Friday, July 9, 2010

#228 Have the Tea Baggers Killed Libertarianism?

In a "word," yes. Sadly, thanks to them, along with Fox News, Shock-Talk Radio. and wing-nut Congressional Republicans who have promoted and embraced them, it's a seven-syllable polymorpheme best buried in a time-capsule of good intentions.

I dasn't use it in mixed company anymore (ptui!), even when prefixed with "left"--as in Left Libertarian, my house-brand blend of the two Thomases: Jefferson's ideas of PERSONAL freedom and pursuit of happiness mixed well with Paine's SOCIAL consciousness that looks out for the freedom and happiness of others. Two sides of the same Libertarian coin, I've always believed, one dependent upon the other.

But, noooooo ... these creatures masquerading as historic Tea Party patriots are society's sociopaths, if anything, pariahs who will roundly cheer as millions of unemployed Americans, for example, were written off once again last week by the self-serving Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats in Congress. This points up not only the extreme selfishness of these people toward their less-fortunate fellow-Americans, but also their incredible self-delusion--ironically to their own detriment For an overwhelming majority of economists on both left and right agree that the extension of unemployment benefits is best thing for the ailing economy right now. Unlike the "Bailouts" to basically middle-men of the Economy, unemployment money gets immediately back into the "free market" that the Tea Baggers purport to love so much.

Moreover, who in good conscience could want to be associated with political terminology that is, au courant, so thoroughly associated in the mind of the public, media-wise, with the likes of Tea Bag figurehead Sarah "The-Constitution-Is-Bible-Based" Palin; or KY primary-winner Rand "Dismantle-The-Civil-Rights-Act" Paul; or the highly-publicized, would-be Senator from AZ Sharron "No-Abortion-Even-For-Teenage-Incestuous-Rape-Victims" Angle? (The first and last baneful banshees fully answer the obvious question, "Does one need actual anatomical and sexually functioning BALLS to be a Tea Bagger?")

And I haven't even mentioned the pestiferous purveyors of Faux-News Tea-Bag/"Libertarian" propaganda like O'Reilly, Beck, Hannity, and Stossel. What right-minded (in the good way) person would want to be identified with these people? Or, heavens forfend, the odious Rush "Rant-Radio" Limbaugh, supporter and hero of every mother's Tea-Bagger son. They've ruined it for us all.

Pity, too ... because Libertarian ideals once offered such a nice alternative to the dysfunctional two-party monopoly of the Late-Sixties and Seventies. What was unique and defining in those days, and NOT shared by either/other political party in power, was the Libertarian position on TWO WARS--total opposition--going on at the time (and still going on): the Vietnam War and the War on Drugs. (Yeah, just replace Vietnam with Afghanistan--as if you didn't see that coming.) The former was destroying American lives overseas; the latter, here at home. Relevance right now, today? You betcha, gosh darn it--with apologies to you-know-who. (more)


James Mosteller said...

In the midst of this Sturm und Drang of whether or not to extend unemployment benefits it seems that many commentators on both sides keep forgetting that the workers themselves contribute to the unemployment coffers with a tax taken directly out of their paychecks - oftentimes for decades.

I have never collected unemployment but have paid into the system for thirty-two years. Many of the currently unemployed did the same. Why cant the benefits they have paid for - for decades be extended another half a year?

Dr. J.D. said...

Or indefinitely--it is a kind of "disability"--as in all other civilized countries. Good catch. Only the employERS benefit, who, even in good times, will notoriously do most anything to get around THEIR F.U.T.A. obligations to a discharged worker.