Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Second Thoughts of A Disgruntled Liberal

Well, all this time away from blogging has given me ample time for reflection. As every reader of Born on 9-11 now knows, I am a disgruntled liberal who defected from the Democratic Party in deep disgust over the spinelessness and cluelessness of its leading "lights." Not wanting to be a woman without a party, and having been attracted to the libertarian philosophy for years, I promptly joined the Libertarian Party. I am still a liberal, just of the libertarian-leaning variety. It seemed to me that this new party affiliation was the sensible and principled course to take.

To put it mildly, I have begun to wonder. I make a point of reading just about everything I can get my hands on about where libertarians (both capital "L" and small) want to take this country. But I remain, still and always, a staunch liberal. I have changed my party affiliation, but my convictions are the same as ever. I make no apology for the fact that the questions I have about libertarianism are those of a bleeding-heart liberal.

Thus far, nobody has been able to answer these questions. I still have no idea, for example, what a Libertarian would do if he or she were ever actually elected to high office. How would this newly-minted potentate deal with the realities of the job? If nobody can even answer this question in casual conversation, how the hell are they ever going to do so when entrusted with power?

To put it bluntly, whose ox is going to be gored first? Granted, most libertarians claim that they are equally opposed to both welfare for the poor and corporate welfare, but -- in the light of cold, hard reality -- which would they cut first? If they have any grip on reality at all, they surely understand they can't do everything at once. Everything must be done in a certain order -- but which order?

Many libertarians will dismiss me as a typical blithery, dithery woman who worries her pretty lil' head about merely sentimental matters. The official line of self-flattering hooey they choose to believe -- in their ninety-percent-or-so male majority -- is that women are not generally attracted to libertarianism because we're "too dependent." That is, of course, a crock, but feeling superior is evidently more important to them than building their party or winning support for their movement. The truth of the matter is that women are more likely to be depended upon by others, which makes us concerned for how political changes might affect them. That's called responsibility, and pardon me very, very much if I see no reason we need apologize for it.

The most likely case scenario, by far, if a significant number of Libertarians began to be elected to high office, is that they would start by goring the oxen of those least able to make the sacrifice. They'd start with the poor, the marginalized and the struggling -- those who have already done most of the sacrificing, risk-taking and burden-bearing already. If they ever got around to trying to shift any of the load onto the rich, the powerful and the privileged, it would only be much, MUCH later. If ever -- and that is a very big "if ever" indeed.

I'm no less disgrunted and disgusted with the Democrats than I ever was. But will somebody out there in libertarian-land please, PUH-LEEZE just answer my questions? Don't insult me, don't condescend to me, just frickin' ANSWER me. I don't think it's too hard to figure out why I might consider your insults and your condescension to mean that you simply don't have an answer. Or that you don't want to admit the truth.

If we're to turn the country in a genuinely libertarian direction -- the direction I certainly agree we ought to go -- then how the hell are we going to go about it? We've got literally thousands (if not millions) of miles to go to get there, and somebody had better have some idea what route we're going to take.

Lemme overwhelmingly dominate the libertarian movement and the big "L" party, and men don't like to stop and ask for directions. There couldn't be any connection there, d'you think?


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