It will be fun watching Libertarian heads explode

by Brad Nelson   9/4/14

Thomas Lifson at American Thinker has a blog post about some statements Rand Paul made regarding ISIS. Here is the relevant Rand Paul quote:

“If I were president, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.”

Lifson notes that Rand Paul’s foreign affairs advisor [everyone should have one of those…Mr. Kung is mine] explained Paul’s position thusly:

Paul, Burt says, “understands that the United States is a global power and that there are occasions where the United States has to use military force. I think this is all based on an approach to foreign policy that thinks in terms of American interests,” he says. “The thing that makes ISIS a particularly serious challenge is that we do have interests” in the Middle East.

And it’s not that I don’t agree with Paul (although I’d better check with my foreign policy advisor first). It’s that all this libertarian BS about “non-intervention” is just that…BS. There’s a real world out there, libertarians, and perhaps Rand Paul is figuring that out…or he’s just putting together what he thinks are winning policy positions for the upcoming presidential election, choosing them as you would an over-stuffed meal at a buffet, some of them barely fitting onto the plate, ready to cascade onto the floor off the mashed potato pile. Time will tell.

But the problem with any “intervention” is that it will not likely intervene in any useful way. Burdened by the belief that there is some other faction of Islam, just over the next hill, that is a “religion of peace” and thus that we should support, we’ll never come to grips with the fact that Islam is primarily the problem here. “Intervening” without the goal of eradicating Islam as a political influence is just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. And because almost no one is willing to view it that way, it’s very problematic in regards to sending American soldiers into harm’s way where their hands will be tied, as they are now whenever they are involved with the “religion of peace.”

Either we take on more hard-line Roman tactics of obliteration or we have no business being there and pretending our good intentions (and multicultural delusions) have the power to transform a backward tribal culture into something modern. (And even then, given what passes for “modern” these days, if I were a Muslim, it isn’t something I would want either.)

And Lifson worries me a bit when he says, While I am leaning increasingly in libertarian direction myself….

Don’t do it, Tom. Run — run as fast as you can away from that goofy philosophy.


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I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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57 Responses to It will be fun watching Libertarian heads explode

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Lifson makes some astute comments about “the religion of peace.” And he articulates an interesting paradigm in regards to libertarians. Here’s my comment (recycling some of what I’ve already said) over at American Thinker in reply to his idea:

    The GOP absolutely has to have a champion who can enlarge the tent, if only because the electorate has been (and continues to be) deliberately engineered in the direction of people dependent on government checks and therefore willing voters for high taxes that they don’t pay in order to fund their receipt of money earned by other people. We have perhaps one or two more presidential election cycles and naturalization ceremonies before we have a permanent majority of dependents, and we need to win over the younger generation who have been so badly betrayed by the president they overwhelmingly voted for.

    That sounds good in theory, Thomas. In practice, libertarians are just another brand of liberal. What we need to do instead is sell conservatism. A conservative argument (unlike a libertarian one which must contradict itself) can be made for acting against security threats while making sure that our own government (in the form of excessive NSA snooping) doesn’t become one itself.

    Libertarianism is just the political equivalent of a social disease of yutes who choose a political ideology as they would a fashion. It make look good in the mirror while toking on a joint with the dudes, but it’s of little or no use in the real world in terms of protecting freedom and balancing all the complicated issues that face a republic such as ours.

    There’s a reason that Rand Paul must change his position. It’s because the libertarian position has no way to deal with the real world. Nor does the progressive foreign policy position have the answer (the one that dominates now).

    The problem with any “intervention” under today’s reigning mindset is that we will not likely intervene in any useful way. Burdened by the belief that there is some other faction of Islam, just over the next hill, that is a “religion of peace” and thus that we should support, we’ll never come to grips with the fact that Islam is primarily the problem here. “Intervening” without the goal of eradicating Islam as a political influence is just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. And because almost no one is willing to view it that way, it’s very problematic in regards to sending American soldiers into harm’s way where their hands will be tied, as they are now whenever they are involved with the “religion of peace.”

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I like that hard-line Roman approach. It’s time to teach the Islamists the meaning of “Carthaginian peace”. Unfortunately, that’s too politically incorrect for any liberal to accept no matter how upset they are that ISIS is exposing their naïve foreign policy for all to see, and it’s probably also too far for most libertarians (many of whom have the same issue with ISIS as liberals do — except for Ron Paul, who still thinks we should never intervene anywhere, for any reason).

  3. Glenn says:

    David Greenfield (aka Sultan Knish) has a thorough debunking of “moderate Islam” on his blog (http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/). It’s a good read.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Truly a delightful article, pointing out that Moderate Islam is entirely a creation of non- Muslims and has nothing to do with any actual form of Islam. However, I must point out that there are indeed moderate Muslim individuals. The problem is that most of them are simply lip-service Muslims (sort of the Islamic equivalent of Reform Jews or Unitarians or mainstream Protestants). There may be a few with a genuine notion of bringing Islam into the 20th century (the 21st is beyond hope at present). Then again, that may just be a clever form of taqiyya.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Without a moderate Islam the Socialist projects of Europe which depend on heavy immigration collapse. America’s War on Terror becomes the endless inescapable slog that the rise of ISIS has once again revealed it to be. Multiculturalism, post-nationalism and Third World Guiltism all implode

      Without moderate Muslims, nationalism returns, borders close and the right wins. That is what they fear.

      If there is no moderate Islam, no moderate Mohammed, no moderate Allah, then the Socialist Kingdom of Heaven on Earth has to go in the rubbish bin. The grand coalitions in which LGBT activists and Islamists scream at Jews over Gaza aren’t the future; they’re the Weimar Republic on wheels.

      No frickin’ kidding. (By the way, that third paragraph sounds like Glenn.)

      This is great as well. Very Fairmanesqe:

      Moderate Islam is just multiculturalism misspelled . . . He has never read the Koran. He has read a thousand articles about how Muslims are oppressed at the airport, in Gaza, in Burma and in Bugs Bunny cartoons. They are his new noble savages and he will not hear a word against them. Having colonized their identities in his imagination (despite the marked up copy of Edward Said’s Orientalism that he keeps by his bedside) he treats them as reflections of his ego..

    • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

      Greenfield also documents some of Rand Paul’s flip-flops on ISIS. I think it of it as a Libertarian realizing that when faced with an actual crisis, his nutty ideas won’t work in practice, so he tries something else, and if that doesn’t work…

      Link here.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Certainly that has to be part of it. I don’t mind a guy changing his mind for a good reason. And I guess I’m just jumping ahead a bit by saying that people should save themselves a good deal of time and discomfort and just jump ahead of all this libertarians nonsense.

  4. Glenn says:

    Oh oh. When Brad Nelson wrote “(By the way, that third paragraph sounds like Glenn.)”, it makes me think there must be another “Glenn” posting here. As an unknown “Glenn”, I didn’t intend to impersonate a known “Glenn” on this blog. Maybe I should just post as “Bob” from now on … are there any known “Bob’s” who frequent this establishment?

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well, I don’t recall offhand anyone blogging as Bob. Brad was comparing the writing in the article to Glenn Fairman, a regular contributor here.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yes, I should have specified which Glenn. Or could it by that our Glenn (Fairman) has risen to the stature of “Cher” or “Liza” where you need only the one name? Could be.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Back in the mid nineties, there was a Mallard Fillmore cartoon in which Mallard’s boss, Mr. Noseworthy of TV station WFDR, comments that you can learn something about the culture by noting which celebrities are known simply by their first names. He gives examples such as Elvis, the Beatles, and Madonna. So Mallard wonders what Rush and Newt would think of his theory.

    • Glenn Fairman says:

      use whatever moniker you want. I use my full name, and God Emperor Leto Atreides was already snatched up.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I don’t mind the God part, but it’s a little long. I’m okay with “GELA” for short. Err…master.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I must note that although I have several later books in the series, I haven’t read anything after Children of Dune. I will also mention The Dune Encyclopedia (which was actually written by some teacher’s students according to report, and does have some nice treats — a summary of the history of the past few centuries from the viewpoint of someone in the era of medieval families, as well as a parody of the Shakespeare authorship controversy).

  5. Glenn Fairman says:

    or Liberace……

  6. Libertarians agree to disagree on foreign affairs. Milton Friedman famously disagreed with his wife Rose over the Iraqi intervention. I am a hard-core interventionist libertarian. I’ll write a piece later this year as to why, but I’ll give a hint: nearly every despot in history has been an alcohol or other-drug addict, and substance addicts are capable of anything. That’s not good–and is clearly against our interests–with the ready availability of WMD.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      There seem to be four schools of thought involving foreign affairs:

      1) Stay out, no matter what (libertarianism)
      2) Go in, no matter what (progressivism)
      3) Pick your spots, and then hit them hard (conservatism)
      4) If George Bush did it, it’s wrong. If Obama did it, it’s right. (idiotism)

      Those four schools also arise from different beliefs, which I would say are approximately:

      1) Pretend problems are not real and they will go away
      2) People want to be just like us, and will be if we just show them how nice we are.
      3) What your opponents respect is power, and you gain their acquiescence through their clear defeat
      4) Idiotism.

      Those four schools also generally have different goals:

      1) More time to stay at home and smoke pot
      2) Stability uber alles
      3) We win, they lose
      4) Idiotism

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I believe you are seeing a watershed moment in American foreign policy.

        From the end of the evil empire to today, you have seen a drop off in relative American power that is not good. Most of this drop off has taken place in the last six years and should it continue much longer, America’s options in foreign policy will necessarily decline.

      • I’ll have to add a fifth: those of us who would take out likely alcohol or other-drug addicted despots. But who are they, you might ask? Because early-stage alcoholism causes egomania, which impels the addict to wield power over others, they comprise nearly all despots. And because they are, therefore, capable of anything–and I do mean anything–they need to be taken out.

        I had no problem with invading Iraq. The initial error was our failure to privatize the Iraqi oilfields, giving every Iraqi adult a stake in the future. The subsequent error was in leaving too early, which anyone with brains knew was a very bad idea. And even a libertarian such as myself knows that leaving troops in South Korea, Japan and Germany for some 60 years worked out ok.

        In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to have troops elsewhere. But, it’s an imperfect world. And we must keep in mind, government almost always does things badly. This includes the military, $600 hammers and all. We need to get government out of our personal and economic lives so we can focus on controlling the bureaucrats-in-charge so as to reduce the number of errors they commit overseas.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I hope you don’t take this wrong, my good man. But a libertarian who is aware of the dangers of drug us? Why bother calling yourself a libertarian? Perhaps you fit into that category described by Russell Kirk:

          “But surely, surely I must be misrepresenting the breed? Don’t I know self-proclaimed libertarians who are kindly old gentlemen, God-fearing, patriotic, chaste, well endowed with the good of fortune? Yes, I do know such. They are the people who through misapprehension put up the cash for the fantastics. Such gentlemen call themselves “libertarians” merely because they believe in personal freedom, and do not understand to what extravagances they lend their names by subsidizing doctrinaire “libertarian” causes and publications. If a person describes himself as “libertarian” because he believes in an enduring moral order, the Constitution of the United States, free enterprise, and old American ways of life—why, actually he is a conservative with imperfect understanding of the general terms of politics.”

          • I happen to be intimately aware of the dangers of drug use–including the drug we call “alcohol”–for addicts. Drugs are relatively harmless when non-addicts use them–witness 6 out of 7 U.S. drinkers who do not act badly some of the time when drinking. Only one of seven acts badly some of the time. Note that I’m not so concerned with self-abuse as I am with other-abuse. In fact, in my books and online addiction report (where I view the news through the lens of alcohol and other-drug addiction) I show that if there is abuse–physical, emotional and/or financial–there’s nearly always an addict behind that abuse.

