Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 385, September 17, 2006

"Libertarians are happy to have a dialog, even if people don't agree."


I'm a libertarian!
by Ron Beatty

Credit The Libertarian Enterprise

You know, I've often described myself as either the most liberal conservative on earth, or the most conservative liberal. I firmly believe that it is every woman's right to choose what to do with her own body, whether I personally like the choice she may make, or not. This includes abortion, prostitution, exotic dancer, stripper or what ever other career choice or lifestyle decision she may make. Her body, her business, none of mine. I firmly believe that every person has the right to choose whatever life partners they wish, of whatever gender or number. Conventional marriage? Two men? Two women? A mixed group of more than two? So what? Again, not my life, not my decision, not my business.

On the other hand, I just as firmly believe that no person has the right to depend on the state for their continued existence. If you're out of work, find a job! It's not really that hard, if you work at it. The only time in my life I've ever been out of work for more than a day, I was recovering from surgery! Sure, it may not be the kind of work that you WANT, but it's better than being a worthless drone! In my life, I've done almost everything, at one point or another. I've shoveled horse manure, waded through chicken crap (literally!), washed dishes in a restaurant. I've operated and programmed computers. I've worked security and law enforcement, driven an armored car and been an investigator. I've cooked in a restaurant and written screenplays. I've driven a forklift in a feed mill and worked in a shoe factory and pants factory. I've been a semi-trailer mechanic. I've even worked as a telemarketer, when that is what it took to feed my family! My point is this: Everyone may need a little help, every now and then, and there is absolutely no shame in that. But to willingly depend on the state for your every need is not only NOT your right, it is lazy, wrong, and immoral. It is theft, pure and simple! Even the most menial or degrading job is better than that!

So, given that my views are opposed to two of the main views of both major sides of the political spectrum, which am I? Conservative? Or Liberal?

I am not a well-educated man, in the classical sense of the word. I was never graduated from college, just a two year technical school. Most of what I've learned in life came from experience, sometimes of the most painful sort. I don't pretend to understand all the ramifications of economic thought, the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences between the economic theories that seem to prevail in the world. I couldn't tell you the difference between LeFevre and Rothbard, and to tell you the truth, I honestly don't care!

I am a simple man, with simple pleasures. I enjoy good music, good conversation with friends. The music can range from bluegrass to classical, country to pop and rock. The conversation might be about life, science, space, religion, spirituality (two vastly different things!) or it might be something as simple as the best way to get the jungle that is my yard under control.

I understand freedom. The freedom to make my own choices and to abide by them, win or lose, succeed or fail. Freedom to travel where I will, without let or hindrance. Freedom to live my life my way, as long as I harm none. Freedom to make the CHOICE to smoke or not to smoke, freedom to make the CHOICE as to which products to buy, whether or not someone else thinks they are appropriate, dangerous or unnecessary.

I am a man who is getting sick and tired of government intrusion in everyday life; sick and tired of special interest groups controlling too many aspects of everyday life; sick and tired of religious rightists and moral majority pukes telling me what I can and can't, should or shouldn't do.

I'm mad as hell.

What am I?

I'm a libertarian!


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