Monday, July 16, 2012

For once, for cryin' out loud, choose Liberty

Shortly after declaring my support of Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party candidate for President, I began catching flak. The most common reaction (and the easiest to have predicted) goes something like this:
"A vote for a third-party candidate is a vote for Obama."
That presumes, of course, that I agonized over the choice between Johnson and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney -- which I didn't. It wasn't even a contest.

A second term for Pres. Barack Obama, undesirable at best, isn't the worst thing that could happen to our country. Swapping a big-government Democrat for a big-government Republican and expecting something to change would be far more disastrous. Wishing for such an outcome is symptomatic of our national two-party disorder.

I had a rather strident exchange with one particular fellow, a friend for more than a decade, over the role of government. It was prompted by the assault on individual liberties, as I see it, represented by the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare").

My friend reportedly suffers from some sort of "pre-existing condition" and, because he now relies on the federal government to forestall what he describes as a "death sentence," his physical affliction is indistinguishable from his ideology. That is,
"If you don't support Obamacare, then you don't care if I live or die and you're certainly not my friend."
A passion for Liberty, according to him, also means that I hate all sick people, all poor people and all women. On top of that, he says, it makes me a racist.


I'm not unsympathetic to his suffering (or anyone else's, for that matter), but it's sad to see what happens to a man when self-interest swallows principle.

And then there was the customer who came into our shop late last week. An unapologetic Obama supporter, he summarized his perspective this way:
"What's the problem? Just keep printing money!"
That, he said, would avoid the "unnecessary pain" of slashing programs, cutting government jobs and balancing the federal budget.

Naturally, he wants "rich bastards" to pay higher taxes -- a lot higher.

So here we have a guy who doesn't get that printing money and deficit spending only postpone pain -- they don't prevent it. He jaws about "expanding access to the American Dream," but he wants the "rich bastards" who have achieved it to pay for entitlement programs demanded by those who haven't.

The good news, though, is that even if his man doesn't win in November, he should be happy with a Romney administration.