I am not a conservative. A least that was the case. See, I was raised by a conservative father and liberal mother during the Reagan/Meese years, and during this time I picked up a lot of civil liberties beliefs. Due process, freedom of speech, freedom of religion (not that I subscribe to any faith) and these were tempered with a strong dose of personal autonomy; gay marriage is an unalloyed good, who is to say what I can or cannot put in my body, why do I have to ask the gov’t permission to marry someone, and so on. This was tempered by a strong love of the shooting sports and an equally strong belief in the second amendment, namely that we are all the militia, and it isn’t for the gov’t to say who is and who isn’t part of that.
And while I started my political thinking as a Democrat, as they were the only people who really seemed to care about those things, and in my youthful foolishness I rejected the Libertarian party due to its weak stance on environmental issues. See, my liberal mother is a true Berkeleyitte, and her cousin was president of the Sierra Club for a time, and always a lawyer for them. I grew up steeped in the ideas of environmentalism. But as I got older, watched Dem politicians I thought I respected fail at their stated morals, I found myself drifting away from that party of my youth. And about one week into the Obama administration, when he was proposing HRC as Secretary of State that I left in disgust.
And as I have gotten older, and more acquainted with the libertarian philosophy (I am a compulsive reader) that I began to really understand political history in both the US and (to a much lesser degree) the world at large, I began to believe in on very strong thing that has animated my libertarianism; namely that I don’t really care if the world gets more progressive or conservative. Because it will, in cycles both large and small. And that the most important thing for a person who is pretty centrist is to maintain the balance that allows for this, the switching of poles, balanced with those civil rights. That all men are created equal, God damn it.
You see, in any given body of people, half will be more conservative that the other half, and vice versa. And while that is a tautology, it informs my perspective. What allows for change, is the see-saw action of the desire to move society forward, against the desire to put the brakes on too much progress. And while the people at either end of the bell curve (as that essentially what the Left-Right axis of the political spectrum looks like) will not move, the apex of that bell curve will sway back and forth across the mid-point of that graph. This is due entirely to the push-pull of those two poles, the desire to keep going, damn the torpedoes and the desire to sit down and throw a spanner in the works. Libertarianism aims, through a pretty solid philosophy, to not split the baby, but allow multiple babies to be raised. Just don’t step on anyone, and you can do what you want.
Do you want to live by the tenants of your faith? Get down with it, but you don’t get to cross the all men are equal line. Want to try your hand at heaven on earth? Knock yourselves out, but you don’t get to take away my right to defend myself or my loved ones. And this can be boiled down to the Non-Aggression Principle. Or, don’t hurt anyone and don’t take their stuff.
Now, there are people who seem to have a limited view of this, and an example of that is related to Reparations. Now, for those of you who do not know (what hell, damn guy!) this pertains to paying those affected by slavery some sort of cash/social amount. Some look at this as just, some look at it as no more than paying the Dane Geld. Well, here is where I stand on it; show me a person how has suffered from slavery, and I will point to a person who deserves reparations. And I will be very tight on that. Who was the owner of this slave? Are they still alive? No? Is the former slave still alive? No? Sorry Charlie, no reparations. You see, I don’t believe in takings, and if no one alive took the liberty of someone, there is no current taking. Except the takings enforced out of some ancestral guilt, which is BS. They, the ancestors, did no taking, so aren’t guilty of anything. Oh, people will say all sorts of things after that. They will talk about Redlining, Jim Crow, things like that. On the later, I will agree that was an effect, so now you need to show me the specific effect, who was harmed and who did the harming. You see, the number of people who have been fucked over by shit laws that weren’t struck down, for whatever reason, is legion. Gays, Jews, Hispanics, women, and so on. You see, this is where that pesky little demon Progressive, come in handy. No conservative wants to go back to those days, that is not what they are about. Usually. So, society moved on, because it needed to. And in that moving on society ended up here, and that ain’t too cool. So, we are seeing the beginnings of a social pushback. This is the general slowing down and speeding up of society. All normal. As long as everyone plays by the rules. (Hint, I think the D’s are cheating.)
Oh, wait, I kind of elided that whole Jim Crow thing, didn’t I. Well, you see, we had reparations for Jim Crow, they are called Affirmative Action. And, well, they worked out for the first generation, and then have slowly slid down the slippery slop until we have what is going on now: a sinecure. And it is failing to halt the slide of African Americans into a gutter of racial politics and resentment.
And this is part of what I mean by not wanting to live in utopia. It won’t work. Why? Well, there are people there, people who don’t believe in your, or any utopia. And what starts as a calling, becomes a business, turns into a racket. Now, do we want any part of that as our government? I didn’t think so.