03 June 2010

This Is Not A Libertarian Blog

Someone cited something said in a comment at the Wash Park Prophet blog, which was characterized another participant in the blog discussion as a "comment from a libertarian blog*" and footnoted this statement with "*Boy, a libertarian living in WashPark."

For the record, I am not a libertarian and Wash Park Prophet is not a libertarian blog. I am a liberal. I am a Democrat with a long history of participation in the Democratic party (including Democratic voter registration since I first voted as a senior in high school, two years as a treasurer of the county party, about a decade as a precinct committee person, two trips as a delegate to the state convention, and years of campaign contributions to Democratic party candidates and the Democratic party).

There are libertarians in Washington Park. A card carrying libertarian precinct committee person who frequently puts signs for libertarian political candidates lives right across the street from me. But, I'm not him. He's better looking than I am and has a much better groomed lawn.

I happen to have a low opinion of the policy benefits of zoning laws. I likewise share with libertarians' skepticism regarding the war on drugs.

But, I am also a frequent critic of a "starve the beast" approach to taxation. I think that private gun ownership is not very beneficial. I was a strong advocate for health care reform and frequently advocate for policies that would increase economic regulation. I'm a strong supporter of the continued existence of the estate tax. I don't want to privatize Social Security. I have a low opinion of Ayn Rand. I don't favor absolutism when it comes to parental rights. I think building codes are important. I believe that the government should encourage stupid people not to do stupid things to themselves (like ride motorcycles without helmets) with the force of law. I agree with Scott Adams that private enterprises are routinely disfunctional for reasons having nothing to do with government regulations. I am not anti-union. I think that environmental regulation is vital to our survival as a species.


Seth said...

For the record, there are libertarians and Libertarians (myself included) who would argue
against the "starve the beast" approach (it tends to lead to deficit spending), who are frightened of guns (but still support the right of individuals to own them), who don't want to "privatize Social Security" (doing so would lead to more government intrusion into financial markets), who understand (from copious personal experience) how dysfunctional private organizations often are, who are pro-union (see: freedom of association and right to contract), and who believe that environmental protection (ideally through vigorous enforcement of private property rights) is vital to the future of humanity.

Although non-libertarians are fond of painting us all with the same brush, there is, I believe, just as great a diversity of viewpoints and priorities within the Libertarian Party as there is within the Democratic or Republican parties.

Seth said...

Oh, and who aren't fans of Ayn Rand or unchecked "parental rights" either.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Fair enough. My point is not to argue that Libertarians are monolithic.

My point is simply to argue that I am not a libertarian or a Libertarian by pointing out matters upon which I disagree with ideas that are stereotypical identifiers of, or litmus tests for, libertarian ideologies.

I would also suggest that the Libertarian party has seriously burned the brand of the word "libertarian" as a descriptive identifier of political beliefs.

Dave Barnes said...

Andrew = Libertarian
That made me laugh.