Live As You Vote
By L. Neil Smith
Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise
I believe, after 35 years of thinking about these things, that I
have the answer.
"And pray tell us all what," I pretend to hear you asking, "was
The question, most recently reiterated in the timelessly
articulate words of that philosopher-statesman Rodney King, is,
"C-c-c-c-an't we all just get along?"
My reply, Rodney old punching bag, is a culturally uplifting and
eternal "Yes!". Believe it or not, I even know how. I call it the
"Live As You Vote" system.
One of America's great problems is that the socialists who call
themselves liberals never do any of the things they want other people
to do. Look at Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, for example, exempt from
every dimwitted, half-baked, evil scheme they ever plotted to have
imposed on you and me by naked force. They sent their pampered
children to expensive private schools. They amassed great fortunes --
in Jane's case, by cruelly exploiting her female employees -- which
they hired hordes of lawyers and investment counsellors to protect
from the very regulation and taxation they advocate. They acquired
thousands of acres of western land -- a commodity they publicly
protest should never be allowed to fall into private, Earth-despoiling
hands. And Ted and Jane have little guns of their own and permits to
carry them, issued by their government cronies.
Socialists who call themselves liberals should be made to live by
all the restrictions -- and suffer all the taxation -- they would
inflict on everybody else.
They should be compelled to live in gray, featureless dormitories,
sleep on identical cots, and wear identical clothing that made Chinese
Mao uniforms seem chic and fashionable. No makeup for women, of
course, as that encourages "lookism".
Dormitories would have no locks on their doors ("Property is
theft", you know) or secure places to store personal belongings,
because there would be no personal belongings permitted. In fact,
each morning all liberals would be issued one of the many communal
toothbrushes without regard to whoever used it last.
For safety, all clothing would be thickly padded so nobody could
hurt him- or herself falling down. Helmets would be required at all
times, along with knee- and elbow guards. Every edge and corner of
the dormitory building would be rounded for the same reason. To avoid
the serious, ever-present dangers of accidental stabbing, cutting, or
choking, only soft -- but highly nutritious -- food would be served.
Any attempt to make it palatable would be rejected as "flavorism".
Liberals could take comfort, as they slept at night, that, on top
of each building, on every lockless door and unsecured window, there
would be a large, well-lit sign:
WE HAVE NO GUNS HERE
Live as you vote, Ted and Jane, live as you vote.
Likewise, conservatives -- and nobody else -- should be required
to live the anal, authority-entangled lives that they would force
everybody else to live.
Conservatives are fond of seeing people beaten up by the police --
often with little regard to whether they deserve it or not -- sent to
prison for life, and best of all, executed. They're always going on
and on about the "filth" on TV and in the movies. They greatly prefer
privileges reserved for the rich and powerful to individual, civil,
Constitutional, and human rights which are fully as inalienable for
the middle and lower classes as they are for the upper crust --
perversely enough, even when they belong to those lower and middle
classes themselves. They insist that there are certain fundamental
biological differences between, say, men and women (and they may even
be right on that score), which nevertheless -- illogically -- have to
be enforced by legislation and institutions which would be totally
unecessary if they were right.
Okay, then, conservative women shouldn't be allowed to vote. (I
always wondered why Phyllis Schlafley was out pontificating on the
proper place for women, and not home where she said she belonged,
baking a pie.) Nor should conservatives enjoy the protection of the
Bill of Rights unless they bring in, oh, a hundred grand after taxes.
Their TV viewing should be strictly limited to the Lawrence Welk
Channel and reruns of Leave It To Beaver, only the word "beaver"
should be censored out of every episode. They should be all issued
special license plates (if we let them drive) and drivers' licenses
that tell cops it's okay to beat them up. Once convicted of a crime,
whatever sentence is normally handed down, they get ten times more.
And the crimes they can be executed for? Well, just ask them what
ought to earn a criminal capital punishment.
As a bonus, I think we've reached a technological point where
unwanted fetuses could be transplanted (without regard to the sex of
the recipient) into a dedicated foe of abortion, or at least each
unwanted baby given a home with the conservatives who were so
desperate to impose them on unready teenage mothers. They'll have
plenty of spare time to raise and educate them, since the sexual
abstinence they push on others will be required of them, and them
Live as you vote, Newt and Rush, live as you vote.
Libertarians, on the other hand, because they would impose no
restrictions of any kind on anybody's life -- except for the One Rule
that nobody has a right to initiate force against another human
being for any reason -- should live as they please and suffer no
obligations they didn't explicitly sign up for.
Of course it would be mandatory to vote.
Unless you're a Libertarian.
Right about now, I'll bet you think you've got me. Since the
liberal and conservative parts of this plan require that the liberals
and conservatives be forced to live as they vote, and since
Libertarians can't force anybody to do anything except in
self-defense, how can we be sure the plan is carried out as specified?
Simplicity itself: we'll let the conservatives police the
liberals, the liberals police the conservatives, and the rest of us --
like Ted, Jane, Newt, and Rush, obeying the imperative "live as you
vote" -- can go fishing. I think I know of a great place down on the
river, upstream of the Green Party's mud huts.
L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of The Probability Broach,
Pallas, Henry Martyn, and other novels, as well as publisher of
The Libertarian Enterprise, available free by e-mail subscription or
at http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/ His own site,
the "Webley Page" is at http://www.lneilsmith.org//