May 19, 2009
Those dirty, filthy libertarians!
"I became a conservative by being around liberals, and I became a libertarian by being around conservatives."
So says Greg Gutfeld, host of Red Eye on Fox News and former editor of Men's Health magazine in a free-ranging reason.tv interview Sean Kinsell describes as "a hilarious conversation" with "a lot to say about health-related nanny-state-ism, tiresome moralizing, and keeping your toaster away from meth addicts."
It's not every day I hear a journalist with a media microphone maintain that smoking is good for you, that global warming is "the biggest scam ever devised,"
Very, very entertaining.
However, for those who are easily offended, I should repeat Reason's warning:
Warning for viewers prone to high-blood pressure, heart palpitations, and sour-puss syndrome: Gutfeld mixes humor, outrage and language salty enough to cure a side of bacon. Proceed at your own caution.
MORE: If you thought the wars on cigarettes, drugs, and exhaled air were bad, get ready for the coming war on soda.
The May 12, 2009 Wall Street Journal reports that "Senate leaders are considering new federal taxes on soda and other sugary drinks to help pay for an overhaul of the nation's health-care system." The motivation isn't just money; the article quotes "Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest" a Ralph Nader affiliate, that, "Soda is clearly one of the most harmful products in the food supply, and it's something government should discourage the consumption of." Gadzooks! I thought it was beautifully marbled steaks, or Big Macs, or hot fudge sundaes!Not to give anyone ideas, but I'm surprised they haven't also gone after the soda industry because of the links to the deadly CO2 gas that's killing the planet.
How can libertarians defend such filth?
MORE: In light the question of whether libertarianism is becoming a dirty word, a related question might be whether "gay conservative" has become an oxymoron.
While supporting repeal of DADT marks me "liberal" on that issue, I don't see the ban itself as a conservative policy. It just doesn't advance the ideals of the modern American conservative movement, the basic tenets of which are limited government, a strong national defense and judicial restraint.If conservatism means limited government, a strong national defense and judicial restraint, then by all means I'm a conservative. But if conservatism means fighting DADT, I guess I'm a "liberal" on that one.
What are the consequences? Depends on how you define yourself. If you self-define as a libertarian, then opposing DADT is without consequence. If OTOH, you self-define as conservative while opposing DADT, others may attack your self-definition.
Which means it's probably easier for non-conforming conservatives to self-define as libertarian.
I never gave it much thought, but I now find myself wondering how many "libertarians" might be simply non-conforming conservatives afraid of taking ideological flak.
Egad! Here's something else: I'd hate to think that any conservative might be so cowardly as to call himself a libertarian in order to feel more comfortable at liberal cocktail parties..... And what about the inverse? Might there also be libertarians in conservative drag?
You can't be too careful!
posted by Eric on 05.19.09 at 08:58 AM
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