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  1. #31
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    This is a thread I would be wise to stay out of...
    But I just don't see that happening. So, first things first:

    1) Would you say the LP is pretty closely aligned with what you consider libertarian philosophy?

    2) Are you registered LP? If so, did you support a candidate in their primaries? If so, who was your candidate?

    3) I see you live in the States... will you name a few Americans in public life (politicians, political thinkers, commentators) past or present who most closely echo your philosophy? - bonus points for naming someone who is/was in elective office so I can measure actual policies that emerged. Extra bonus points for NOT going back to the 18th century. I'm getting bored with the Thomas-love (Paine and Jefferson).

    4) Do you believe in the concept of nation-states?

    5) Can all decisions be made rationally?

    6) What are your personal views about institutions in general - Congress, military, political parties, religious institutions, civic clubs, marriage, Boy/Girl scouts?

    7) Are you an objectivist?

    Thanks. Just trying to narrow down where you're coming from before joining the conversation.

    1) Fairly. I agree with the LP on most issues, but I think that their organization ranges from crappy to laughable. About fifteen years ago, a 14-year-old girl was a delegate at their national convention and ran for National Chair (IIRC) and only lost by like 23 votes. If they could someone effect SOME real political change while keeping to their principles, I'd certainly support them. I have voted LP in the past, including my epically-drunken 2004 vote for Michael Badnarik for President.

    2) I am registered Independent in California. I was Independent in Pennsylvania from 18 until 25, when I re-registered Republican so I could vote for Ron Paul/against John McCain in the GOP primary.

    3) Americans who more or less have the same philosophy that I do? Grover Cleveland, Milton Friedman, Barry Goldwater (except for defense), Ron Paul (except for abortion and immigration), Trey Parker, Penn and Teller, Clint Eastwood, Andrew Napolitano (except for abortion), John Stossel, Jeff Flake

    4) I do believe in the concept of nation-states, although, in a perfect world, there would be no borders, no tariffs, and no wars.

    5) I do not think that all decisions can always be made rationally. Believing that all decisions can be made rationally isn't a libertarian tenet, though, so I am kind of wondering about that question.

    6) Congress - almost always messes things up; there are a couple of good people in there, but people who want to be in Congress are generally creepy and untrustworthy

    Military - necessary; made up of many brave people; forced to do heinous things for bad reasons all the time

    Political Parties - don't really care for modern political parties; I'd be down with the LP if they ever got their act together

    Religious Institutions - I'm an agnostic humanist, raised Catholic; religion can be a positive influence in people's lives, but can also be a refuge for the small-minded; religious institutions often do great charity work, which I always prefer to government handouts

    Civic Clubs - usually positive things; non-government-related civil society is one of the backbones of the nation; I may be sponsored for entrance into Freemasonry in the next few years

    Marriage - I am for the privatization of marriage; civil unions for any two unattached adults of sound mind and free will; I plan on marriage and children in the future

    Boy Scouts - gay

    Girls Scouts - good cookies; sexy uniforms

    OK, last two were jokes. They are good organizations and, as private entities, they should be able to exclude gay leaders, but they shouldn't be able to use government facilities if they do so.

    7) No, not at all. I have read some of Rand's fiction and enjoyed it, but she was a terrible person to be around. Also, where's the fun in being a libertarian if someone else has already decided what you should read, watch, listen to, wear, etc.? I know some very cool Objectivists and some Objectivists who seem to have been attracted to Objectivism as a philosophical excuse to be an asshole.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  2. #32
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    No, it's a fair question. I'll give a couple recent examples of what I've seen:

    In the past, the endorsement of a major political party was essential to getting elected. As a result, elected officials felt pressure to be "good soldiers" in their party's caucus. While that has led to the caricature of back-room deals, smoke-filled rooms, etc... it also led to most of the positive legislation we've had in the nation's history. It's how LBJ was able to peel off support of some Southern Democrats for Civil Rights legislation, for example.
    What if one is against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on principle? How would that qualify as a GOOD example? Most libertarians rejoice when bills DON'T pass.


