I was repeatedly called a “conservative”.
Granted, the speaker was speaking not just to me, but the entire Tidewater Libertarian Party. And, he was not of the opinion that “conservative” is an insult. You see, a gentleman named Mike Prunty dropped by to invite us all to be part of an organization he is forming as a coalition of conservative organizations.
I hope Mr. Prunty has occasion to read this. Furthermore, I hope he comments.
Every time we libertarians try to form a coalition with conservatives on some set of issues where we nominally agree, we hear the unmistakable sound of crickets chirping. But when the conservatives have some initiative and ask us for our help, we’re expected to leap to attention and help, but stay away from the adults’ table where decisions are made.
Please tell me, Mr. Prunty, what obligation do we have to people who called us Paultards for supporting the only candidate for President who accurately predicted this current economic meltdown and correctly identified the causes of it? Straw polls and caucuses at various places around the country were cancelled in violation of the respective Republican Party branches’ own by-laws when Paul supporters arrived in large enough numbers to place highly.
Please explain, Mr. Prunty, what obligation we have to the same conservatives who have berated us at many of the Tea Parties around the country? After years of being conspicuously absent from tax freedom marches and End the Fed rallies initiated by libertarian organizations during the Bush administration, conservatives walked around the Tea Parties with blue arrows that said “Tea Party Crasher”, pointing them at libertarians. And they did so with no sense of irony whatsoever.
The history of conservatives treating us like long lost red-headed stepbastards aside, there’s another one more reason I take your invitation as an insult. You and all other conservatives need to know this. If you take nothing else away from this post, please learn this, and never forget it. If you need to take a restroom break or top off your coffee, I’ll wait. Ready? Ok, here goes. In spite of what you may have heard elsewhere…
LIBERTARIANS ARE NOT CONSERVATIVES.
Have I made that point sufficiently? We are not disaffected conservatives. Nor do we fit this simplistic description of fiscally conservative and socially liberal.
Fiscal conservatives don’t seem to have much of a problem with the exorbitant amount of money that is spent on maintaining 700 plus military activities in 130 plus foreign nations. Fiscal conservatives are often fond of indignantly denying that military spending represents more than half the federal government budget, citing spending on the Department of Defense as the only money spent on the military, while carefully ignoring spending on the VA, foreign intelligence, and defense spending on other departments.
Fiscal conservatives don’t have a problem with spending money on enforcing prohibition. The obscene pursuit of using violence to prevent a person from putting what they want into their own body, selling their own body in any way they want, or risking their own money in any way they wish, is made exponentially more obscene by the amount of my money that is spent doing it. The vast majority of fiscal conservatives would adamantly refuse to cut one penny of that spending, and would in fact like to increase it.
I could go on and on and on about the things fiscal conservatives like spending money on that I disapprove of, but this post is mighty long already. You see, if I were to withhold my money from the federal mafia, out of principled opposition to any of these programs I find objectionable and immoral, said mafia would not hesitate to send me threats. Then, if I were to ignore their threats and continue to keep my money, they would send men with guns to kidnap me. If I did not want to go with the men with guns they would kill me. Nearly all of the people you want me to consort with in your new organization would fully support the federal mafia kidnapping or killing me for this. Please explain to me why I should support an organization that would largely rather see me dead or on the inside of a cage than acting on my principles with my own money.
Mr. Prunty, thank you for your time, and for the invitation. But for the reasons outlined above, I must respectfully decline. Good day.