So, you’ve stumbled onto my humble little blog. Perhaps you are a Millenial wondering why most of your friends aren’t fully employed. Or wondering why ObamaKare is being shoved down your throat. Or why your generation is on the hook for a national debt that stands at $17 $18 Trillion and counting. Maybe you are scratching your head wondering why your President thinks Global Warming the weather is more worrisome than Islamic Terror. And perhaps you’ve started to become aware there might be something the corrupt and biased lame stream media isn’t telling you. The answer, to these and other existential questions, is ... the Left - specifically, the modern American Progressive. Think of this site as a portal to a richer understanding of this answer, a portal purposely designed with a consciously cock-eyed bent to keep it entertaining. Because the First Amendment is forever and the Internet never forgets. (Plus you better figure out FICA isn't the name of a Swedish bikini model, before she eats your entire paycheck.)

How to use the portal? You could dive into my archive*. I was most active here 2010-2012, but that matters not. How many times do I need to demonstrate the central point? To wit, the political / ideological Left is a menace to the constitutional republic and must be resisted lest the American experiment in liberty devolve into socialist dystopia. If it's the more pointed hand-to-hand combat of the comment board that whets your appetite, click the 'My Disqus Comments' widget. I continue to visit that world from time to time as a light diversion. Or you could browse through my blog roll. It's a very representative collection of center-right blogs, though hardly exhaustive. I can't do the political / ideology thing 24x7, and you probably can't either. Leave that to the hysterical, talking point chanting, mob agitating, race baiting, election stealing, gaia worshiping, straw man torching, Islamic Terrorist appeasing, organized Left (aka OFA, MSNBC, UAW, SEIU, Think Progress, Media Matters, most of legacy media, the politically correct faculty lounge, anybody who belonged to Journolist, anybody connected to Occupy Wall Street, anything funded by George Soros or Tom Steyer, their paid Internet trolls, and the rest of the usual Team Leftie suspects).

*Re-posting encouraged. No need to ask for permission. Just follow the commonly accepted convention of acknowledging this site as original source with a link back. That way, you leave the asking for forgiveness to me.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Baseline Thoughts - Liberty and Me

When did I start describing myself as “libertarian”? I really don’t know.

As an adult I’ve been busy raising a family and making a living in fields not directly related to social/political sciences.

I grew up in a tiny, non-descript lower middle class village. The place literally was a two stoplight town – one at the east end of the main drag, one at the west end of the main drag. The first two politically philosophical influences I can recall were more properly labeled ‘conservative.’ For most of my childhood we had three TV channels – the 3 networks and PBS. At the time, PBS ran a show by the great William F. Buckley. The show was called ‘Firing Line,’ and it resonated with me. At first, I think I connected with Buckley’s ironic sense of humor, which he often displayed in debate. Plus the show was absolutely unlike anything else on TV at the time – unabashedly opinionated. The format was quite literally Buckley arguing the conservative point of view in a one-on-one format against an equally impassioned advocate of the opposite point of view. There are some examples preserved online – I recommend looking them up to all young people who wish to see an example of civil political discourse – which is all too rare today. Anyway, I must have picked up some conservative values - as I watched the shows I found myself siding with Buckley more often than not. I also, somehow, found and absorbed some writings by Russell Kirk. I can’t remember exactly where I found them – there were a couple of public libraries and a college book store within bicycling distance. It was just interesting reading to me at the time, though – most of the “literature” I was reading then fell under the heading ‘Science-Fiction.’

As a voter, my voting patterns were heavily influenced by the Carter and Reagan presidencies. During the election of 1980 I saw the impotence of Carter’s presidency and knew a change was needed. On the other hand, I was still young and naïve enough to buy into the main stream media’s biased portrayal of Reagan as a ‘war-monger.’ I was a few months shy of voting age – if was able to vote I would have thrown it away on 3rd party candidate John Anderson. By 1984 I was enthusiastically voting for Reagan’s landslide re-election. I had witnessed and come to understand the bedrock conservative values in his governance: his program of across the board tax cuts that revived the economy of ‘stagflation’ he inherited from Carter, his ‘starve the beast’ attitude toward big government, his ‘Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall’ peace through strength foreign policy.

Somewhere along the line I combined these influences with an appreciation for the well-known phrase ‘He who governs least governs best,’ and decided that makes me a libertarian philosophically.

I have always voted with the Republican coalition in every election local, state or federal. Pragmatism is one of the conservative values I practice. As a pragmatist, I can see the only two viable options for having a practical effect on an election (at least so far) is voting (R) or (D). As such, (R) really has been the only viable alternative for a practical Libertarian. Social conservatives are not exactly my cup of tea, but on the whole I find them to be better people than the so-called ‘civil libertarians’ who oppose them. I am not particularly religious, but I have observed religious people are generally better people than non-religious people. I don’t own a gun, (or a pickup truck for that matter), but I am staunch supporter of 2nd Amendment rights. I also know how to shoot and find myself thinking a lot lately about finding time to get back out to the range. Finally, (R) generally stomps (D) on economics and foreign policy for a libertarian.

This brings me to a conversation with a liberal Democratic friend I recall from few years ago. She initiated the conversation along the lines of (paraphrasing) “you seem like such a nice person, why do you always vote Republican?” Her implication was, of course, “they are such meanies.” After a few minutes of verbal jousting, I made this point: “As a Libertarian, I believe all politicians are by nature hyper-ambitions and craven. At least the Republican variety usually has enough sense to keep its hands out of my wallet.”

Liberal Friend (after pausing to apparently process the alliterative properties of libertarian and liberal): “Shouldn’t Libertarian mean you believe in individual freedom?”

Me (unsuccessfully going for the clincher): “Well, there’s really not a dime’s worth of difference between me as a libertarian and you as a liberal.”

Liberal Friend: “What’s the dime?”

Me: “You believe government can teach people to be free, I know they need to learn it for themselves.”

(Note the conversation continues as my brilliant parry failed to carry the day)

Liberal Friend: “So it’s government you hate?”

Me (using hyperbole to try to get out of the conversation): “All in all, if the government did nothing but raise an army, provide police protection, and pave the roads, I think we’d all be a lot better off.”

Liberal Friend (looking as if stunned by a dart): “Do you really believe that?”

Me: (sipping beer with churlish smile): “Yep.”

I leave you with this scene to understand future posts.
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