The essence of libertarianism

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Digby:

I’m not sure who believes that just because someone has educated herself about geography and foreign leadership that her ideas must automatically be followed. It’s just that most of us used to think that presidents should have some basic knowledge of facts before they propose policies. The campaign of 2016 has revealed that such qualifications are no longer considered a requirement for the job — at least not by the half of the electorate who claim to be voting for Trump or Johnson.

Let me amend: before George W. Bush we assumed presidents should ave some basic knowledge of facts before they propose policies.

She refers, of course, to Gary Johnson, who weeks after thinking Aleppo was a brand of raspberry gelato couldn’t think yesterday of a single foreign leader he admires. He could’ve gone the true libertarian route and said, “Chris, I admire no foreign leaders; we need to put America first,” but the last clause has an unpleasant ring to it. Wlliam Weld, the vice presidential nominee with an IQ over two figures, helpfully offered “Angela Merkel,” suggesting how a Johnson administration would operate.

Last Friday I wrote about what a libertarian president will mean for the environment. Should Trump lose, the GOP will transmutate in five to eight years into Johnson’s kind of man: they’ll dump the odium against homosexuals and pursue criminal justice reforms while abandoning the poor to the remains of welfare and letting the young minds whom Wall Street will hire come up with newer models for vaporizing the global economy that will make collateral debt obligations and credit default swaps look like Monopoly money.

Libertarianism rewards the atomization of society. There is no society. What remains would realize Margaret Thatcher’s statement that “there is no such thing as society”; instead “there are individual men and women, and there are families.” Libertarianism pats the ignorant man and woman on the back. It encourages indifference to neighbors. Its lips quiver when I take the shirt off my back for the sake of a homeless man and cheers when I endorse politicians who slash social services. Following the logic to their thinking to its inevitable conclusion, libertarians believe the correct subject-verb agreement is “The United States are,” not “the United States is.

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