2.05.2008

I don't like people who think things that I don't like.

Yes, that's correct. If you believe something that I find repulsive or stupid, I judge you for it. I don't like people who don't believe in evolution, I don't like people who are worried about losing the Christ from Christmas, I don't like people who want to outlaw abortion, I don't like people who drive Hummers to their suburban office, I don't like people who don't recycle, I don't like people who think they should be gauranteed the right to own a semi-automatic weapon, I don't like people who abuse children and/or animals, I don't like people who discriminate against the blacks, the jews, the irish, the gays, the womyn, or the Fijian. I also don't like people who think that
a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others
is an ideal place to live. Sorry, but sometimes the good of the whole (be it family, neighborhood, community, state, country, or world) really does outweigh reasonable limitations on your, my, and his rights.

For example, I believe that part of a government's responsibility to its citizens should be access to decent health care. Regardless of whether you happen to have been born in inner city Baltimore, rural Kansas, or Northbrook, IL. Likewise to education. They're basic human rights, and I think it's reprehensible to advocate a system in which they would be provided for soley on a for-profit basis. I'll never be able to understand why it's ok to earn money from the basic education of children, or respect someone who does. And really, having all school systems run off of user fees? Do you really think that the only people who benefit from a well educated society are those who are currently enrolled in school? Education of a community's citizens benefits the community as a whole, and should be paid for by the community as a whole. With taxes.

Then there's the whole trash issue. Have you even been to a country without municipal trash collection? Do you really think that people working low wage jobs don't deserve access to trash collection? Or that a fully integrated, efficient transportation network could ever be built without some type of centralized agency for coordinating large-scale infrastructure projects. Again, have you been to places without one?

I also know that there are huge inequalities in this country. And I don't believe that simply breaking free from the shakles of the "omnipotent state" gives a poor black kid from New Orleans the same opportunities as a well-off, well-educated, well-cared for white kid. I know how the argument goes— smart, motivated, individuals will succeed in any environment; so the rich will deserve their money because of all the hard work they've done, and the poor, well they obviously just didn't try hard enough. Bullshit. Coincidently, as far as I can tell I've never met a self-identifying Libertarian who's not from an upper-middle class suburb.

So that's why I really had something I needed to talk about. The stated goals of the Libertarian Party, as I understand them, are to achieve a society that I find morally offensive. And I wanted to know if I was riding in a car with one. After a discussion, I was satisfied that I was in fact riding in a car with someone who happened to agree with Libertarians on some issues (like having less government interference in drug, abortion, & marriage regulations) but not on the ones that really define Libertarianism as a movement. That is to say: just because you want to decriminalizing marjijuana and prostitution, allow gay marriage, or whatever other personal freedom was the topic du jour does not mean that you're a Libertarian. And it definitely doesn't require the wholesale dismantling of government services that is central the Libertarians platform.

Why is this different than Socialism? Sure, they both may be unrealistic in their purest form, but at least Socialism starts from values with which I agree. Things like citizens in a community bearing a shared responsibility for one another's well-being and workers deserving to share in the distribution of wealth from their work.

So, if you want to not be a Democrat or a Republican, that's fine. It seems like you could find a better label for yourself than Libertarian though, you know, one that actually conveys the values you believe in. Actually, please find a better label for yourself than Libertarian because, like my 9th grade geometry teacher always said, making assumptions makes an ass out of you.

8 comments:

tommy said...

I don't want to generalize here, but every Fijian I've run across has been a lazy, scheming, illiterate, piece of garbage with horrible hygiene.

Oh wait, nope, those my friends. Still, I wouldn't want to be associated with anything near Pat Buchanan.

Alex said...

What a great post.

You're getting political... and I like it.

Lucia said...

intense.

11frogs said...

Whitney, I happen to agree with your politics, but I'm going to get up on my own little soapbox here, because the deliriously sick are allowed to do that. Do you really mean that you don't like anyone who thinks things you don't agree with? Does your entire family have the exact same politics as you? And every single one of your friends? If I took a hard line on my political views, I'd be estranged from the very vast majority of my immediate and extended family, and many good friends I've known for a decade or more. Absolutely not worth it. Shutting people out and getting angry about their politics will turn them harder and faster against your point of view than anything else, as evidenced by our completely polarized, sound-bite-ridden, angry political system. A key part of that responsibility toward others in your community/the greater good that you and I both believe in is a healthy dose of live-and-let-live.

wb said...

It's not that I don't like people who think things that I don't agree with; I don't agree with wearing graphic tees under cardigan sweaters, but I still like Darcy (sort of). It's people who think things that I find unacceptable that I don't like.

And sure, I can put that aside and interact with them on a friendly basis, but underneath I still think less of them.

Alex said...

Loving the honesty.

Joanna said...

I think you think in a big tolerant circle. And people who think in small circles fall out of the circle because their intolerance can't be tolerated. If your politics were a cheese it would be swiss cheese. We have the same ideas but you are better at geography.

Joanna said...

And I'm better at spelling.