Wednesday, April 7, 2010

John Stossel on "What Is A Libertarian?"

I used to be a Kennedy-style "liberal." Then I wised up. Now I'm a libertarian.

But what does that mean?

When I asked people on the street, half had no clue.
We know that conservatives want government to conserve traditional values. They say they're for limited government, but they're pro-drug war, pro-immigration restriction and anti-abortion, and they often support "nation-building."
And so-called liberals? They tend to be anti-gun and pro-choice on abortion. They favor big, powerful government -- they say -- to make life kinder for people.
By contrast, libertarians want government to leave people alone -- in both the economic and personal spheres. Leave us free to pursue our hopes and dreams, as long as we don't hurt anybody else.
Ironically, that used to be called "liberal," which has the same root as "liberty." Several hundred years ago, liberalism was a reaction against the stifling rules imposed by aristocracy and established religion.

I wish I could call myself "liberal" now. But the word has been turned on its head. It now means health police, high taxes, speech codes and so forth.

So I can't call myself a "liberal." I'm stuck with "libertarian." If you have a better word, please let me know.

Go here to continue reading.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

(Too many comments on the original post site, so I will put my two-cents worth in here.)
Labels are most effectively used and understood when applied to soup cans, blue jeans, cars and anything else that some "Mad Men" have convinced society that such requires notation for effect. Groups tend to collect adjectives as identifiers to amass groupies and money--all subject to change to meet the perceived immediate needs of their current standards and/or agenda.
As for the "victims" of society--we are all victims. We are all born, we all die. What we do in between is ultimately denoted by the " - " between the date of birth and date of death on one's headstone, if one has the foresight to have purchased a marker of such to leave on a very small patch of this very large planet. The acts one does when given choices to make determine the quality of their life's circumstances--education usually improves what we determine to be a better quality of life, but sometimes simplicity is overlooked as cheap and underrated, especially by those who have more money than sense (pun intended).
So maybe the overlooked answer to the original title of this piece is obvious and simplistic--an independent thinking human being. A somewhat rare commodity these days, so please do not stop; remain compassionate (as long as it is not misguided), avoid contempt, and above all, have no shame and keep learning and share positively when you can.