Friday, September 02, 2005

My Prescription for Political Action in the United States

1. The government should get out of the marriage business and instead issue only civil union licenses. As an element of that, such licenses should be granted to homosexual couples, polygamous groups and incestuous couples, providing that they are all consenting adults.

2. The government should get out of the censorship business, and revoke the FCC's unconstitutional power to declare certain things "indecent" or "obscene." Indeed, not even state/local governments should have such authority. The standards should be very simple: If a real crime of some sort is depicted on the videotape or in the magazine, one may prosecute the crime committed.

3. Free trade policy should be fully embraced, and global free trade alliances sought. Tariffs and protectionism should be considered "dirty words" and never viewed as a viable solution to any problem.

4. Military spending should be drastically cut. The military should only be used for defense, and never for imperialistic purposes. With such a policy, the US would never have gotten involved in Vietnam, the Rwandan genocide, Kosovo, the current Iraq debacle, or the Mid-East peace process.

5. Drastically cut back foreign aid (perhaps to zero), particularly military/political aid. Slowly begin to withdraw from, or play a lesser role in, organizations such as NATO and other permanent military alliances.

6. Remove religion from the public square. No more "Under God" and no more "In God We Trust." No more swearing on Bibles in the government and no more publicly posted Ten Commandments. Religion, much like pornography, for example, must be isolated to the realm of the private.

7. Finally end the War on Drugs. Period. Legalize all drugs for adult sale/use, including substances such as steroids and ephedra.

8. Formally recognize that personal medical decisions are PERSONAL medical decisions. The government has no right to interfere with such things as abortion or assisted suicide.

9. Outlaw capital punishment. Any government that has the power to kill its citizens is too powerful. And, one must never forget that innocent people have been executed, and many people have been exonerated while on Death Row awaiting execution.

10. Cut back government spending on health coverage, with the goal of making it zero. The government footing one's health bills only gives the government more justification to interject itself into one's personal health choices. If one is responsible for one's own medical bills, one will have full freedom to make whatever healthy/unhealthy choices one wishes.

11. Since an educated populace is any country's greatest strength, renew federal efforts to make education more accessible, more affordable and of better quality. School vouchers will NEVER be a part of the solution; vouchers are part of the problem. After all, apparently, private schools have a right to teach fiction as truth (Intelligent Design).

12. Reduce our use of coal and oil. Work toward creating better means of producing energy. Aim for a time when the US will have no use for oil whatsoever. Then, we can truly free ourselves from Middle Eastern policy.

13. Crack down on illegal immigration. Deport illegals, irrespective of if they've been here for 2 days or 2 decades. Do not reward criminal behavior with amnesty or work-toward-legalization programs. Crack down on companies that hire illegals, and file lawsuits against such companies.

14. Secure the right of law-abiding gun owners to own firearms. Punish the crime: not ownership. While background checks are just common sense, making things illegal to all (criminals and non-criminals) is overly intrusive and unacceptable.

15. "Nanny laws" such as seatbelt laws and helmet laws are totally inappropriate with respect to adults. The government shall enact no law that is "for your own good" or "designed to protect you from yourself."

12 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

It seems we share a lot of the same ideas. I read about your blog from The Raving Atheist. Very interesting stuff you have. Check my blog out sometime.

5:15 PM  
Blogger The Libertarian Defender said...

Thank you for your comment!

I was just checking your blog out...very nice, indeed.

So nice, in fact, that I've decided to add it to my Links section.

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love you now.


Though honestly, how would you propose to deal with health care if the government doesn't help fund it? The problem with personal payment isn't so much that we have to pay, it's that the care costs too much. How would you lower the cost to make it manageable for all walks of life to support their medical care?

Also: illegal immigration is both good and bad. Obviously, immigration has gotten this country where it is today. Perhaps the solution isn't just kicking them all out, but working to legalize (on a case to case basis?) more immigrants than merely tossing them back to the sharks. Or perhaps a equal flow system; for every American who moves out of the country, an illegal immigrant is granted citizenship.

I also advocate gun classes for anyone looking to purchase a gun for the first time. A very thorough class, that will prevent you from purchasing if you fail to satisfactorily pass the requirements. Gun control laws obviously don't help or stop crime, but idiots who shouldn't be handling guns are also a big hindrance.

3:04 AM  
Anonymous Emily (aka Amethyst) said...

#6 especially. I was at work yesterday, and someone had left a coffee cup in the microwave for some ultra-conservative AM radio station. (I live in the Twin Cities, MN area.) It had the pledge on it and in red UNDER GOD.

I asked my fundy cube mate if it was his, but it wasn't.

Ugh. Work should be for working, not preaching to others.

9:07 AM  
Blogger The Libertarian Defender said...

"Though honestly, how would you propose to deal with health care if the government doesn't help fund it? The problem with personal payment isn't so much that we have to pay, it's that the care costs too much. How would you lower the cost to make it manageable for all walks of life to support their medical care?"

