THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 866, April 3, 2016
Well this could be it.
E-Book Round Up: Small Government My A**
Special to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
After another one of my searches through the NOOK store, I came across the title, Small Government My A**: Things Conservatives Say & Do That Aggravate Libertarians and was attracted by its bluntness. It was written by Kevin Loesch a former conservative who later became a libertarian. If you can't already tell by the title, Loesch is basically calling out the conservatives on their hypocrisy. He does so in a very blunt and some would say in a profane matter. For those of you who don't like profanity, I would recommend skipping this book. Personally I have no problem with profanity, since it helps give a certain amount of flavor to the book and makes it much more entertaining to read. It is also refreshing to see a former conservative call out the hypocrisy of the right, which sometimes gets on my nerves more than the nonsense coming from the left. Though I did have a few disagreements with some of the examples that Loesch used.
At the beginning of the book he introduces himself as a libertarian and gives us an assurance that libertarians aren't anarchists. I kind of took issue with this because it shows that he hasn't really done much research on his newfound ideology. If he did, he would know that there are anarchist libertarians (anarcho -- capitalists) as well as limited government libertarians (miniarchists). It's obvious that this man falls under the miniarchist wing of libertarianism, but I think it would do him good to do a little more research on libertarianism. If you are writing a book as a representative of the libertarian movement, then you may want to show that you have some knowledge of what an anarcho-capitalist is in order to seem credible to your fellow libertarians.
One of my major disagreements with Loesch was his take on the Phil Robertson fiasco. Loesch blasted conservatives for calling Robertson a victim, since he was actually suspended for breaching his contract with A&E where the concept of free speech shouldn't apply. Loesch also shows his disdain for Robertson when he compares him to some bigot who brutally beat a gay man to death in another incident. About two years ago I had written an article about the whole Robertson debacle, though I had mistakenly called them the Robinsons. My apologies to the Robertson clan. I don't really want to get into what Phil Robertson had said, but I will say that I thought it was somewhat unfair that Robertson was punished for giving an honest answer to a question that was given to him. What Loesch seemed to have left out is that A&E was pressured by militant gay rights groups such as GLAAD who had to manufacture fake outrage at what Phil Robertson had said. Seriously, was it really that big of a shock that Phil Robertson a man who was renowned for having views that were both religious and old fashion wasn't a fan of homosexuality?
Not that I agree with Robertson any more then Loesch does, but I think it's absurd that any man can be forced off the air by fake outrage machines that are masquerading as gay rights organizations. I also think it is was unfair to compare Robertson to those who either use or call for violence against gays. Funny, I don't recall a single instance where Phil Robertson or any of the Robertson clan has called for any sort of violence towards the gay community. While I don't expect you to agree or even like Robertson's stance on homosexuality, I think it is intellectually dishonest to put him on the same playing field as bullies who wait in allies outside of gay bars with baseball bats.
I also had a disagreement with Loesch on the whole Voter ID issue. Personally I don't really have a dog in this fight either way, but I have always thought it was ridiculous that the left treats this issue as if it is some form of voter disenfranchisement. Another issue where I partially disagreed with him on was the whole controversy surrounding the Mosque that was being built near Ground Zero of the 9- 11 attacks. He used this as an example of how conservatives like to pretend that the separation of church doesn't exist, since they tried to interfere with the Mosque being built. It does get on my nerves when conservatives try to pretend that separation of church and state isn't an actual thing. What Loesch doesn't take into account is that the city board that approved the building of the Mosque also turned down the rebuilding of a Christian church. So basically the board favored one religion over the other. Therefore, the board is also responsible for disregarding the separation of church and state clause, just as much as the conservatives who tried to stop the Mosque from being built. While most of these are minor issues, I think Loesch could have benefited from doing more research on these subjects.
Loesch also seems to get it wrong when his discusses Scott Walker and the unions in Wisconsin. He said that libertarians side with liberals on unions for different reasons. I have always thought of libertarians being somewhat indifferent to unions. Unions are perfectly fine as long as membership is completely voluntary and that they don't use the force of government to make their bosses bow to their demands. At least that is how private unions should work. Public unions are an entirely different thing. The notion that any government entity should even be allowed to have a union in the first place is at best debatable. I think what Loesch doesn't seem to understand about the debacle in Wisconsin was that it was caused by the costly pensions given to the government employees, which were bankrupting the entire state. About three years later Scott Walker would turn Wisconsin into a Right to Work State, but that had nothing to do with the conflict that happened between Walker and the government unions. Again this is a prime example of how this book could have benefited from a little more research.
I also think that Loesch, who seems to have both strong opinions on both the welfare of gay people and unions needs to understand that they are based on this own personal beliefs and don't exactly reflect everybody in the libertarian movement. Libertarianism doesn't actually have anything to say about gay people except that nobody is allowed to initiate force to suppress them or treat them like second class citizens The same goes for unions (in the private sector). He also needs to make sure that he doesn't fall into what I like to call the Social Justice Trap, where his personal beliefs on these issues end up compromising his libertarian principles.
Other than these minor hiccups, I think Loesch was dead on about everything else. He was right about the Republican hypocrisy over government spending. I also agreed with his take on the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and just about every other war that conservatives throw their support behind. Despite the minor issues that I took with the book I still recommend it because it does show the divide between libertarians and conservatives.
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