            Addiction is a huge subject. I’ve spent nearly 30,000 hours studying, researching and writing about it. I’d suggest reading a bit of my unique body of work before continuing this challenge. But briefly to your point: (1) we will never keep the addict from his drug via prohibition, which only enables really bad criminals to become immensely wealthy, (2) usually only alcohol-addicts try and become addicted to other drugs, and (3) you either inherited a predisposition to addiction or you didn’t. If you think you “could” become an addict if you aren’t one, try drinking addictively, which is a lot more than “a couple of beers” at one sitting. You won’t be able to. Where your face is planted firmly in the ground, the addict is barely getting started.

            Aside from the reality of drug addiction, as a former Republican candidate (running against Pelosi) put it to some San Franciscans who were shocked at his support for decriminalization of marijuana, “It’s a property rights issue.”

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              I’d suggest reading a bit of my unique body of work before continuing this challenge.

              Doug, I haven’t the time to read your body of work on the subject. But I would agree that drug and alcohol addiction are very destructive. And perhaps where I part from you (I don’t know, but just suspect) is that I don’t view such things as a medical problem but a moral/spiritual problem. We are not taking to drugs and alcohol in a vacuum. They are symptoms of something else.

              And we damn well sure can keep drugs out of the hands of people by prohibiting them. No, we can’t keep them out of the hands of all people. But where libertarians go soft in the head is forgetting that it is very important that society have official standards so that people (especially impressionable kids) know what is considered right and wrong.

              Legalizing pot, for instance, is likely an idea that could have only come form a narcissistic people, particularly those who don’t have kids to worry about.

              My challenge to you, Doug, is to grow a moral backbone and to understand that we condemn people to addiction and hopelessness when we refuse to set proper boundaries. Libertarians spend much of their energy telling us why there should be no boundaries. I would seriously ask you to reconsider associating yourself with that ideology. If you do, maybe next time you run against Pelosi you will win because you will have given people a clear and rational choice. We’re not going to get where we want to be by simply adopting the core policies of the Left and then denying that we have done so by calling them “libertarian.”

              If the job of some of us is it lead, then we should seek out the wisdom to do so. And you won’t find that wisdom in libertarianism.

              • Fine. Then let’s criminalize guns.

                Yes, Brad, drug addiction is a spiritual problem, but not on the direction you seem to think. A predisposition to addiction is rooted in one’s genes, which causes the afflicted person to biochemically process the drug called alcohol in a way that causes that person to act badly some of the time (part of my redefinition of alcoholism, which makes it a useful one, unlike the commonly accepted def. that allows us to identify addiction only in the late stages). Because early-stage alcoholism (other-drug addiction) causes egomania, which impels the addict to wield power over others, a loss of spirituality ensues. It’s the effect, not the cause. Even addicts often confuse cause and effect, which is one of the reasons hardly anyone on the planet understands addiction.

                Libertarianism is, ironically, the “cure” for alcoholism if there is one: imposing logical consequences for misbehaviors and forcing one to take responsibility for one’s actions. You do not do this by violating property rights (in the drug); you do this by acting on the misbehaviors.

                Just like with guns.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        One clarification: progressives believe in being active, but not by violent means unless they can be certain there is no American national interest to be served by such an intervention. Sensible conservatives only want to act when the national interest is served. Neoconservatives are former liberals who are willing to use violent means even if the US would benefit it. But one cannot ignore the centrality of the national interest.

  7. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Fine. Then let’s criminalize guns.

    Doug, you’re an obviously intelligent fellow. But perhaps you can see how “libertarianism makes you stupid”. And I don’t mean just you. It’s happened to me as well.

    Some types of guns (howitzers, for example) are illegal. We had a libertarian fellow who used to frequent this place who said the any weapon (nuclear weapons, anthrax, hand grenades) should be legal, the only requirement being if you can afford to buy them.

    Libertarianism makes people stupid. We can certainly defend the second amendment by taking it into context of what the founders did or didn’t mean by “arms.” But Libertarians lack all discernment ability. For them, they have one simplistic rule that they try to jam everything down. And it’s an ill fit for most things. To say “then let’s criminalize guns” is to engage in this kind of simplistic thinking. Some weapons should be illegal. Others should not, if we abide by the second amendment where “arms” never meant tanks and nuclear weapons. And the second amendment is a separate issue from drugs. You can’t jam everything down the same simplistic rule and expect to make much sense of things.

    A predisposition to addiction is rooted in one’s genes, which causes the afflicted person to biochemically process the drug called alcohol in a way that causes that person to act badly some of the time…

    Undoubtedly some people probably do have a predisposition to addictive behavior. But it is still wrong to view these issues as entirely genetic. This is the mindset of the Left. And this is no doubt why Mr. Kung (a prominent person here) refers to libertarians as “the Bolsheviks of the right.” There are a lot of similarities between libertarians and liberals/leftists.

    To take the moral equation out of our ill behaviors is miss the fact that man is best understood as a moral animal who has a physical element as well. But when we reduce him to nothing but a mindless genetic machine, then we find it easy to make excuses for his bad behavior. Worse, we are helpless in regards to a remedy if we don’t understand that it not just “all in the genes.” Libertarians have a discomfort with the conception of man as a moral agent which is why they are typically clueless about not only how society works, but how to make it better.

    Libertarianism is, ironically, the “cure” for alcoholism if there is one: imposing logical consequences for misbehaviors and forcing one to take responsibility for one’s actions.

    This is the kind of sloganeering that is typical of libertarians. What does it mean to “take responsibility for one’s actions” in a libertarian sense? It means the exact opposite. Here’s a video that shows what libertarians really think about that in practice. Libertarianism, in practice, mean libertine.

    To take the issue of Prohibition (as libertarians are wont to do) as proof that having restrictions on things, in principle, is wrong is a completely whacky and libertarian view of reality. We might say the Prohibition didn’t work out well in regards to alcohol and try to understand the reasons for this. But this should give no automatic pass for legalizing anything else. One size doesn’t fit all.

    You do not do this by violating property rights (in the drug); you do this by acting on the misbehaviors.

    Life is about more than private property rights. Private property rights are important but are not the only consideration. Again, libertarian thinking, such as it is, tries to reduce all of life down to a simplistic one-size-misfits-all principle. You would not likely want to live in a libertarian neighborhood yourself, one in which drugs, prostitution, and anything that you can think of is legal. It’s easy to pontificate from afar. It’s another thing to live in the real world where building a civilization worth living in requires not just considerations of what we can do but what we can’t do.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Genes present tendency. They do not dictate our actions.

