Why in the world are Bernie people going to Johnson?

I am constantly astounded by Bernie people who say they are now going to vote for Gary Johnson, the ex-Republican and now Libertarian candidate for President.

(Sorry I can’t credit the artist here; don’t know who it is)

Libertarians are good on certain social issues. They don’t think the government should be deciding things concerning abortion or gay marriage or whether you should be able to smoke marijuana. They don’t want Big Brother government watching us. They’re against using torture against our enemies. You can see why many Bernie supporters would like that.

The problem is that libertarians not only believe that government should be out of our social lives, they believe the government should be out of just about everything.

Bernie railed against income equality, Wall Street, and greed. He talked about how the little guy in America couldn’t get a fair share with corporations paying no taxes and fighting minimum wage. He railed against Citizen’s United and the deregulation of banks that caused the housing crisis and the economic recession.

And what kinds of policies caused these problems?

Libertarian policies.

Here are the things Gary Johnson wants:

  • Elimination of all corporate taxes  (not your taxes, of course — just businesses)
  • Health care only for those who can afford it (and elimination of medicare too, so your elderly parents can just suck it up and deal)
  • Privatize social security
  • Insurance companies can refuse you for a pre-existing condition and can kick you off their plans if you get sick
  • Get rid of income tax but have a national sales tax of 23% on top of your state sales tax. (This means that the average person will pay more taxes overall, but the average rich person will be tremendously better off)
  • Get rid of the minimum wage (Not “reduce it” — get rid of it completely)
  • Schools allowed to teach creationism
  • Abolish the Department of Education
  • Vouchers so students can get tax breaks to go to religious schools (with your tax money)
  • No government student loans (Can’t afford college?  Tough)
  • Support of the TPP (Trans Pacific Pact) so businesses can ship jobs overseas because freedom
  • Allow corporations to give unlimited money to political candidates
  • No gun laws
  • For-profit jails (who then lobby for stronger drug laws so they can keep more people incarcerated because money)
  • No cap-and-trade policy and no extra taxes on polluters (currently used to force them to go to cleaner energy)
  • No federal funding for science or stem cell research
  • No net neutrality — your internet server can decide to charge you more based on what sites you want to visit
  • Cut all support to Israel

Come on, the man carries around Ayn Rand books and gives them out, saying that is the kind of government he wants.

Now, of course, some people think all this is a good idea — that if only government got out of the way, no powerful person would ever take advantage of anyone ever again and we’ll all live in peace and harmony happily ever after, even though that has never been the case in the entire history of humanity.

But Bernie supporters?  Really? If this is what you truly believe, then what the heck were you doing supporting Bernie, who has spent his entire career fighting people like Gary Johnson?


(Primary source:  http://www.ontheissues.org/Gary_Johnson.htm)



Right to Work Laws and taxes

Wisconsin’s “Right to Work” laws were recently ruled to be unconstitutional. Known neanderthal and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker vowed to appeal, because he knows who is contributing to his campaign — and it ain’t the unions.

These laws are the Republican’s latest attempts to destroy labor unions. The laws hold that unions cannot force workers to join the union or pay union dues.not-rosie

Libertarians often argue that these laws violate their rights in the same way they argue that they shouldn’t have to pay taxes (while still reaping all the benefits that the taxes provide). They scream about welfare moochers living off someone else’s work while they gladly accept the salary and benefits they receive thanks to someone else’s work.

“We demand the well-paying job with all the benefits without having to contribute to the system that gave us the well-paying job with all the benefits!” is their selfish rallying cry.

Well, tough. Don’t like it? I’m sure there’s a non-union job out there somewhere for you where you can earn half as much, get no benefits, and don’t have to contribute to society. You want freedom? You have the freedom to not accept a union job.

Talk about a bunch of moochers.




What Libertarians don’t understand

There’s lots of things our government does that I disagree with. So I try to elect people who will pass laws that I agree with. Sometimes I lose and a bunch of laws are passed I don’t like.

