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This country’s recent swing toward Tea Party/Libertarianism is just one more symptom of our wasteful consumer culture, born from the luxury and laziness of never being forced to make do with what you have.  

Think back to the good old days.  When your radio stopped working, you took it to the repair shop.  Same for your television, vacuum cleaner, and all other household appliances.  When your clothes started to wear out, you hemmed and darned and patched to get as much use out of them as possible.  

Nowadays, you throw it out and buy a new one.  

And day by day, the landfills swell with silicon, plastic, and precious metals that luxury convinced us could all too easily be replaced.

And this brings us to the Libertarian movement in America.  In fairness, perhaps I should use the small “l” – as in “libertarian” – since these feelings seem less an ideology or dogma as they are a lazy attempt at avoiding the hard work of diagnostics and repair.  

“Government is broken!” they bellow, as an excuse for removing more and more programs and services.  

“Let’s throw the bums out!” they shout, always demanding replacement with fresh and inexperienced bums, as though this time it will be better. “This time,” they seem to think, “I’ll get my way as the Founding Fathers intended.”

The sad truth of it is that we don’t think it’s cost-effective to repair our government.  Instead, we think it’s better to throw it out and start again.  If the people of Libya can rise up against a murderous dictatorial regime, then surely we too can rise up against the tyranny of being forced to have health insurance.  

Call me old fashioned.  Out of touch.  Dated.  A Luddite.  Whatever.  I feel differently.  

If your government is broken, then you fix it, rather than throwing it away and hoping you can afford to pay the price of a new one. If you don’t know how, then you ask for help.  And you don't resent the repairman just because he knows more than you.  Face it -- he apprenticed or went to trade school to learn his craft, and has a better chance of not electrocuting himself and destroying the very thing you want repaired.  

If your relationship with your representative is broken, perhaps you can call, write, or email.  Better yet, you can participate and see the problems from the shoes of those who put their careers and reputations on the line to make things better, instead of demanding that the next guy you’ve never met do a better job of blindly observing your dictates.

In the end, an old adage explains better than I can:  Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t…

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    "No taxation without representation" DOES NOT MEAN "If I don't get my way I don't have to pay."

    by ThaMothership on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 08:29:05 AM PDT

  •  Libertarianism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    penguins4peace, Nica24, poopdogcomedy

    Libertarians are anarchists. But not the good kind of anarchists. The good kind of anarchist adheres to the original meaning of the word: against hierarchy. Libertarians are against government hierarchy because they all think THEY should rightly be at the top of the ladder. They think government is standing in the way of them being the Awesome Creators they truly are.

    Libertarians are what is known as "individualist anarchists" or "selfish bastards." They are descended, intellectually speaking, from the Boston Anarchists, who were also a bunch of selfish jerks, but much smarter than your average Libertarian. It was the addition of Teh Ultimate Stupid, Ayn Rand and her joke of a "philosophy", that created modern libertarianism. The recent addition of tons of owning class cash only hastened their inevitable descent into madness.

  •  Impractical (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd, Nica24, rovertheoctopus

    Like many extreme ideologies, libertarianism sounds nice on the surface. In practice, of course, it just means anarchy.

    We live in a modern society, and like it or not, modern societies need government.

    Good post.

    •  It seems like a fine personal philosophy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nica24, poopdogcomedy

      to me but I don't think it can equitably apply to a larger group, like a society. It just involves too much magical thinking, like thinking that there will be natural consequences for people (or corporations) who do shitty things. Like stupid Mourdock in Indiana who says people won't work for a company that doesn't provide cancer coverage--desperate people will and do work for all sorts of crappy companies. Libertarianism seems like a recipe for desperation and brutality.

      Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

      by Debby on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 09:42:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A libertarian is just a conservative (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, Nica24

    who will pretend to acknowledge your rights in exchange for eliminating any possibility of enforcing them.  They're a bunch of greedy, misanthropic tools, and frankly I disagree that this country has turned toward them at all.  It's merely the Republican Party that's turned toward them, and they're as American as apfelstrudel.

    "I'm going to rub your faces in things you try to avoid." - Muad'Dib

    by Troubadour on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 08:48:20 AM PDT

  •  Everyone is Libertarian sometimes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Kossacks are Libertarians on Drug Prohibition, marriage equality, the invasion of Iraq, taxpayer funding of pro sports stadiums and most Defense Department activities.

    Kossacks are usually Libertarians for a few minutes after receiving a parking or speeding ticket.

  •  I live with a die hard Libertarian and I can tell (0+ / 0-)

    you, it's no picnic.  He actually told me that greed alone is good.  This is a guy who's going to Pepperdine to get his business and law degree and here he talks like Michael Douglas from Wall Street.  He also claims that Americans' have never learned to live with less.  Well my grandfather had to quite school at the age of ten to help support his family.  Thank God he was a teamster though and was able to still provide for his family.  Also, it's kind of hard to listen to someone talk about self reliance and responsibility when he was kicked out of a very prestigious college in Philadelphia for excessive partying and drug use and is on government student loans.

  •  Libertarianism (0+ / 0-)

    is just another path blazed by conservatives in their never ending quest to justify selfishness.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:00:45 PM PDT

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