      The human brain has ten thousand times the capacity for information as has the human genome. The brain has liberated animals from the tyranny of their DNA.

      When I exercise my free will, I choose from within an ever changing window of possibilities built from my cumulating knowledge and experiences.

      I thought these observations from Dr. Schroeder’s book, “The Science of God” to be applicable here.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        That’s a great quote, Mr. Kung. Indeed, the gene-centric view of humans is off base. It’s not irrelevant, of course. It’s just not predominant.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      But perhaps you can see how “libertarianism makes you stupid”.

      Thanks for the link to this article. I had never seen it, but it certainly sounds similar to many articles and comments at ST.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It’s interesting that the article noted the libertarian use of redefining words (a common liberal technique) and straw man arguments (a Slick Barry staple), as well as involved, tricky arguments. I enjoyed the nice little mathematical proof that 1=2 (which relies on dividing by 0). This reminds me of the famous proof by mathematical induction that all horses are the same color (which turned up on a math test once, the point being to explain where it went wrong).

    • Doug Thorburn says:
      There’s too much to respond to at this time, Brad. However, let me tackle a few points, first from the (ancient) article by Seth Finkelstein for which you provided a link:

      “I regard…Libertarianism as a kind of business-worshiping cultish religion.”
      This is nonsense. Many Republicans and nearly all Democrats worship business; witness their support for subsidies, only to their particular preferred businesses. Libertarians wish to bestow no favors on business. We believe in free trade and free markets, which can be very anti-business. Most of us, in fact, have an affinity for small businesses; for example, I decided decades ago to neither work for a government nor a big business, most of which I found filled with political-type favoritism and bureaucracy-light (in part because, looking back, one in particular suffered with unions and the other from a host of drunk insurance exec’s). However, if a business provides products or services that consumer-kings value so highly for the price offered, which causes that business to become big (think of the obvious computer providers), so be it. None deserves special favors, which non-libertarians bestow upon business by spending other people’s money; they should grow only if deserving, as measured by how consumers spend the product of their work-effort, genius and savings.

      Your comment: “a libertarian fellow who used to frequent this place who said [that] any weapon… should be legal” is more likely an anarchist, who doesn’t seem to believe the one thing government “should” do is protect us from thugs, foreign and domestic. I suppose some libertarians would argue I’m inconsistent (and I suppose I am—but then I live in the real world), but I’ll go with the 2nd Amendment—which doesn’t mention shoulder-fired missiles and nukes.

      “…When we reduce [man] to nothing but a mindless genetic machine, then we find it easy to make excuses for his bad behavior.” Actually, substance addiction is an explanation, not an excuse. It is, I believe, 100% genetic, but this doesn’t mean we “help” the afflicted as we would a cancer patient; instead, it calls for the imposition of consequences. This is the one thing government is supposed to do. Instead, because government has its tentacles in everything else, it does a lousy job in focusing on what it should and, in fact, is often the addict’s biggest enabler (consider SSDI and Medicaid, which many “down-and-out” style addicts take advantage of—to their and society’s long-term detriment).

      “Here’s a video that shows what libertarians really think about that in practice. Libertarianism, in practice, mean libertine.” Yes, the drunk in the video hasn’t a clue about libertarianism; he is a libertine.

      One thing I always ask when government runs the show is, “What would a private owner do?” If someone owned the Santa Monica Bay, the Hyperion water plant wouldn’t have broken down countless times, spewing raw sewage into Santa Monica Bay, because it would have likely been too expensive to pay the Bay’s owner the price of the resulting pollution. What would a private road owner do? He or she would figure out how to arrest far more DUIs than are currently apprehended, which is at best one out of one thousand incidents (and more likely much worse). And a rational court system—one that actually wanted to get addicts clean and sober—wouldn’t allow the drunk to be bailed out of jail without first getting getting to zero alcohol in the system (12 hours for someone arrested at .18 percent blood alcohol level); instead we see the high-functioning drunk billionaire Mel Gibson being driven to his car a few hours after his arrest (he should have been made to walk). If I were a road’s owner, every person pulled over for an infraction would be given a one minute test for horizontal gaze nystagmus, which any competent cop can use to determine BAL, as well as a quick look-see at pupil size (to determine if speed or downers are in the system—legal or not). There’s much more I could elaborate on this particular topic, some of which is addressed below (it would take far too long an essay to explicate more fully).

      “We might say the Prohibition didn’t work out well in regards to alcohol and try to understand the reasons for this. But this should give no automatic pass for legalizing anything else.” First, all sorts of uppers and downers are already legal. Any heroin addict will use Vicodin or any number of similar drugs (opioids) in a pinch; any meth-head will use amphetamines if they can’t get their ice, which even illegality and massive attempts at preventing people from getting such drugs doesn’t prevent. It can’t, Brad. If you think it can, consider jails—addicts get them in prison (alcoholic prison guards oblige).

      If we instead focus on behaviors—punish appropriately and take away the right to use a substance for those who have proven to society they can’t safely use (by virtue of the fact they have committed harm to someone else)—we’ll have far more sober alcohol and other-drug addicts.

      I have much more to say on consequences, including the right of private employers to test and discriminate as they see fit. Every recovering addict eventually admits—but only after serious and directed questioning—that it took consequences or the credible threat of same—to get him or her to “try sobriety.”

      “You would not likely want to live in a libertarian neighborhood yourself, one in which drugs, prostitution, and anything that you can think of is legal.” Of course not, Brad. But which works better: the rather intrusive rules of a homeowner’s association or the zoning restrictions of a city, which may take forever to actually stop the all-night partying and drug dealing or continuously barking dog at your neighbor’s house? Yes, the world is imperfect, but I’ll take my chances with CC & Rs over a government bureaucrat, whose interests are not consistent with yours or mine.

