Libertarianism: Where it fits, where it doesn’t

In this month’s Discover Magazine, Burt Rutan is interviewed and is brushed as being a Libertarian a mile wide.

He made a comment in the interview which I find perfectly describes where the Federal government should, and should not be.

He said something to the effect of, “Space flights should not yet be controlled by the FAA. Passengers should sign a waiver saying that they understand the risk and that’s good enough. The FAA’s job is to protect the people on the ground that did NOT sign a waiver.” This is brilliant, and why I support drunk driving laws and such that a lot of Libertarians completely despise.

See, you choose to drink, fair enough. But it’s when you’re driving on a street that I am as well and you mash me, well then I had no participation in your choice to drink and have been unfairly insulted by your actions. This is the notion of society, and why such laws exist: They are there to protect the innocent even more than the choice-ee. Societal laws are not to stop you from making choices, they are to protect me from your choices.

It has been said (and I agree) that most Libertarians are Republicans that just want to smoke dope and get laid. From this perspective I agree 100%: if you want to smoke dope at home the government really has no business telling you not to. But the minute you step out that door then your choice potentially impacts me and I’m 100% fine with harsh laws that keep you indoors. Same with sex: WGAF what you do in your home, or between 2 (or 17 LOL) willing participants? But I don’t need CNN talking about sex the way that they do because I don’t want to have to explain to my young’uns yet what “Fellatio” is or what kind of stain ruins a blue dress. Keep that on pay channels and not the public airstream so that I can choose in or out FFS.

In many ways, this appropriate application of Libertarian philosphy is what created the GOP in the first place and they have fallen far from that tree. An anti-gay-marriage Constitutional ammendment? Are you kidding me? Barry Goldwater is rolling over in his grave!


  1. Dink says:

    LoL. Old Barry is prolly doing more than rolling.

    Wish we still had him to stand up for things.

  2. perkiset says:

    Although I disagreed with a great many things that Goldwater had to say, it is *very fair* to said what he meant with a clarity that sometimes pissed people off, but was unmistakable and pure to his intention.

    I miss conservatives like that because he was a thinker… not a partisan. You could have a great debate with someone like that because his desire was for the betterment of the country, not himself, his cronies or his party.

  3. Dink says:

    “for the betterment of the country”

    Amen, bro. Amen.

  4. Nathan says:

    You know speaking of Barry Goldwater, I believe that he supported same sex marriage and other gay rights issues late in life. I think he had a gay relative and he actually took a stand for gay people, despite the opposition of many in his party.

  5. perkiset says:

    Yaknow Nate I just googled “Goldwater Gay” and found LOADS of articles that support this very thing… it seems that the overriding thought is that Barry wanted to assist his gay grandson, but I also believe that some of the things I read fit nicely into his conservative philosphy – at least the part of him that was anti-government intrusion into the home. I’m gonna have to look a little more at that, because the neo-cons and theocrats want to paint all conservatives in the light of religeosity – whereas the truest of conservatives are more about freedom. Nice comment

  6. cruisemates says:

    Having just watched the republican debates, the one who PO’d the audience the most was (Ron?) Paul who is for getting the US out of foreign wars etc. THAT is a very Libertarian point of view, and he rightly pointed out that GWB ran on a platform of “no nation building” and a focus on domestic issues in the year 2000, beofre he bacame a “wartime” president. Fallen of track” definitely.

    I do have some faith that this batch of republicans have finally figured out that the radical right is still going to vote for whichever GOP is nominated, so they are no longer afraid to say they are pro-gay marriage or pre abortion. At least the party seems to be waking up a little – and becoming a little more libertarian, which is what AZ and Goldwater have always been.

  7. perkiset says:

    In many ways Libertarians are begat of the old Republican notions that have given way to politically mellowed positions and negotiated settlements. I cannot imagine a more appalling position than that of the current theocratic Republicans to the likes of Goldwater.

    I am not at all enthusiastic, however, about what the current sound bites have to say about the party. They are shifting any way they have to to try to reclaim the hearts and minds of voters… Dubya had lots of this to say to get elected, but here he is nation building and trying hard for a Christian Federalist state – simply appalling.

    I’d be more inclied to vote for Libertarians than Republicans if it weren’t for the worst side of Libertarians, which is unrestrained capitalism and social anarchy. They would have us eliminate the elements of our country’s fabric that make it OK for us to live together. Regardless of Lupus’ position that taxes are a form of force, the notion of living together in a society requires a certain contribution from all parties to make it work ergo, I am not opposed to paying my fair share.