I would rely upon the private sector to offer reasonable health insurance.

"Also: illegal immigration is both good and bad. Obviously, immigration has gotten this country where it is today. Perhaps the solution isn't just kicking them all out, but working to legalize (on a case to case basis?) more immigrants than merely tossing them back to the sharks. Or perhaps a equal flow system; for every American who moves out of the country, an illegal immigrant is granted citizenship."

I would have no problem with having a totally open border policy. That's fine with me. My objection is that these illegals are deliberately and criminally breaking the law as it currently is written. If we want the rules to change, we must amend the law. Until that happens, illegals are criminals, in my view.

"I also advocate gun classes for anyone looking to purchase a gun for the first time. A very thorough class, that will prevent you from purchasing if you fail to satisfactorily pass the requirements. Gun control laws obviously don't help or stop crime, but idiots who shouldn't be handling guns are also a big hindrance."

I'm mixed on this. I'll have to mull it over a bit.

"#6 especially. I was at work yesterday, and someone had left a coffee cup in the microwave for some ultra-conservative AM radio station. (I live in the Twin Cities, MN area.) It had the pledge on it and in red UNDER GOD.
I asked my fundy cube mate if it was his, but it wasn't.
Ugh. Work should be for working, not preaching to others."


AMEN. I wonder what the reaction would have been if somebody had "accidentally" left a copy of the Satanic Bible on the staff room table. ALL religions are pernicious, not just Satanism and similarly maligned faiths.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

There are a few things I take issue with, with the Libertarian Party. First, let me say that I think their general principles and ideology do appeal to me. But my main quibbles with the Libertarians are these: I'm not sure about their stance regarding foreign policy, and I don't see how it can apply to a sound environmental policy.


And thank you very much for adding my blog to your Links section. I would add yours, but being slightly computer illiterate, I'm not sure how--maybe you can enlighten me?

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Tanooki Joe said...

I agree with all of these completely except #10 and #13, which I'm undecided on.

I must say, it is nice to have a dedicated Libertarian you can talk to though. A lot of libertarians seem to not tolerate dissent too well; if you aren't a complete libertarian they label you a "collectivist" and condescend to you. But you are very polite and seem willing to discuss issues with semi-libertarians like me. Or maybe I just run into the bad libertarians. Either way, I'm definitely coming here more often.

12:27 AM  
Blogger The Libertarian Defender said...

Tanooki Joe...

Glad to have you here!

I'm certainly very tolerant of semi-libertarians, since I'm a semi-libertarian myself! I don't think a hardcore libertarian would like my views on education too much. I also am not ready to throw out the Social Security system, as a hardcore libertarian desires.

I try to be polite to everybody I speak to one-on-one. I might vent on people like Bush and the FCC, but I welcome any type of viewpoint in the Comments section, and will converse with everybody.

Once again, very glad to have you here!

8:19 AM  
Blogger DUB said...

Nothing is black and white. Most topics of any concern, especially political, are loaded with intricacies. That being said, here are my initial knee-jerk reactions:

2. F@%k yeah!

4. Without some threat of consequence (which could very well be financial) what is there to stop despots from maniacal human rights violations? I would hope stopping genocide be looked at as a necessity.

5. Pretty much agreed on political and military aid, but what about humanitarian?

6. Amen!

7. The War on Drugs is an overwhelming success once you realize what it's intentions were. The prisons are overflowing, generating enormous dividends for all involved (Prison Industrial Complex), and minorities are being swept into cages at staggering rates. At the very least, the "War's" funding is severly misappropriated. Put the money into treatment programs. A precursory study of economics shows the futility in punishing the supply side. I too believe the lesser demon is legalization.

8. Add euthanasia to the list (not the same as assisted suicide, right?)

9. The entire criminal justice system needs a serious tweak. Rehabilitation and Correction? Yeah, right. The notion of punishment by confinement is archaic and ineffective. Especially with the steep sentences handed down in US courts.

10. If we're paying taxes, I'd rather see them go to medicine than missiles. The humanity of humanity is based on empathy. Altruism is not a flaw. If there's another way to ensure equal coverage in a capitalistic society, please inform me.

12. I question whether we can ever be completely free of petroleum products.

13. The law is broken. If you were punished for some backward-ass law that seriously needed revision, you might be singing a different tune. Remember, immigrant workers contribute far more to the economy than they take. Fix the laws.

14. Define "law-abiding." I wrote my name on a bathroom wall 11 years ago and spraypainted the back of an abandoned warehouse. I am now considered a repeat violent felon in Ohio. I even went to prison. I can now never own a firearm, which I happen to think is my right, as I have a family to protect.

15. Overall, I agree. BUT...if some idiot who wasn't seatbelted turned into a projectile and came hurdling through your windshield, killing a family member, you may change your mind. Also, if the gov't does indeed foot some medical bills, it's your taxes paying for the (possibly-prevented) damages.

