.

Also, when I take Liberatian-designed tests like this one, I show up on the border between centrist and libertarian.

But it seems like every time I hear an actual card-carrying Libertarian politician, I get the heebie-jeebies. No exception was listening to Michael Badnarik as a guest on Art Bell's Coast to Coast.

Bell's program is basically the radio equivalent of the Midnight Star or any of those supermarket tabloids with the six-headed aliens. Just being on this show undermines anybody's credibility--if somebody went on this show and told me to brush my teeth after every meal, I might start having second thoughts.

And then, their platform is a strange mix of radical ideas from both ends of the political spectrum, guaranteed to alienate everybody one way or the other (So the plan is to legalize drugs and prostitution and eliminate regulation of the health care and pharmaceuticals industry? The government should keep its nose out of every citizen's business, with no exceptions, but should be monitoring who's a citizen and whose a non-citizen, so as to boot out the non-citizens?).

The worst, though, is his violent opposition to the Iraq war. End of story, for me. As I've said before, I'm a one issue voter for the first time in my life, and that issue is the war on terror. If this guy's going to let the terrorists do what they want right along with everybody else--forget it. I'm scurrying back to the tent with the conservatives.

Why is this, though? Why is the Libertarian "leadership" so much less likeable than individual libertarians?

My guess is, and this is purely conjecture, that the reason why Libertarian politicians are such kooks is because wanting to be a "Libertarian Politician" is such a contradiction anyway. That's like wanting to be an agnostic priest or a unobtrusive cheerleader. When you've joined a political party based on the idea that you want the government to leave you alone, your last inclination is to want to make the government a part of your daily life by running for office.

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