I don’t claim then that those laws are “forced” against me and that my rights are being violated.all-cats-are-libertarians-mary-fanning

And that’s the reason why many of us just can’t debate some libertarians, because they have this double standard: If they like the law personally, it’s fine but if they don’t like it, they are being forced to obey it and that’s just evil!

I don’t think laws I don’t like are evil. They were passed through our democratic process and I can try to get that changed. I don’t always get my way. That’s what democracy is all about. Sometimes your side loses.

If libertarians said, “Well, we lost, but we’ll try to win next time” then we can discuss the merits of libertarian philosophy. But instead we often get “You people who won are taking away my right to not obey the laws I don’t feel like obeying!”

Well, suck it up. We all have laws we don’t like that we have to obey. That’s what being in a democratic society is all about.

The main problem I have with libertarian philosophy is that they see programs where we ask everyone to pitch in a little to help everyone a lot as “theft” and then complain that they are “forced at gunpoint” to pay taxes to support this stuff.

That’s where they lose me. Every society in the history of this planet has asked its members to support it in some way. Even the most basic society made you pick berries for the good of the tribe.

We can disagree on how much we should do — that’s a legitimate debate. We can discuss how to make taxation fairer.

But when libertarians say any program is a violation of their rights and all taxation is theft, then instead of looking principled, they just look, well, selfish.

Pick some berries, guys.

Libertarian believes in freedom of religion to drink goat’s blood

A libertarian candidate for congress admitted that yes, he performed a religious ritual involving drinking goat’s blood, but he doesn’t see why that should disqualify him from office.ASI

Do I need to mention which state he’s from?  Hint:  It’s Florida.

Sadly, he’s also a lawyer, once more proving that just because you could work your way through law school doesn’t automatically make you smart. (Ted Cruz, for instance, went to Harvard. So much for that stereotype.)

People are upset about dismembering a goat for sacrifices. Had the goat been dismembered for eating, well, that’s perfectly fine. But to appease your god? Nope. Instead he should have participated in a religious ritual involving drinking your savior’s blood and eating his flesh — you know, normal religious stuff.

But hey, he has the right to practice his religion. It’s not like he’s crazy or anything. Oh, wait, he is? He believes that he is destined to lead a new civil war with his white supremist friends? He calls himself August Sol Invictus (“majestic unconquered sun” in latin)?

I wonder if he ever advised any of his clients to plead insanity. He seems to be an expert at it.

Compromise is not a dirty word

Compromising and negotiating is how mature adults handle problems.  They work together to solve their problems.

It’s so sad that our society has so many people who cannot understand this, especially when it comes to politics.

I’m not talking about compromising your ethics. But politics? Law? My marriage? Life in general? angry-baby

I’ve learned, as I’ve aged and become wiser, that I’d rather work with the other side and get 50% of what I want than be stubborn and get 0%.

There are gray areas in the world. Not everything is black and white. Compromise is needed to get things done.

A lot of the arguments I get into with people over politics seem to do with this refusal to compromise; with people who see things only in black and white. (And this includes many on the left as well.)

In some ways, it is like those who strongly believe their religion to the point where there can be no compromise because that means you’re helping evil prevail. Abortion is the best example I can think of there. I am more than willing to compromise on this issue — I agree that there should be restrictions based on medical science. I am willing to change my position as medical science changes.  However, those who think that a collection of cells is a life from the moment of conception will accept no compromise. They will not budge, so how can we work together to solve this problem?

The gun extremists also think that it is impossible to have any compromise because it’s a violation of their civil liberties as guaranteed by the Constitution. They feel that any attempt to prevent felons, terrorists or the insane from having guns is as much of a violation of their rights as throwing someone in jail without giving them a hearing. There is no middle ground with these people.

Libertarians are some of the worst in this regard. They hate all government (except of course the government they like; they are hypocrites, but uncompromising ones). If you say “You know, people shouldn’t discriminate” they argue that it is their right to discriminate and if you don’t let them kick gays out of their business then you are violating their freedom! (They of course, could care less about the freedom of anyone else.)

Seriously, how do you deal with these people? Well, you can’t. You can lead someone to compromise, but you can’t make them think.

