October 25, 2008

What libertarians believe

Steve Newton takes issue with my (and that of some others, apparently) view of a supposedly "bigoted" campaign ad (and mailer) from Liddy Dole (Bob's wife) in North Carolina against her opponent. Dole's opponent has taken money from a PAC that supposedly wants to force organizations like the Boy Scouts to accept homosexuals and atheists as members (and Scout masters), as well as desiring to excise the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. I've said that Dole's concern about these issues, especially the former, is a quite legitimate one from a libertarian perspective. Libertarians would indeed loath the use of governmental force (i.e. the courts) manufacturing a right for individuals to intrude upon a private organization. Likewise, they'd detest the same [mis]use of the courts -- "fishing" I believe it's called -- by groups hoping to find a sympathetic judge (or judges) that will likewise "find" that the phrase "under God" is somehow a violation of the Establishment Clause.

But Steve and some other commenters don't think that's the real issue behind Dole's ads. They think it is homophobia and anti-atheism. Which, I conceded, may indeed be the case. But, honestly, Steve and the others really don't know. And as such, they're falling into the "kindred spirit" trap. Years ago, when DE House Majority Leader Wayne Smith was lobbying for passage of a bill that had some anti-affirmative action effects (regarding the Univ. of Delaware, if memory serves) our illustrious News Journal ran an op-ed that noted a white supremacist group had come out and backed Smith's proposed bill. They used this as "the final straw" as to why the bill was bad, and called the group and Smith "kindred spirits."

Obviously that was beyond ridiculous and grossly unfair to Smith; likewise, without knowing precisely what Liddy Dole believes about homosexuals and atheists in her heart, Newton and the others cast aspersions on her campaigning -- campaigning that is quite legitimate from a libertarian aspect. Newton said that Liddy was capitalizing on homophobia and religion; but unlike the News Journal and their preposterous connection of Smith to white supremacists, Dole's campaign ads are entirely on the level (and, again, I'm going on what Newton himself has reported; I haven't actually seen the ads/literature) about libertarian (and conservative) concerns regarding how leftist groups use the court system to force upon the populace what they'd never succeed in doing via the legislative process. Newton falls into News Journal territory because he says that since Dole merely mentions homosexuals and atheists in her campaign ads, she is engaging in anti-gay and anti-atheist hate. But at the same time Steve (and others) clearly concede that what Dole says about the Boy Scouts has complete merit! They do not dispute that the Scouts have the constitutional right to refuse to admit homosexuals. They also do not plainly address if what Dole's ads say are right on the money regarding her opponent; that is, does her opponent take money from a leftist PAC that has as two of its objectives forcing the Boy Scouts to accept homosexuals and removing "under God" from the Pledge?

Well, does she?

Lastly, no one is saying you don't have the free speech to speak out about what you perceive to be a wrong-headed policy, Steve. That is, if you think the Scouts' policy against gay Scout masters is inane, by all means say so. And, work to change it. I consider myself to be libertarian and as such believe (as libertarians should) that gay and atheist Americans should have the same rights as any other American. But these rights include the right of free association, which gay and atheist Americans also [should] have ... and have to respect of others.

Posted by Hube at October 25, 2008 09:01 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Being around 94% Libertarian myself, I agree wholeheartedly with your piece, Hube. I might not like it but I can't BUT agree. Not sure how Steve, I or anyone can else can change this policy, though. All I know is where once I gave generously and freely to Boy Scout fund-raisers, now I do not...at all. If ALL the public are invited to buy their popcorn (at overly inflated prices, no less) or contribute to their needs perhaps it should not be such a private or select organization. Think that's fair enough. As to the 'under God' removal from the Pledge...never really understood that issue so long we all accept that it doesn't exactly specify which God or whose. And maybe 'there's the rub'.

Posted by: Nancy Cleveland at October 25, 2008 03:40 PM

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