I’m a Libertarian, not an asshole

I’m a Libertarian, not an asshole

2010 52 Life, Getting to know me, Rants and Raves,

I was at the gym a few days ago when this commercial came on. Maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was the stress of moving, maybe it is me being all “woman-like” but I started to tear up right there at minute 11 on the elliptical.

Shortly after, I went to the weight room and saw a little old lady shuffling her workout mat back to put it away. The woman could barely hold herself up, let alone this large green workout mat. I offered to take the mat and put it away for her. She thanked me.

It wasn’t too long after that I turned on the car and heard the craziness that is now our country. People hating white people and not calling it racism. People lashing out. Others telling people to give is their duty and others fighting being told what to do.

It’s at this point that I realized, regardless of my political affiliate, I’m still not an asshole, no matter who you think I may or may not vote for.

I’m just a little bit sick and gottayam tired of people placing everyone is boxes. Little boxes made of ticky-tacky. I’m tired of hyprocicy. I’m tired of name calling. I’m tired of empty promises. I’m tired of the misunderstanding that spans the isle and I’m tired of people assuming.

I’m a Libertarian. Not an asshole.

I believe less government is a good thing. I want to decide ON MY OWN that McDonalds is not healthy, to select businesses with models I agree with, to let my decision effect and change the world, not the government. I want to see change and I want to see others helping each other, not because Big Boss Man said so, but because we are raised with the core belief to respect human life, however different from you that may be.

I want to see healthy discussion. I want to see honesty. I want to see a world where opinions matter and are not immediately deflected. I want to see my children become people who will accept a large variation of lifestyles not because the government mandates it so, but because I teach them we are different and that is OK. I want them to acknowledge and accept change while understanding core principals. I want them to love people for who they are not who they profess to be.

I want my son to be allowed to be a boy. To play too rough, to jump in puddles, to sleep in the dirt. I want a school system that encourages learning of all types and does not shelter nor prevent any one child from being more than another.

I believe competition is healthy. Striving for something better, to be a part of something more, is a part of growing up.

I believe failure is OK. I believe failing teaches lessons and without failure, there is no growth.

I do not believe it is the governments job to prevent that failure, or that growth.

I’m the kind of girl that will pick up your baby’s sock if he/she kicks it off when you’re walking. All I want in return? A smile and a thank you. I’m the lady that will stop to let you in if I haven’t been cut off six times since two blocks ago. All I request is a nod and a wave. I’m the lady who you are calling a racist, a homophobe, a biggot. All I want is a chance to discuss, ask questions, admit I have no answers.

I am the lady who will see a lesbian couple linking arms and think how awesome love is, and how we all need our very own person, whatever package that comes in. And I do not want to be judged for that thought. I’m the gal who hates being called racist simply because of my skin color. That, alone, is racist, is it not? Determining my opinion of you because of your skin color based on my own skin color, well, that’s just fucked up.

I’m the programmer who is humble enough to shrug. I’m the woman who will admit she needs help. I am the mom who knows my children will not understand or respect every decision I make but who strives to make decisions based solely on the fact that I make them out of love and in the belief they are the best for this minute for my children.

I’m someone who believes in small business, who has faith that the system allows each to rise to their inner potential, who strives to let free market be truly free. I’m the person who is consistently shouting hands off to most all things government. I’m the lady who believes jobs will cure an economy, put strength in people’s hearts and a backbone to this nation.

I am honest to a fault. I am torn by two parties. I am not an asshole.

I’m a Libertarian.

 

Comments

  • Christina Stumph
    March 31, 2010

    Lady, I could have written this post word for word.  I want to teach my daughter that candy is bad, fruit is good and it’s MY choice, MY teachings.  I want government to stay out of my bank account, my womb and most importantly, out of my bedroom.

    Kudos. I’m so glad I clicked on this.

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  • Melanie
    March 31, 2010

    oh man….. you said everything I wish I could say… THANK YOU!

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  • March 31, 2010

    Babe you are the least asshole person I know.