      Please don’t misunderstand: we cannot simply rid ourselves of government. It performs some necessary functions, some of which we cannot rid ourselves of (namely protection from thugs as noted above). We must find, develop and propagate replacements wherever possible. We can’t eliminate Social Security overnight; too many impossible-to-keep promises were made, which people have relied upon in their financial plans (what they have of them). We should instead gradually turn it over to a system of property rights (there’s that term again!), which works very well in Singapore and Chile. We can’t eliminate the FDA all in one fell swoop (much as I’d like for personal reasons having to do with its outlawing the greatest anti-inflammatory ever produced, Bextra); we must allow its functions to be provided by private, competing agencies, all of which might offer suggestions rather than top-down prohibitions. I’ve a hunch pharmacies would carry more drugs than are currently allowed, including a number available overseas; they wouldn’t won’t carry drugs for which perceived risks are greater than benefits, much as retail stores don’t seem to carry electronic components that don’t have a UL seal of approval. In other words, private regulation would supplant bureaucratic regulation and be far more rational than the irrational regulation that makes it so pharmaceutical companies must spend a billion dollars for every drug that makes it to market.

      You’ve focused, I suspect, on some very young and immature “libertarians,” who have not thought through their ideas carefully. While Milton Friedman screwed up badly in a few areas (he seemed to support the state-run monetary system, which I do not, and he “invented” tax withholding and the Earned Income Tax Credit, for which I think he was truly apologetic), I accept and agree with most of his ideas. I agree with most of ideas propounded by Hazlitt, Hayek and von Mises, but also the more radical Robert LeFevre and A.J. Galambos. But no libertarian agrees with everything that any other libertarian says. I often say I’ll vote for any Black for President so long as his name is Larry Elder, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Ben Carson or even Charles Payne, but these comprise a huge swath of thinking. I think they would agree, however, with the sentiment behind my credos, which I believe most succinctly state the libertarian idea: one, “It would be arrogant to suggest I know how to live your life and spend your money better than you do,” and two, “My needs and desires, however great or intense, do not give me the right to take what is yours, including your life and the derivatives of your life–your ideas and tangible property. To suggest otherwise creates a relationship not dissimilar to that of master and slave.”

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I can understand your point, but you must also understand that all of us here have seen a large number of libertarians who seem to be libertine in their orientation. This has come up in a number of posts here over the past year or so. Consider L. Neil Smith, who was actually LP candidate for President (albeit only in Arizona, I think) some years back, with his “Thank you for pot smoking” attitude. One can make a good argument for decriminalizing marijuana use; but advocating it is another matter.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Libertarians wish to bestow no favors on business.

        I think the proper way to think of it is that it is the business of government to facilitate business. This, in a large respect, was what the Constitution was meant to do. And it was a desire to regularizing trade and tariffs on the Potomac that lead to the convention that decided to scrap the Articles of Confederation and start over.

        And in no world that I know of is it possible, or even desirably, to extricate business interests from politics. There’s much truth to the idea that “the business of American is business.” One wants no undue influence (a difficult concept to define, I would agree). But to try to extricate business from the state and the state from business to an absolute degree would be to disconnect the tube from the lifeblood of this nation. And it would be to give power to some other class or set of interests. At least with business, their object is clear: to make a buck, one of the healthier instincts we have. We must simply be mindful of “undue influence” and corruption.

        Where the “special favors” aspect comes in is usually in regards to mega-business getting in bed with government. What the politicians get out of it are mega-contributions. What the mega-businesses get out of it are protection for their markets. This is crony capitalism and is an ongoing problem. How to separate this snake from the workings of government without simply letting something worse in (socialism, statism, Marxism, etc.) is a difficult question. There is no easy answer except to appeal to the integrity of politicians and the electorate. And that’s an iffy situation.

        Actually, substance addiction is an explanation, not an excuse. It is, I believe, 100% genetic,

        You can believe that, I guess. But to believe it is to reduce the obvious moral element which is instrumental for long-term change. And, really, considering that we are creatures whose every behavior can be said to derive from the information in DNA, then one could say there is no thought or behavior which isn’t “100% genetic” — which is then to say nothing at all. And to say that drug addiction is “100% genetic” is thus to say very little at all.

        If we instead focus on behaviors—punish appropriately and take away the right to use a substance for those who have proven to society they can’t safely use (by virtue of the fact they have committed harm to someone else)—we’ll have far more sober alcohol and other-drug addicts.

        I think that’s a naive view of hard drugs. There is no “safe” way to use them. The very drugs themselves change the behavior and minds of people. I like what Dr. Phil says about this: “You’re no longer dealing with the person. You’re dealing with the drug.” I am against legalizing any more drugs on the basis that it is naive to suppose that things will sort themselves out naturally and generally harmlessly. Drugs are a poison in the stew of human society. Although we needn’t go on a vast crusade to eliminate every occurrence of them, we should, as a thoughtful society, make it plain that they are indeed illegal and thus undesirable. We have to set some limits. We have to act like adults. We can’t, as libertarians are wont to do, remain in a juvenile mindset for the rest of our lives.

        But which works better: the rather intrusive rules of a homeowner’s association or the zoning restrictions of a city, which may take forever to actually stop the all-night partying and drug dealing or continuously barking dog at your neighbor’s house?

        Reasonable zoning laws and reasonable restrictions on all-night parties are by far the better way to go. There is a place between anarchy and an absolute police state, whether or not libertarians can bring themselves to acknowledge that. And if gated communities want to set different rules, then so be it, if they are within reason.

        Please don’t misunderstand: we cannot simply rid ourselves of government. It performs some necessary functions, some of which we cannot rid ourselves of (namely protection from thugs as noted above).

        Hey, you’re preaching to the choir. But what you’re saying isn’t typical of libertarians. I’m not sure why you call yourself one.

        You’ve focused, I suspect, on some very young and immature “libertarians,” who have not thought through their ideas carefully.

        Yeah, well, libertarianism is nothing new. And the examples I’ve seen of them have been almost to a man the type of example in that video. They are not deep thinkers, they tend toward sloganeering, that are more libertine than anything else, and they once read a book by Ron Paul — oh, and they say the word “liberty” a lot without understand the context of what makes for a liberal society and how it can be maintained. There’s just very little there between the ears. And I started this site specifically with the motto of “conservatives and old-style libertarians.” But I was fooling myself. There was no “old-style” libertarians. It’s always been the same kooky stuff one sees today.

