Sunday, July 29, 2012

Libertarianism, anyone?

I like much of what Libertarians (and lowercase-l libertarians) stand for: peace; liberty in certain personal choices (the legalization of marijuana wouldn't trouble me); economic "conservatism" of a kind that is often more sincere than that which is proposed by the GOP.  But there are a couple of things that keep me from joining their number "officially."  The demeanor of many libertarians seems infected with a kind of unattractive ideological absolutism, a sort of "those who are not with us are against us" mentality. Not good.  Also, to be frank, the economics concern me a bit.  Without a doubt, bureaucracies can be cut, and some even eliminated--but I do believe in a "safety net" for the elderly and the vulnerable among us.  On the moral issues, there's a kind of agnosticism I find troubling--but at least a libertarian government wouldn't be funding Planned Parenthood, or coercing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception.

Libertarians are honest, though, and they're thought-provoking.  And I gave them a vote 16 years ago.  And as for voting Libertarian this November, I wouldn't rule it out. But to become a card-carrying member of the party?  For now, dear friends, in the words of Samuel Goldwyn, "Include me out."