    Fast forward to today. Candidates know that the best way to raise funds is to buck the party establishment (becoming Netroots stars like Michelle Bachman on the Right or Alan Grayson on the Left). They get elected owing nothing to political party, and owing everything to even narrower interests. Just as it had been in the interest of elected officials to support the party leadership, it's equally in the interests of today's elected officials to defy party leadership in order to distinguish themselves.
    Defying party leadership can be a good thing when the party leadership is corrupt. Ron Paul does it all the time.


    Practical examples of how that is playing out today:

    1. This thing about Joe Lieberman threatening to join a GOP filibuster of the Senate health care bill if it includes a public option. OK, Lieberman won re-election in '06 as an independent (after losing the Dem nomination to Ned Lamont). As a result, Lieberman owes nothing to party loyalty and cannot be swayed by leadership. Instead, he has to rely on Connecticut's insurance companies to fund his elections, so a vote they want is more valuable to him than a vote the Senate leadership wants.
    Well within his rights, and I am glad he would stand up against the public option.


    2. The lack of basic consensus. Throughout U.S. history, progress has happened by building on basic national consensus: basic consensus about the value of elected government led to Constitutional amendments regarding enfranchisement, the Voting Rights Act, etc... Basic consensus about the need for a social safety net led to social security, Medicare, etc...
    There was less consensus than you probably imagine regarding all those things. Why is a consensus necessary?


    Political parties serve as buffers for that consensus and allow debate to move forward. It's kind of tough to have an honest debate about immigration reform when 20 different sides have 20 different answers, ranging from "don't let the brown people in" to "wouldn't a world without borders be swell?" How does a nation go about figuring out appropriate business regulations when the debate ranges from absolute libertarianism to state-sponsored socialism? Without consensus, we end up at a complete standstill. We end up with people like these tea-party folks who believe that American history ended in 1789.
    What does that even mean?


    3. Political opinion as narcissism. Political parties used to be functional: you choose the one you agree with the most - Democrat or Republican - and accept the fact that you may have disagreements on some issues. Somewhere in the 70s and 80s, political parties became something more like a brand, or more specifically, a vanity tag. Rather than forcing oneself to fit inside a narrow dichotomy, it was better to declare independence and throw stones at the 2-party system. Functionally useless, but satisfying to the ego.
    Jeez, you must LOVE political parties. Politics predates the party system. If what you believe doesn't fit into the paradigm, why NOT throw stones? It's your right as an American to hate all political parties if you choose. There is nothing narcissistic about voting your conscience, or choosing not to vote at all out of disgust.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #33
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    What if one is against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on principle? How would that qualify as a GOOD example? Most libertarians rejoice when bills DON'T pass.
    In all my time of reading your posts, I'd guess that you weigh principles too heavily against results.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #34
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    In all my time of reading your posts, I'd guess that you weigh principles too heavily against results.

    Freedom of association is a pretty big deal. It's one thing to end Jim Crow laws (they were horrible affronts to human dignity and equality before the law), but it's another to FORCE people to hire even if they don't want to. I mean, wouldn't it be just as effective and more honest to see which people and firms would continue to discriminate in hiring policies? I know that I would boycott any firm that was discriminatory. Almost everyone I know would, as well. As for the hardcore racists, would you want any minority friend working in such a hostile atmosphere? I know I wouldn't.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #35
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Would you rather have liberal social policy, center-left economic policy, and non-interventionist foreign policy or conservative social policy, center-right economic policy, and militaristic foreign policy?

  6. #36
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    Girl scout cookies are okay, but how do you feel/what do you think about social and corporate welfare?
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  7. #37
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Corporate personhood - a good thing, or an abomination?

  8. #38
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post

    (2) Term limits, term limits, TERM LIMITS!!! Representatives and Senators need to have a profession again, as in the days of the founding fathers...
    Agree with all, particularly this. Pay attention, Bloomberg.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruthie View Post
    No, it's a fair question. I'll give a couple recent examples of what I've seen:

    In the past, the endorsement of a major political party was essential to getting elected. As a result, elected officials felt pressure to be "good soldiers" in their party's caucus.
    Not necessarily. Bloomberg and Ron Paul are two examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Corporate personhood - a good thing, or an abomination?

  9. #39
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Dear luvertarian,

    why are birds allowed to sing in the skies if we could just instead shoot them ?

    Luv enth
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  10. #40
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    Corporate personhood - a good thing, or an abomination?
    explain

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