        “My needs and desires, however great or intense, do not give me the right to take what is yours, including your life and the derivatives of your life–your ideas and tangible property. To suggest otherwise creates a relationship not dissimilar to that of master and slave.”

        Or, as the Cult of Libertarians usually say, “You have no right to coerce me.” Doug, I’ve already had this conversation dozens of times with libertarians. Theirs is a simplistic creed prone to unreasonable absolutes. Their “non-coercion” principle, as I constantly remind them, wouldn’t allow for even the kind of coercion needed to create order (and thus freedom) on the highway. Without the possibility of one’s property being taken (in the form of speeding tickets, for instance), we couldn’t have society. We couldn’t have the freedom to drive the roads with reasonable safety. And you are not free, as had been said before, if you are not free to walk the streets in safety.

        Libertarians don’t get this. They just pontificate according to their incessant simplistic slogans. The question is always one of how much government, of what type, and for what purpose. And they totally bypass the need for personal morality with the sleight-of-hand of saying that all we really need is to self-organize according to our own lights. Well, people often do just that and it is no guarantee of anything good, and it quite often is horrific.

  8. “The proper way to think of it is that it is the business of government to facilitate business.”

    Sorry, no. Government should protect property (including life and intellectual property) and enforce/adjudicate contracts, and nothing else. If it does a decent job of that, facilitating business, or trade between individuals, is an excellent by-product. If you go into it thinking that facilitating business if the primary function (your implication), you end up with favors bestowed, or crony capitalism (it should be called crony fascism, as crapitalism gives capitalism a bad name, but I digress.)

    “The business of America is business” is true to the extent that government protects property and enforces/adjudicates contracts. Only then can business function at its best, optimizing the allocation of resources. To “make a buck” is a healthy instinct if a willing non-defrauded buyer is at the other end. It is not healthy to the extent it includes the unwilling, as in the “giving their fair share of taxes” end. That is what Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is all about: crapitalists vs. free market capitalists, or as the brilliant Burt Folsom puts it, political entrepreneurs vs. market entrepreneurs. Making a buck is in itself neither good nor evil. Money is not evil. The love of money is evil if it is gained via coercing or defrauding buyers of goods and services.

    How to separate business and government? Abide by the Constitution, which limited “rent-seeking” misbehaviors. They simply shouldn’t be allowed (and if our Constitution allows such behaviors as the courts seem to think, change it).

    On to addiction, and then I must be done (I’m leaving for a long weekend). Brad, with all due respect you seem to believe at least one of the common myths of addiction. When I began writing my book Myths and Realities of Alcoholism I thought I’d come up with about 20 or 30. I had to stop at 117, if I recall (I don’t have the book in front of me). I have included a new or variant of a myth in every one of my 75 or so online addiction reports. They are pervasive and extraordinarily destructive and, as a result, hardly anyone understands addiction.

    I had to write four books and (so far) 75 addiction reports (so far) to say what I have to say and share what I’ve discovered, so I’ll be brief here and hope you take it further (and I’ll be happy to send you my books at no charge so you don’t think I’m just trying to sell a book here). The evidence that addiction is genetic—nearly 100% if not 100%–is overwhelming. I believe I already suggested that if you’re not an addict, try drinking addictively—you won’t be able to. Recovering addicts tell us they felt “god-like” during their first or very early addictive use, defined as more than just a “couple of beers.” Eighty twins brothers, one of whom was separated at birth from the biological parents with an alcoholic father and adopted out to non-alcoholic parents, the other of whom was raised by the biological parents, were four times more likely than those in the general population to develop alcoholism—whether raised by the alcoholic father or the non-alcoholic adopting family. Recovering alcoholics, contrary to purported studies showing otherwise, have never been able to go back to drinking non-addictively. Oh, they can for a time, but they invariably relapse badly—which can take time to occur for reasons I can explain later if you’d like. I devote many pages in support of this assertion and these failed studies in my books.

    This has huge ramifications for a libertarian society. If we want to reduce criminal behaviors, we need to get addicts—those who have proven to society they can’t use without acting badly some of the time—clean and sober. Society has a right to proscribe many things for convicted felons and even those convicted of misdemeanors; using should be one of them. Install ankle bracelets for alcohol, test regularly and randomly for other-drug use—and should they fail, impose consequences they’ve been told they will suffer, which should include cessation of parole, back to jail or prison they go. This would dramatically reduce the number of relapsing addicts and greatly increase the number of recovering ones; this has been proven in the few areas in which “drug courts” exist.

    The trouble is I step on toes all over. Law enforcement would lose 80% of their “business” if addicts were to get sober (in my work I show that about 80% of criminal behaviors are rooted in alcoholic egomania). Way too many law enforcers are alcoholics—15-50% of police officers depending on the force (when I gave a great talk, if I say so myself, to a group of 50 top-cops, the result was resounding silence; three cops admitted to me later I “stepped on too many toes”); 50-80% of prison guards according to the best estimates of recovering alcoholic ex-felons; a good percentage of judges; probably at least 25% of politicians. Addicts are arrested by addicts, judged by addicts and then guarded by addicts, which isn’t conducive to recovery. In addition, I step on the toes of the rehab industry. They largely treat the wrong person. They need instead to educate enablers to stop enabling. Until every enabler in the addict’s life stops enabling, the odds of getting and staying sober are dramatically reduced.

    Drugs are indeed a poison—for addicts. They can be medicine for non-addicts—consider opiates, which are fabulous for pain (I’ve used them on occasion, even if I can only take one or two per day because they give me nausea). They are relatively harmless for non-addicts—consider the drug we call “alcohol,” which nine of ten Americans with mostly Mediterranean ancestry can use with impunity, even if true for only one out of ten Native Americans, because they haven’t had access to fermented fruits and grains for the ten thousand years Southern Europeans have had, via which they have developed a resistance to alcoholism.

