Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 430, August 12, 2007

"What could be worse?"


The Problem with Conservatives
by Sean Gangol

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

Through out the years I have known people on both sides of the political spectrum. Some of these people were my friends and some of them were members of my own family. Usually it is my conservative minded friends that always seem shocked when I say something that conflicts with their values. I suppose they assume from my stances on the Second Amendment and limited government that I must be as conservative as they are.

I have had friends who couldn't understand why I wasn't jumping for joy when we attacked Iraq. There were others who thought I was insane when I told them that I wasn't too fond of George W. Bush. I have also received blank stares, when I continue to tell my conservative minded friends that there is only a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats.

Nothing would compare to the one conversation I had with my friend Rob, who was ultraconservative. His values were on the far right of the spectrum. He used to be my co-worker when I worked at a sporting good store, four years ago. I worked as a cashier and he was a supervisor for the footwear department. Whenever I worked during a closing shift, I would go over to Rob's department and help him clean up the area. During that time we had many conversations about history and politics. At first we didn't delve that deep into each others political beliefs, until that one night we were both criticizing Democrats for reasons I can't remember. It was then that Rob told me that he was a conservative.

First he told me that he didn't believe in government hand-outs, which was something I personally agreed with. Then he went on to proclaim that he was pro-life. That was where our differences began. When I told him that I was pro-choice, he looked at me as if I anally raped his mother.

Rob also said that he was a Christian and that God knew the names of our children before they were born. I said that I didn't care what his religious beliefs were; he didn't have the right to tell women what they could or couldn't do with their own bodies. I also said that if abortion was outlawed again, then they would all go back to the days of back alley abortions. He rolled his eyes and told me that we might as well legalize drugs if we are going to play by that logic.

I couldn't help, but grin, when I told Rob that I believed that drugs should be legal. This time he looked at me as if I had just finished anally raping his mother and started with his wife.

For nearly ten minutes he went on and on about how drugs destroyed people's lives and if they were ever legalized, there would be higher addiction rates. I pointed out that less then one percent of the American population used recreational drugs when they were legal. When the drugs were outlawed not only did it create more addicts, but it also created a greater abundance of drugs. I also added that that the War on Drugs was responsible for turning inner cities into war zones and it encouraged teenagers in those neighborhoods to drop out of high school to become drug dealers.

Rob just shrugged off my arguments and said that there was a better way to deal with the problems of the War on Drugs without legalizing them. Rob then changed the subject to gay rights. By then it didn't surprise me that my conservative, Bible thumping friend opposed the idea of gay couples adopting children. Once again he justified his stance with the Bible. He said that if gay couples were allowed to adopt, the children would grow up thinking that homosexuality is normal. If that were to happen, America would become another Sodom and Gomorrah.

I had to muster every last bit of restraint that I had left to keep from laughing. I couldn't believe that there were still people in this day and age that believed such nonsense. This time I told him that he shouldn't take everything in the Bible literally, since there were ideas in the good book that just didn't apply to today's society. He looked at me as if I was about to anally rape him. He said that he couldn't comprehend how I could pick and choose, when it came to the Bible. I didn't feel like getting into a religious debate, otherwise I could have pointed out that the Bible also calls for the stoning of rebellious children.

I did tell him that homosexuals are human beings and that they are born with the same rights as anybody else. Rob tried to tell me that homosexuality was caused by people being molested by parents of the same sex. After that I decided it was best not to discuss politics with this man, especially in regard to homosexuality. That was one of the last conversations I had with the man. Rob decided to quit his job and become a full-time student.

I did learn something from one of our last conversations. It reminded me of the reasons why I chose Libertarianism, instead of becoming a die-hard conservative. If you truly want to live in a free society, you must have tolerance for things you don't like. You may not like abortion, drugs or homosexuality, but these are things you have to co-exist with if you want to live free. If you are the type that want control over other people's bodies or if you want to treat a certain group of people like secondary citizens, then a police state is the only place you belong.


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