    And I am fond of Libertarians. ;P

    You live in a really liberal area and that must be tough. If it is any consolation I get railed on where I live for how I feel and I want to take this and reword it and distribute it around my environment: Just because I like more government doesn’t make me an asshole either.

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  • March 31, 2010

    Woot Woot and A-fucking-men.

    I recently read an op-ed in the NYTimes that outright accused those who are against the health care bill of being white supremacists. Just because I don’t want the government STEALING from me to pay for everyone else’s health care does not mean that I am racist. Infuriating.

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  • March 31, 2010

    Leslie I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes I feel as if I am in the middle of two very large teenagers that are fighting and calling each other names and I am standing in the middle of them hoping that I don’t get knocked out. Ridiculous really. After working with the federal government for 10 years I decided I had had enough and moved. Apparently that was not enough because their reach seems to be growing like the blob. Why would anyone put their faith in something that has rarely ever gotten anything right? *shakes head*

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  • Rob
    March 31, 2010

    A few things…

    First, you’re in denial if you don’t acknowledge that a significant portion of the “Tea Party” activists are racist. The evidence is out there. On the internets. Just google racists tea party signs. No one is saying that all these activists and/or libertarians are racist, but some (many?) of them are. As a brown person, this Tea Party shit really scares me. I wish people like you, who are not racist, would take a principled against the racists, instead of taking a principled stand against the people calling the racists racist. If you’re at one of these tea party rallies, doesn’t it tell you something that everyone around you is white? Do you think it could mean that there’s some part of the puzzle that you don’t quite understand?

    Second, why is it that libertarians are only concerned about “Big Government” when Democrats are in power? Where was the Tea Party when the previous administration was expanding government exponentially? I wish you guys would just admit it: you’re sore losers.

    Third, you already have no health care liberty. It is an illusion. Instead of big goverment, you have big business. Big Insurance. I hear people whining about the health care bill saying “we’re just adding a huge bureaucracy”. YOU ALREADY HAVE A BIG FUCKING BUREAUCRACY THAT CONTROLS YOUR HEALTH CARE. ITS CALLED THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY. I’d rather a public bureaucracy that’s beholden to its citizens rather than a private bureaucracy that’s beholden to its shareholders.

    Fourth, it is not appropriate for every industry to be private. Does anyone whine about “socialized” fire departments? “Socialized” police departments? Why should someone be profiting from my health or lack thereof?

    Fifth, your point about McDonalds. Do you think there should be no regulations? Have you read The Jungle? Should we abolish the age limit on purchasing cigarettes? Unfortunately, as a side effect of human nature, if you leave society to its own devices, bad things will happen. You’re either for the government having regulatory authority, or you’re against it. I’d prefer to have a government that keeps the bad people from doing bad stuff to us.

    Finally, I want to talk about the American Libertarian. He/she lives in a fantasy world. He/she has never experienced a “small” government, yet he/she is SURE that “big government/boogeyman” is bad. Me, I’m proud of my country, and its government.

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  • March 31, 2010

    I think you may be my new hero.

    Dona

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  • Rob
    March 31, 2010

    ...I just re-read my post, and it came off less snarky and more asshole-ish than I thought. So let me apologize. You actually seem like a good person, and I don’t mean to bludgeon you in particular. As you can see, this whole thing is frustrating for ALL SIDES. No one feels like they’re winning. Let’s all keep dialoguing. Its important. Thanks, peace.

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  • March 31, 2010

    Dude, you totally rock!  I had to share this on facebook and link back. You put it into words well!

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  • March 31, 2010

    I may not agree with your politics, but man I loved this sentence-

    I want my son to be allowed to be a boy. To play too rough, to jump in puddles, to sleep in the dirt. I want a school system that encourages learning of all types and does not shelter nor prevent any one child from being more than another.

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  • christina Stumph
    March 31, 2010

    Rob,

    You are so wrong on so many levels, I’ll take your points one by one:

    First, not all tea party activist are racists and it pisses me off to read this.  Just like not all republics are anti-gay marriage (I’m not) or not all white people can’t dance, it’s such a cop out to label people.