    Back briefly to libertarianism (you jumped around, so I guess I have to as well): you somehow failed to find “old-style” libertarians. Radio shows and blogs attract a type. Mark Levin attracts idiots to his radio show, even if he is a great thinker and, while lousy on radio, fabulous on TV (the few times I’ve seen him). Larry Elder in Los Angeles attracts some deep, serious thinking libertarians. Mike Shedlock’s (Mish) blog has mostly useless comments (which makes no sense to me; he’s a brilliant thinker, even if I disagree with him on foreign policy); American Thinker has largely interesting comments. I think it’s more a matter of luck; you didn’t get lucky. But consider the number of well-known libertarians who largely agree with us on foreign policy: Larry Elder, likely Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, Greg Gutfeld and Eric Bolling (on “The Five” on Fox News), the late Milton Friedman (or was that Rose?).

    Consider, however, the other side of the argument. Government is bad at everything it does relative to what can be done by private people, who can be kicked out of business for doing a rotten job. Government not only doesn’t get kicked out, losing their income; they usually successfully claim they need more money to do the job and actually get that money via exactions—consider the inflation-adjusted increase in costs per pupil over the last 50 years having quintupled, with a decrease in educational outcomes.

    We need government to protect, but we run the risk that it will tell us we need protection when we don’t need that protection—totalitarian governments get away with that game all the time; democratically elected governments, while less likely to successfully game the system in that way sometimes, probably, do. That is the concern of non-interventionist libertarians, of which I was one—until I began to understand addiction. And that, dear Brad, turned me into one rabid interventionist—albeit questioning everything government tells me about the “enemy,” because I recognize government as a very dangerous “friend.”

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I once was advised that I had an alcoholic personality. This is one reason I avoid alcohol as well as addictive drugs. (Sweets, on the other hand . . .)

  9. I intended to respond to one more item: “Without the possibility of one’s property being taken (in the form of speeding tickets, for instance), we couldn’t have society.”

    I couldn’t agree more, Brad. You have violated property or, in this case, a contract. It’s a challenging one for libertarians who haven’t figured out that where government exists we need to ask, “What would a private owner do?” Just look at Disneyland, filled with private roads, or a condominium project. You don’t litter or create problems for others in Disneyland; if you do, you are kicked out and don’t get your money back (or worse). You don’t speed on my private street or driveway. I previously suggested that private road owners would do a better job than government in enforcing rules against driving under the influence. They’d have red lights and stop signs and rules about lights on at dusk and not passing to the right (an incredibly rude and dangerous behavior that’s a wonderful indicator of a DUI). Private rules would often be stricter than government ones. I don’t crap on your living room floor, but I can take a dump with nearly impunity on the streets of San Francisco. Again, I’ll take private owners’ rules any time over government ones–but where government owns and operates something we can at least do what we can to rationalize the rules.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’m curious. Have you ever read Michael Z. Williamson’s superb novel Freehold? It provides about as good an example of a functional libertarian society as one can reasonably hope for.

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    More reasons why serious conservatives and decent Americans should understand the mindrot that Libertarianism is:

    Rand Paul Endorses Obama on Normalizing Relations with Cuba by Aaron Goldstein:

    I also concur with Jeff Lord’s misgivings about Jeb Bush.
    But at least Jeb Bush isn’t stupid enough to endorse President Obama’s plans to normalize relations with Cuba.

    Now who would be stupid enough to do a thing like that?
    You guessed it – Rand Paul.

    Then again what can you expect from a guy who seeks advice on race relations from Al Sharpton?

    This is yet another reason why Republicans should never, under any circumstances, nominate Rand Paul as presidential candidate.

    Kudos to Mr. Goldstein for calling a spade a spade.

    Libertarianism: The gift that keeps on giving.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Actually, I don’t know that I object to resuming diplomatic relations with Cuba given that we have such relations with many other rotten countries. But we should have gotten something in return — say, the return of a number of cop-killers (many already convicted) who escaped to Cuba. But I suppose it’s unsurprising that Barry Screwtape Obama would have no interest in putting such criminals (who tend to be black, leftist, or both) back in jail. And these days, Rand Paul may agree with him on that. Sadly, the apple didn’t fall far enough from the tree.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Maybe Cuba representing everything opposite to the American ideal of freedom, prosperity, and self-government has something to do with putting a gigantic stamp of “Not in our backyard, buddy” on Cuba. This is/was the satellite — the Western outpost — of the most despotic and murderous regime the earth has ever known: the Soviet Union. It’s not for trifles that we dubbed Cuba an untouchable.

        Of course, having elected, and re-elected, a de facto America-hating Marxist as president perhaps makes the point of Cuba somewhat moot. Still, trust Libertarians to not have a scrap of scruples. And such amorality, if not immorality, has taken firm hold in our country even past the Libertarian fringe-kook stronghold. We ought not to just say “Ah shucks” at the passing of a decent and wise worldview. Defining deviancy downward is not the answer.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Incidentally, there are some interesting reports today on the matter of existing US relations with Cuba. Humbert Fontova (a staunchly anti-Castro pundit) points out that we actually have a larger diplomatic mission there than we did before Castro came in, and export more to them (though this may not be adjusted for inflation). There are even more American visitors than there were before Castro.

          He also argued that a crucial difference between Cuba and other countries is that they can’t buy our goods on credit, so the near-bankrupt government must pay cash on the barrel (if they have any barrels to put the cash on, of course). Barry Zero would probably especially like to change that (which will probably require congressional approval), since this would make US taxpayers (whom he resents at best and hates at worst) liable for Castroite debts to American big business.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I read somewhere that Zero can’t lift the embargo as this power was taken from the president when Clinton tried to pull a fast on in the 1990’s. Apparently, he pissed off so many in Congress that even the Dems went along with passing a law taking all such discretion from the executive.

            So it appears that Zero may have the power to recognize Cuba, he can’t normalize trade relations. Yet.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              He also can’t get an ambassador approved unless the Senate approves. Marco Rubio was very firm about that point.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              The larger context is that normalizing Cuba (normalizing the entire Cuban thing) fits Obama’s Marxist anti-American, anti-colonial skewed vision. Cuba is the victim. And not just the victim, they are better then us. After all, they had “universal health care” long before we did.

