Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why Libertarians Never Win

In a word, principle. In two words, simplistic principle. In a phrase, simplistic principle to the point of parody.

Q. How many Libertarians does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None. If the government would just leave the damn light bulb alone, it would change itself.

A simplistic principle applied reflexively to every problem is like a broken clock that's correct twice a day. When it's correct, you nod your head in admiration. More often you shake your head in utter disbelief. Libertarians are nothing if not consistent, even when it doesn't serve their electoral chances. That's why they don't win elections.

John Jay Myers, the Libertarian running for Congress in the 32nd District against long-time incumbent Pete Sessions, who is anything but principled, is no exception. After the jump, the Libertarian admirably gets it right on this summer's ginned up political wedge issue, the so-called Ground Zero Mosque (which is neither on Ground Zero, nor properly speaking, a mosque). Too bad it won't win him many votes.

My Shameful Take on the Mosque, by John Jay Myers

I called this, "My Shameful Take on the Mosque," because I believe our country has much more important things to worry about than destroying property rights and freedom of religion. I have noticed that whenever election season comes around the media pulls out all the truly divisive issues in our culture.

This is a shame. It is a shame that I have to defend the basic principles of our country in this day and age; possibly more shameful that I have to do it to combat rhetoric from my peers.

A cursory glance at the New York mosque situation tells you that the government has no right to stop a mosque from being built. There is no special area around Ground Zero where suppressing religion and blocking people's use of their property is somehow OK.

Last I checked this was America and we believe in the Constitution, and we believe in rights.

Most Libertarians will tell you that you MAY be a Libertarian if you believe in property rights and freedom of religion.

But common sense will tell you that you are definitely NOT a libertarian if you don't.

But then there are some who say the bigger question is, not whether the government can stop it, but, "Is it right?" Some people are saying that this is an insult to those who died; that the people building this mosque are being insensitive. Those people are the most insensitive people in America.

For example, right wing conservative Wayne Allyn Root said, "The building of a mosque at the attack site where thousands of our own perished in an act of war - must not be allowed."

Wayne couldn't be more wrong. Some of those Americans who died were Muslim Americans. Seven million Muslim Americans mourned the attacks on 9/11. Libertarians are proud of not making kneejerk reactions, and that we stick to our principles. Wayne and other talking head pundits are insinuating that it was all Muslims who attacked us, when in fact it was just a few. They are casting a broad racist net over an entire culture.

Can you imagine how ignorant and racist it would sound if someone said that a church could not be built in Oklahoma City because the ones responsible for that attack were Christians?

You have every right to feel however you wish about Muslims or any group you like, and you have every right to express your feelings. But, by calling for government to stop the mosque, you are allowing the terrorists to win. We cannot allow them, or racist sentiments perpetuated by TV talking heads, to threaten American freedoms.

By calling on the Muslims to stop building the Mosque you are blaming 1.5 billion people for the actions of 18.

They say if fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and waving a cross.

You may think a mosque dishonors dead Americans. But I assure you, spreading racism, threatening property rights, and calling for the state to target religions you don't like is a greater dishonor, to all Americans.

The above originally appeared in a blog posting by Blaine Crimmins in the Star Local News.

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