I understand the concept of libertarianism, I really do. The idea that government causes more problems than it solves is appealing in concept, and when it comes to most social issues (gay marriage, marijuana legislation, freedom of religion) liberals and libertarians see eye to eye.
The problem is that most libertarians hate government except when they do. They aren’t consistent. “Government shouldn’t be providing all these services!” they say. “But don’t take away our public schools, parks, and libraries. I need that subway and the highway system so they’re OK. And my parents need their social security so we’ll keep that. Those tax breaks that allow me to deduct home mortgages is good. And it’s probably a good idea to have health inspectors making sure the food I buy isn’t tainted with disease ….”
In some ways, they are like religious extremists — they have a clear concept of what they believe in, and then they find a bunch of loopholes and exceptions that allow them to ignore the parts of it they don’t like. (“We must obey every word of the Bible! Except that part about eating shellfish. And the part allowing slavery. Oh, and the stoning to death of people who get divorces…”)
I understand the concept of reducing government, but be honest, libertarians — you just want to reduce some government, the part that doesn’t benefit you directly.
You like government that helps you.
You’re just against anyone else being helped.