Since I've reconnected with a lot of old friends on Facebook, a lot of them have followed the links to this site asked the same question: "Ummm.....Allen, what the hell got into you?"
It's a long story. I'm going to start throwing up a post every couple of weeks about the things that have opened my eyes and that have attracted me to the Libertarian Party. Here goes.
I grew up on a rice farm.
When I was five years old, my Uncle I.G. got me a pair of rubber boots and a small shovel for Christmas. I was delighted. My father and uncle walked around in irrigated rice fields wearing their rubber boots and doing things with shovels. I felt like a man. I had the boots. I could move earth.
Three or four years later, when I was old enough to accomplish something with a shovel while wearing rubber boots, I wasn't nearly as pleased. I decided that getting my first boots and shovel probably wasn't a true coming of age moment.
But for almost 15 years, I had the privilege or riding around in a pickup, shoveling mud, repairing tractors, and listening to the anti-government rants of my father. I would give anything for recordings of those diatribes.
These were Daddy's most popular topics:
1) All government programs, products, or policies are grossly inferior to those produced by "real" people. This was especially true for the Federal government, which hadn't gotten anything right since Jefferson died. My father even called Daylight Savings Time by it's true name. Government Time (as opposed to God's Time). I swear this is true.
If Drew Baptist Church hadn't traitorously switched back and forth from God's Time to Government Time every year, my father probably wouldn't have reset his watch.
2) As long as government officials are elected based on how much money they can raise for campaigns, government will be inherently corrupt. Therefore government's power should be minimized. (Doh ! I understood this at age eight. Why can't other people figure it out?)
3) Jimmy Carter's head was filled with cotton, cow manure, wool, lust, peanut shells, Andrew Young's old underwear, and faulty circuits from Navy submarines.
4) U.S. News & World Report was the greatest periodical since The Apostle Paul put down the quill and was beheaded. When USN&WR appeared in our mailbox, Daddy would sometimes read the back page editorial, tear it out, and drive it to whichever tractor I was driving at the time. There were a few things he felt like I needed to know immediately. The general slant of these editorials is summarized nicely in points 1 through 3.
5) This is a bible passage from 1 Samuel, Chapter 8, verses 11-20, and I can't believe I haven't blogged it before. In this section, Israel has asked to have a King, since all the other kids got to have one. This is Samuel , speaking for God, about the pitfalls of having a strong ruler. (It's funny how God seldom spoke to large groups.) My old man could quote this backwards and forwards:
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day.
19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
20 That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
Remember the good old days, when warnings that the government would take ONE TENTH !!! were terrifying?
Verse 16 would make a great motto for an employment agency, wouldn't it?
The next post in this series will be a Thomas Sowell-esque rant about government intentions vs. farmer incentives for terraced rice fields. It's more interesting than it sounds. I promise.