And you know what I’ve found? So many of these people are unhappy with life. They lack empathy for anyone else’s view. They’re angry all the time because they are constantly fighting battles they can’t win because of their inability to compromise.

I don’t always get my way. The people I can deal with also don’t always get their way.

And that’s just fine.

Libertarians dislike big government (except those parts that benefit them)

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.all-cats-are-libertarians-mary-fanning

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.

“Taxation is thievery” nonsense

Nobody likes paying taxes.  Some libertarians take that to the extreme and claim that taxation is thievery.  They paint a picture of the evil government pointing guns at the helpless citizen (usually naked and wearing a barrel for some reason) implying that it is absolutely wrong for any government to demand that citizens contribute to society.

They long for a world where the government expects nothing from its citizens — you know, like no society that has ever existed in the history of the world.

Humans are social creatures, and unless you live in a shack in the woods away from everyone, you are expected to contribute to the society that provides benefits to you.  Even primitive societies demand that you take your turn gathering berries or weaving.

To demand otherwise is just selfish.

This does not mean that we can’t complain about the unfairness of our tax system.  I do that all the time.  We have a hugely unbalanced system where the average person foots the bills so the rich and the corporations don’t have to.  We could close loopholes and adjust our tax system to be fairer while reducing (if not eliminating) income tax on the majority of Americans — and we’d still be able to balance a budget.

And we can also complain about what the money is spent on.  I also do plenty of that.  We spend too much on things we don’t need, and not enough on things we do need.

There is a lot to criticize about our tax system and where the money goes.

But to turn that into “all taxation is thievery” — well, that’s just selfish nonsense.



You have to give libertarians credit for one thing: they are consistent.

Liberals want government involvement in economics (Health care! Welfare! Regulations!) but not in individual personal choices (Gay marriage! Legal abortion! No promotion of religion!).

Conservatives want government involvement in individual personal choices (Prohibit gay marriage! No abortion! Our religion in the laws!) but not in economics (No health care! No welfare! No regulations!).

And, of course, both are completely hypocritical even in that. Liberals want to regulate all sorts of personal choices (No smoking! No unhealthy foods! No assault rifles!) and conservatives want involvement in economics (Tax breaks for corporations! Subsidies to oil companies! Government vouchers to help private schools!).

Libertarians are consistent. No government!

There aren’t a lot of true libertarians, though. After all, libertarianism is practically anarchy. Most people who call themselves libertarians aren’t really.

Take someone like Rand Paul, who says big government is bad, except when it is telling women that they can’t have abortions or gays they can’t get married — or when they give our tax money to corporations.

Not that you should ever believe anything this guy says, but especially pay no attention to him when he says he is a libertarian, because he isn’t.

The Purpose of Government

So many arguments have ensued over a very basic question. What is the purpose of government?

Some of us feel that government should be used to promote the common good; that together, we can accomplish more than we can as individuals. We believe that it’s a good thing to take care of each other, and provide education, health care, and other social services. Government oversight of business is encouraged to make sure our food and medicine is safe and to provide for a living wage and safe working conditions. Let’s call this the “socialist” view of government.

Others feel that government should not infringe upon our freedoms and our liberties in any way, and should not use tax dollars for things like health care or unemployment benefits or other types of welfare. Government should not put so many restrictions on businesses or guns or our own personal lives. We’ll call this the “libertarian” view of government.

Most people fit somewhere between the two, and are completely inconsistent.

Democrats, for instance, believe in government involvement to regulate business and provide social services but are strong supporters of freedom in other areas (gay rights, abortion, etc.)elephant donkey

Republicans hate government involvement in business and social services but love to have the government regulate private behavior (what they consider “moral” behavior, which is primarily religion based).

Both the socialist view and the libertarian view are legitimate views. Both are valid. You can believe in either one of these views and be an absolute patriot who is being true to what America stands for.

And there lies the problem: There are people at either extreme who think that if you hold a view opposite from them, you are not just wrong, you are evil. You are anti-American, a traitor, someone who wants to destroy this country.

And that’s why we can’t get things done.