Overall, we live on Earth. An isolationist agenda is just unrealistic, and very limited. I agree that we meddle in far too many affairs that in no way affect the average American citizen to the degree the politicians bank accounts are affected, but as part of a world community, we have to be active in that community. Nearly every institution and system in the US (economy, education, health care, justice, welfre, etc) is in need of drastic overhaul. It will take an amazing amount of brainstorming, discussion, collaboration, and actual action to accomplish this, but we can't take it lightly or overgeneralize things. This is real life, and there are delicate balances that can't be sacrificed.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous DJ said...

Friend - you make some good pionts, but some are not very realistic. If you want, see my comments for your review. Check these out and think a little more about what positions you hold. Hopefully I don't sound too harsh on some of these where I wanted to get a point across. While liberatarianism is a good philosophy at the core, some ideas need to be reviewed. It seems like a lot of your beliefs are good in theory, but once you personally are affected by some of these you'll begin to rethink your viewpoints.

1. True, the government shouldn't make moral decisions for us (with the exception of blatant criminal behavior). Let people keep their personal lives to themselves.

2. You'll most likely change your mind on this when you have kids and you have a four year old mimicking obscenities they saw on TV at three in the afternoon. The FCC should keep the public airwaves clean for the people and let those who pay subscriptions watch/listen to whatever adult programming they want.

3. I guess this viewpoint would depend on how much you like your standard of living. While this would bolster the economy for the rest of the world, why of course would anyone produce goods or provide services in the US when third world counties would do it cheaper and get around any type of checks and balances.

4. Agree, keep the military budget in check. Keep strong home front forces (mainly reserves) and keep foreign bases on a limited basis for security purposes. Pump most of the extra spending into R&D (a lot of military inovations develop later into useful consumer products) - especially remote controlled devices used to keep our soldiers out of danger if we do go to battle.

5. While we should still have foreign aid, it needs to be overhauled. Cut off support to corrupt governments and the corrupt UN. Create terms and conditions for countries getting our aid - otherwise tell them tough titty. When people see mass suffering it will hopefully spur more private aid.

6. Directly isolating religion takes away freedom of religion. Keep it out of goverment policy but keep goverment out of it at the same time. The "Under God" arguments and such are a huge waste of time and resources. Let it go already - upwards of 90% in the country believe in a God and the other 9% have better things to do then obsess over what's written on a quarter.

7. I guess liberaterians have never spent significant time with addicts or recovering addicts and see the utter destruction and turmoil it causes in their lives and families. And to advocate making those types of things readily available? No doubt millions of more lives would be ruined and traumatized. Unfortunately, we're not at that point in society (and maybe never will be??) where you can trust people to be responsible with any substances like that. Go volunteer in some addict clinics and live with some of the affected families, you'll probaly change your mind.

8. You bet!

9. Keep serious offenders alive. Death is an easy way out and those trials always cost more than a life term in jail. Also - don't coddle life criminals, make it hell for them the rest of their time on earth at labor camps but be careful not to be cruel and unusual.

10. While it's a good lesson in responsibility to let people cover all their own medical expenses, unfortunately, it won't be that easy for most people. Basic human compassion won't let hospitals turn away dying children (or dying anyone) because they are poor. People will go to the hospital when they are sick whether they can afford it or not. Maybe set-up programs for poor people to buy discounted health insurance through the government. Otherwise you'll see an increase in poverty, homelessness, and overall decline in society as middle and lower class families get wiped out with medical debts. Try losing your job and benefits before getting cancer right afterwards - then comment.

11. Yes - bolster school programs and pay teachers more. Review how kids learn the best and institute standards for teaching that are rigidly enforced.

12. Easier said than done. Most renewable energy sources today are too expensive or inefficient, but they're getting better. We must keep pumping funding into private R&D to develop more for the market to implement. I guess it boils down to how you feel about government subsidies and tax breaks for corporations.

13. Yes - social programs for illegals in this country are a slap in the face to scores of legal immigrants working hard to make it for themselves.

14. Couldn't agree more!

15. Again, most people are inherently too stupid to protect themselves. We have to keep stupid people alive and breeding so they can multiply and take over altogether! More TV sitcoms for all! Sorry, I had to end on a funny note.

Thanks for reading.

11:45 AM  
Blogger TheJollyNihilist said...

Agree with everything, except the pro-gun stance. I'm extremely anti-gun, particularly handgun and assault weapons.

That's one thing that I can't get on the Libertarian bandwagon with.

11:59 PM  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

I am compiling a blogroll of atheists and agnostics. Do you consider yourself to be in either of these categories? And if so, would you like to be added to the blogroll?

Please leave a reply here.
Are You An Atheist Or An Agnostic?
http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/2006/08/are-you-atheist-or-agnostic.html

11:27 PM  

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