    Second, I was concerned about big government when Bush was president, I hated that war, it was bullsh**.  Another example of the government spending my money on crap I don’t agree with.

    Third, at least with private industry you have a shot at achieving a free market.  If government is in control of health care, God help us, they can’t even mail a letter correctly.

    Fourth, the government does have a duty to protect it’s citizens - the reason we have police, fire departments and the military.  This is the one area of course they need to be in charge of.  It’s called keeping the peace and yes, it’s their JOB to keep people from causing havoc on me or my family.  The post office?  That’s a whole other story.

    Fifth,Rob, it’s MY job, not the government’s to educate my child on the evils of McDonalds and fat content and smoking and all those things.  It’s not up to anyone else to tell ME how to live my life.  It’s a slippery slope and it started with seat belt laws.
    Yes, I’ve read the Jungle and you know what?  When she’s old enough I’ll let my daughter read it and let her make her own decisions.

    I will never be proud of a socialist/government run country - never.

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  • elza
    March 31, 2010

    Rob—you got it right.

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  • March 31, 2010

    Rob, I’d like to address your points.
    1) Your claim that “a significant
    portion of the “Tea Party” activists are racist” is unsubstantiated. True, there have been crazies that have crossed the line with signs and actions, but this has happened all throughout history whenever people are fired up about a cause.
    2)”...libertarians are only concerned about “Big Government” when Democrats are in power?” Libertarians have always fought against big government, years before Obama was elected. In fact, it was the big government policies of the Bush administration that are primarily responsible for sparking the tea party movement. And hell, yes, I’m a “sore loser.” I live in this wonderful, free country and have every right to voice my dissatisfaction with a government that is supposed to serve me.
    3) It’s true we have no healthcare liberty. The insurance industry has worked with the government to restrict competition for health insurance. There hasn’t been a free market in healthcare for decades and the anger we all feel towards the healthcare companies has its roots in the many government interventions in the industry. As far as choosing between “a public
    bureaucracy that’s beholden to its citizens rather than a private
    bureaucracy that’s beholden to its shareholders” it’s mistaken to believe these are the only choices. Further, ordinary shareholders have little impact on corporate operations and ordinary citizens often have even less impact on bureaucratic operations. Neither type of organization is really beholden to anyone. Just see how well Congress listened to the people when the majority of Americans rejected the healthcare bill. They moved it forward anyway. There’s no opting out of a government program. They will be forcing me to buy insurance that I neither want nor need. This is illegal, against the Constitution and immoral.
    4) Law enforcement by the police is required to be provided by the government according to the separation of powers in the Constitution. Many municipalities such as mine do not provide fire and rescue services - they are typically manned by unpaid volunteers - citizens who give back to their communities - and they’re often funded by the people who rely on the service through donations, not taxes.  Public safety IS the job of the government. Medical care, however, is a different story. The Constitution does not give the government the ability to determine how I should I care for my health.
    5) “If you leave society to its own devices, bad things will happen.” How do you know? You say that Libertarians live in a fantasy world and that we have never experienced “small government.” I will also point out to you that you have never experienced a true free-market, capitalistic society and so how are you so sure “bad things will happen?” As an American, you also have never had to experience life under the socialist system you to claim to desire. I’d recommend reading “Gulag Archipelago” by Solzhenitszyn for starters so you can begin to appreciate what life will be like when we allow the government to discard the Constitution. As for The Jungle, history has shown that much of it was fabricated. Even FDR stated 3/4 of what Sinclair claimed “were absolute falsehoods”. If you’re concerned about food safety, consider the tainted food products entering America from China - not exactly a capitalist country.

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  • March 31, 2010

    Rob, you’re right. You sounded like a major asshole.

    I’m a Libertarian (actually a registered Independent, with Libertarian beliefs), and I have no use whatsoever for the Tea Party movement. Anything that involves Sarah Palin is nothing I want to be associated with.

    Furthermore, I had plenty of issues with the previous administration, both on the social and fiscal sides.

