Thursday, February 28, 2013

John Stossel's Awkward Bedfellows

I like a lot of what John Stossel has to say, and even if I am not always convinced by what he seems to be touting, it's thought-provoking.  And yet, he seems to use Ann Coulter as an excuse to criticize social conservatism.  Coulter is practically a shock jock--she gets attention by not caring who she offends--and she's better at pointing out what is silly about liberalism than she is at articulating conservatism; that's better left to heavyweights like Sowell.

My reply to John Stossel's 'Libertarians' Awkward Bedfellows':
I think that that libertarians and paleo-conservatives are working at cross purposes.  If libertarians want to do something constructive and not just appear as some kind of hip, socially acceptable conservative in order  to gain political advantage, they could provide some leadership for (a) school vouchers and (b) relegating these culture war issues to the states and get them out of D.C. politics.  A federal government big enough to guarantee the right to abortions and to wear a shirt profaning another's religious beliefs is a government big enough to decide that all rights need to be revised.  By siding with progressives in certain ways, libertarians unwittingly(?) support a federal government that won't leave societies free to govern themselves; using tyranny in the large to "protect" us against the bugbear of tyranny in the small.  Without a solid stand on the 10th Amendment, libertarians end up selling themselves as "in touch" conservatives or fiscally responsible progressives, and it DOES come across as pandering.  Worse, it looks like they're trying to out-"sell out" the neocons.  Give Middle America real control over who is teaching their kids and what they're being taught.  Give us academic choice.  Give us a real remedy against judicial activism.  Expose the indoctrination.  Help give us our culture back.  Otherwise, libertarians are just "all the coerced social change without the free stuff."  
You want the conservatives to give up the Culture War?  Put teeth back in our Tenth Amendment.  Make it so that liberal educators aren't teaching our kids their values instead of our values.  Make it so that our kids aren't forced to go to homosexuality normalization training (i.e. re-education) to cure their intolerance.

True conservatives tend to truly believe that it takes a village.  Progressives believe that it takes a national government (e.g., Obama's "something we can only do together, with . . . the help of a nation").  If libertarians can't work with paleos to bring power back to the village, then maybe Ann Coulter is right about them.

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