A friend of mine cautioned me against using the term “radical” in my new political moniker. I think he has a point, but I also think that any political party that takes individual liberty, autonomy, and responsibility seriously is–at heart–a radical party. Furthermore, I am increasingly convinced that contemporary political culture is so overwhelmingly and systemically corrupt that only radicals have any hope at effecting change.
To those who urge restraint, that we don’t need yet another term, yet another movement, yet another political party…. I must disagree.
It is true of those in this broad movement that we are all, generally speaking, classical liberals. But the term “liberal” has been so degraded as to be effectively meaningless. A catalog of the errors and policy atrocities of so-called liberals in the 20th century would fill the remainder of this post, and as much fun as it might be to beat a dead donkey, I simply don’t have the time. It should be readily apparent that the term “liberal” has been irretrievably lost.
So too has conservative. The fiscal profligacy of this administration should shame the Republican party. I am troubled by the terror that homosexuality seems to instill in the Republican party. Why the party of Lincoln should so oppose the enforcement of the 14th amendment is a mystery to me. Furthermore, I am deeply dismayed by the extent to which the Republican party has worked to erode the fourth and fifth amendments. If the Democrats ignore the Second Amendment, the Republicans give short shift to the Fourth. The Bill of Rights is not a buffet.
I am not a Republican and I am not a Democrat. The process of Congress has been compared to sausage making, and that’s apt. But the pork has gone rancid and is spilling from its casing. Despite the growing stench, both parties are still busily feeding the grinding chute. There’s too much pork to process and our legislators are wallowing in the fat–and both parties stink. The simple truth is that just as the sheer scale of Congressional spending defeats any attempt at fiscal reform, so too does the sheer scale of vested interest defeat any attempt at reforming the major parties.
Neither am I a libertarian. The concern over the candidacy of Ron Paul is simply the latest in a long series of problems that have plagued both the libertarian movement and the Libertarian party. If you wish to hang to the term libertarian, you may. But I will have no more of it. I am tired of patiently explaining why teaching evolution matters, why terrorism should be opposed, and why although marijuana use should be legal, it should probably not be encouraged. I am tired of suffering the pretentious pomposity and bigotry of men who intone on the evils of the Civil War and I have grown weary of discussing the merits of using ancient druidical rituals in modern political campaigns. As a political force, the Libertarian Party is a mess.
But don’t misunderstand me. Hidden among the crazies and the loons, there are men and women of integrity, principle, intelligence, and worth. There are Democrats who would delight in sound fiscal policy–and there are a few Republicans who would as well, I’m sure of it. There are Republicans who are tolerant and respectful–and I’m sure there are a few Democrats who are as well. There are libertarians who believe that not all that should be legal must be condoned, there are Democrats who believe that not all that should be condoned must be mandatory, and there are Republicans who believe that not all that should be opposed must be be illegal. There are; I’m sure of it.
If you agree, let me know. Post a comment. If you don’t, let me know that too. If you like the name “Radical Whigs” Let me know. If you hate it, let me know that as well.