    Basically, I want the government to stay away from my mind, my body, and my money. What I do with them is nobody’s business, so long as I’m not violating anyone else’s rights.

    Mrs. F, great post.

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  • March 31, 2010

    Loved this. Period.

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  • March 31, 2010

    Wow. I’m in awe. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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  • March 31, 2010

    The difference between a bureaucracy that is privatized and a bureaucracy that is government-ized is your ability to choose. In a private environment at least you can select between several and if you like opt out. How Democrat-like is it to dictate that you have to choose a specific minimum or be taxed/fined? It’s not a foundation of the Democratic party to hold that type of belief. It is a socialist mindset that makes you do something like that and that is what has many up in arms.

    Libertarians are a very independent group. I mean most want government so small that it makes republicans look like progressives. Want to smoke pot? Who is the government to say? Want to eat pig fat 3 times a day? Knock yourself out. Want to live in a hut and weave braided necklaces all day? okiedokie. It’s about personal responsibility and the belief that this life is mine to live. Who are you (in the figurative sense) to tell me how to live my life? And who am I to tell you how to live yours? I mean you want to talk about some radical ideas… I just don’t understand where this movement came from and why anyone would want ultimate control from “the man”. Shouldnt we all be a little apprehensive about that?

    I also don’t think it’s a color issue. I do think it is a socio-economic issue to a certain extent. I know I would be considered middle class. Larger government is squeezing me like crazy. Lower income levels count on the hand outs and don’t pay much into the system. Upper income folks know how to hide their millions but are also paying a much higher percentage.

    Here’s a radical idea. I want everyone to have to write their quarterly tax checks to the government. I want them to have to take a pen to paper and write out that check. Having it deducted from your check is a relatively new invention of the government. They figured (rightly so) that by taking it automatically they could wield more power and control of the money. And that people would feel the sting less. So let’s have everyone write that check. I would imagine some minds would change…

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  • Alli Worthington
    March 31, 2010

    yep.

    All the environmentalists who are mad at the Pres for announcing his reversal and support of offshore drilling?

    Racists!

    See how ridiculous it all is?

    Talk about divisive.

    Good for you for not being silenced.

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  • March 31, 2010

    I appreciate this post.  I have one friend who is a staunch Libertarian and while I do not agree, I do get it.  I respect Libertarianism.  I do not respect TEA partiers.  As I’ve told my friend, go back to being a Conservative Libertarian (her views are a little different from yours in terms of reproductive health and marriage equality) and stop going to TEA parties.  The founder is racist and the keynote speaker condones and even encourages violence. 
    It’s funny, I’m a liberal and I’ve never heard anybody call Libertarians racist or anything else (except wrong wink).  I hear it all the time about the TEA party. 
    So please, Libertarians, disassociate yourselves from the Tea party.

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  • March 31, 2010

    Marcus, I think that’s a lovely description of libertarian. Sometimes I wonder if people know what that actually means.

    I honestly, truthfully, know that some people still have race issues. HOWEVER, I see it on both sides of the coin. I see minorities hate white people and that’s not called racism, that’s called entitled. It’s just as offensive to be hated for being white as it is for being any color. It’s degrading and disgusting and should be so old school we don’t need to beat that horse to death at each issue that has nothing to do with horses.

    With. That. Said. There is also a lot of rich-hate. Just because someone is able to make money in a fee market sort of pisses people off who aren’t making money. You know what a libertarian would say? “How ‘bout you go find a way to make money?”  I’m all for leveling the playing field in so much that the field needs to be mowed. Do I think we need fire and police? Hellzya. And that, including roads/transportation should be what we need a “government” for. Because some people are going to be stupid, we need cops. Because accidents happen, we need firemen and because infrastructure is essential to our continued growth, I’m for it.

    Should the government tell me who I need to give my charity to? No. Will I give? Yes. Of course I will. I will help my neighbor and I will give a hand because that’s the right thing to do, not because someone else told me to.

    I left my parents house because I was ready for the world. I didn’t know that meant stepping in to my Big Brother’s…

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