              Socialism is a mental and moral disorder. Obama has it. We are the worse for it. And we are catching it.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Jonah Goldberg pointed out today (and no doubt he was right) that returning the most notable American prisoner from Cuba was important because Feckless Leader needed to arrange that before he could normalize relations — without any asking price at all.

  11. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Mr. Kung brought this article by Quin Hillyer to my attention. When the top media start sounding like me…well, let’s just say it’s an indication that StubbornThings is usually ahead of the game:

    Rand Paul’s Meltondown. Here’s a couple choice quotes…could have come right out of my mouth:

    Rand Paul is no conservative; he’s a quack.

    And…

    Months ago I thought he was a menace; now he’s just a joke.

  12. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Oh, God bless Kevin Williamson for having the clear vision and integrity to take a shot at these kooks: The Slander of ‘Blowback:

    Ron Paul is feeling some blowback of his own. He was roundly criticized — notably by a number of high-profile libertarians normally inclined to sympathize with many of the views he has helped to popularize — for arguing that the Charlie Hebdo murders were the result of “blowback,” i.e., that French jihadists murdered the staff of a satirical magazine in Paris infamous for its cartoons of Islamic figures in retaliation for U.S. and French foreign policy, rather than in retaliation for the contents of the publication. His argument is absurd on its face — the editors of Charlie Hebdo are not what you would call major players in the foreign-policy world — but Paul rushed to his own defense, which is for him an increasingly lonely task.

    Kudos to Kevin Williamson, along with Andrew McCarthy, for shining a light over there at National Review. Kevin adds this truly brilliant bit of analysis:

    The favorite libertarian (and left-wing) foreign-policy example is the encouragement and assistance the United States gave to Afghan fighters resisting the Soviet occupation of their country, beginning in 1979 as a project of President Jimmy Carter and national-security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, and later intensified under the Reagan administration. While the link between the Afghan mujahedeen and al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist movements is not nearly so straightforward as many in the anti-war movement portray it, it is nonetheless a real and sobering example of the fact that our enemies’ enemies might be ours soon enough, something that we should consider carefully before getting into bed with them. But to draw any larger conclusion than that — the scandalous libel that al-Qaeda is in effect a CIA creation, that X, Y, or Z act of terrorism would not have occurred but for U.S. actions A, B, or C — is intellectually indefensible. And of course no one of Ron Paul’s persuasion ever bothers to seriously consider the broader implications of their counterfactuals: What would have happened in world affairs if the United States had failed to oppose the Soviets in Afghanistan and elsewhere?

    One more bit that is very worthy of reading. Again, Kevin must be reading StubbornThings occassionally because he’s beginning to sound like me or Mr. Kung:

    “Blowback” is about the apportionment of blame and opprobrium, and nothing more. Consider the cracked analysis of Justin Raimondo, a tireless defender of the Paulite worldview who does indeed want to blame the French — long-dead French — for the Paris attack:

    None of the individual terrorists who struck that fateful day would’ve even been in the country but for the fact that France established an African empire in the 19th century.

    “Cracked” is the word for it.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      If Rand Paul runs for President, his father’s wackier views (which isn’t to deny that Ron Paul is often right; I voted for him in the 2008 primary, though admittedly the only other choice was McCain by the time Kentucky voted) will be one of his biggest handicaps. Libertarians have certain severe blind spots, and this is one of them.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Not to be pedantic, Timothy, but Libertarianism *is* a blind spot.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Given Libertarians’ proclivities, I would say it might also be a hallucination.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Genuine libertarians (i.e., not those who just want a good justification for self-indulgence) have a lot of good ideas, though they suffer from the rigidity of their ideology. A good example of the basic flaw of libertinist libertarianism can be seen in a posting from “Jacksonian_libertarian” on NRO I saw a short while ago (in Cooke’s article on the House debacle on abortion). He mocked social conservatives for wanting to tell everyone what to eat, what to smoke, what to say, who to marry, etc. He was obviously too ignorant to realize how much more often liberals behave that way than any conservatives do (as someone pointed out to him). I suspect idiocy like that is what you’re thinking about (and Kung Fu Zu is likely right where much of that misthinking comes from).

  13. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Pedro Gonzales has another excellent article over at American Thinker. This one is about the libertarian kook, Rand Paul, and his pro-drug stance:

    Politico Hight on Rand Paul Pot Policy

    Libertarians spell “liberty” D-R-U-G-S.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Another way to spell libertarian is D-O-P-E.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Someone in that thread pointed out that libertarians tend to be single-issue voters. It’s all about legalizing drugs.

        By the way, Kevin Williamson has a sort of odd article on libertarians: Belle Knoxious. It’s about…well…that would be you assignment…if I were giving course credits.

        But anyone in this culture is caught between a rock and hard place in terms of prohibiting anything. Kevin (a genuinely nice and thoughtful guy) seems caught in that same place. It’s not cool to throw around any “Thou shalt nots” so all one is left to do is do a fancy lament on the state of the culture.

        For, after all, when it comes to pornography, for instance, we can’t be like the Taliban and wish to eradicate it or limit it. So all that a conservative has left to do is to “tsk tsk” the obvious dirt bags and libertines. It’s more “descriptive conservatism” instead of proscriptive conservatism. Therefore you have to hand it to Huckabee for saying “Clean up you language.” And ‘m left scratching my head and hoping to heck that Kevin isn’t morphing into a feckless Jonah Goldberg.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Don’t forget sexual libertinism. As I pointed out on another threat, while there are some libertarians who really follow a philosophy of liberty, too many are only looking for a justification for legitimizing their self-indulgence.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        That’s why I say the Libertarian Party’s slogan is,

        “Sex, drugs and rock-n-roll”

        They don’t have the time or interest for much else.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        a justification for legitimizing their self-indulgence.

        I think that’s exactly it, Timothy. Of course, I will be the first to say that this indulgence appears in a context. Part of that context is the almost complete marginalization of the male. With reclaiming masculinity apparently not an option, what is left? Either one joins the military (as many non-girly-men have done…one reason they are hated by the Left…these are not feminized males) or one just tunes out with drugs.

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