Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5 Questions for Republicans and Conservatives

After reading this page giving 5 questions to Democrats (which was threaded on this sub), I decided to give my own 5 questions for Republicans and conservatives:
If you support limited government, why do you support legislation that punishes non-violent vices with jail time and State punishments?
Conservatives and Republicans often support the use of the law to regulate moral behavior that doesn't directly violate the rights of others. Libertarians oppose such laws because such laws violate the whole purpose of the law, which is to punish the violation of rights. Vices, while they are bad, do not violate the rights of others, and the law shouldn't be used against them. This respects individual freedom and individual rights; conservatives are being inconsistent in their support for limited government when they support such laws.
If you support limited government, then why do you support the government's wars?
Conservatives often support the use of government force, particularly America's government, to force other nation-states to support the American ideals of "democracy and freedom." This was true of the Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Korean wars. They often ignore the unconstitutional nature of most of these wars, and they ignore the immorality of them very often. Libertarians, as we are opposed to big government, see war as "the health of the State" and oppose offensive/pre-emptive war. We are OK with self-defense war (which would be truly "just" war), but we are not OK with offensive war in the name of "spreading democracy" or aiding some other countries. We remember not to support "entangling alliances" with any other nations, which conservatives often do regarding Israel. This is consistent with keeping the government limited within its own borders, and is vital to keeping a government restricted in its powers.
If you support limited government, then why do you support Republican violations of civil liberties?
Conservatives were very big in supporting GWB's Patriot Act and the other Republican laws put in favor of violating the traditional civil liberties of Americans and the constitutional protections of liberty. The Patriot Act was intended to increase the power of the State to crack down on terrorists, give law enforcement more tools to do so, and allowed for wiretapping of people's phones for the greater good. While some conservatives spoke out against this, it was only libertarians who branched out a consistent opposition to the Patriot Act and the anti-civil liberties actions taken by the U.S. government. If you support limited government, conservatives, then why do you support the use of surveillance, wiretapping and other State powers which require the growth of government? Because once you open the possiblities of growing the State, the doors rarely shut.
If you support limited government, then why do you support the war on drugs?
Conservatives generally support the use of government force to crack down on drugs, particularly drug production and drug use. While this is changing a bit, the pro-drug war bias is still there. Libertarians oppose it because it is immoral/unlawful (it takes the law to a length it should never be taken), unconstitutional (because it was started by the federal government, in violation of the Constitution's 10th Amendment), and prone to abuse (because the police are now being militarized in fighting this drug war, as Radley Balko, Will Grigg and John Whitehead are documenting, and many civil liberties violations occur in drug raids). Conservatives seem to ignore some of these things because, after all, the only reason many teens don't take drugs is because of the laws in place that ban drugs. I say, "Balderdash!" The law is not meant to regulate vice, and the law is not meant to regulate drug use or production that doesn't commit rights violation in the process. So drug legalization and government non-interference are the policies truly compatible with limited government.
If you support limited government, then why do you still support the police force and the military?
The military and the police force are two of conservatives' favorite government institutions. Conservatives love the military for its "patriotism," "traditional values," and whatnot; similar words are also applied to the police force. But the police force is now becoming one of the greatest tools for tyranny and police statism. Radley Balko, Will Grigg, and John Whitehead, three great writers, document very well the problem of police statism and how it is destroying the libertarian traditions of America. The military, apart from the fact that it is using its powers to fight in immoral and unconstitutional wars, is quickly becoming a hotbed of moral degeneracy that conservatives so despise. Sexual assaults are now becoming regular in the military, more soldiers are suferring from PTSD and other problems, and now the military is cracking down on Christianity and traditional values. So conservatives, apart from the fact that the military and police force are quickly becoming incompatible with the ideal of limited government which you claim to uphold, are you still going to support the military and police force?
I could have asked a few more questions, and I believe that I could have improved overall on the text, but I hope that these five questions will be meant to provoke thought among the conservatives and libertarian movement.

Letter of Liberty News Edition (2-18-2014)

Here is the Tuesday News Edition of the Letter of Liberty Blog