I just don't have the time, or patience. My reasoning for distrusting Libertarians would have only been illustrated by the fact that I know two, and they're both raging assholes.I, apparently, am one of them. But like I've mentioned there before, it's hard to fathom how little I care about being called names. And I ignore the last claim as well; if Jilla learns nothing from internet arguments, it's either because she knows everything or thinks she does; I still learn from long, drawn-out, and sometimes heated arguments with others. I was not born a libertarian, I was pummeled into being one via the internet.
In the interest of being "nice" and the fact that internet/L.com arguments never go anywhere, that's all I'll say.
But Jilla's main assumption here is interesting and one that illustrates a major problem in contemporary American politics: the cult of personality/team sport aspect of it. You've seen it in elections, especially presidential ones. To the Kerry supporter, Kerry can do no wrong, and everything GWB has ever done has been woven from a black heart of unmitigated evil. Same for Bush supporters, Kerry is a blackhanded rogue who never did anyting praiseworthy in his life, while Bush does pure good from pure motives always.
It's as irrelevant, though, as it is consistent, like saying I don't believe in plane geometry because my high-school math teacher cheated on his wife or I believe in a flat earth because my neighbor who told me of it once rescued my cat from a tree. Either the thing is true or the thing is false, the foibles and personalities of the adherents don't matter, because they are not the thing under discussion, or at least should not be. I don't ask Jilla to trust me, a Libertarian, I ask her only to examine whether freedom is worth her affection. People claim to vote for "the person," yet they don't know the person, but what they choose to believe about him. They vote for a god made in their own image, a mirage of their own imagining.
Of course there are times when the messenger is the message. If one is trying to claim that (for example) Jesus Christ made him a new man, but his would-be converts see him hitting on their wives, then sure, there's bound to be some doubts raised. As there should be, because a person is using himself as a proof and proving himself to be a lecher and a liar.
But politics is not religion and I don't expect one will become libertarian because of who I am, what I have seen, done, or been. It's not about me. It's about them, their freedom, their nation that must choose between a totalitarian future, brought about regulation by regulation and election by election, or a future where there are no guarantees but also no limits but what they bring along themselves.
Frankly, I think the reason that I'm an asshole (a while back it was "magnificent asshat," but I've apparently been promoted) is that I don't spare feelings when it comes to policy or economics. I don't coddle feminists. I don't try to pretend the world is other than it is. But we Americans love pretend. We hire politicians to pretend on our behalf, to tell us how healthy and wealthy and wise we'll be by turning our lives over to them, to cure cancer and save us from little brown men with box knives. It is, frankly, offensive to say that someone is worth exactly what they accept as pay, or that if they have kids outside of marriage, they are more likely to attract a substandard mate. I think those are valuable facts, but I am an asshole for sharing them. Tell someone they live the life they live today because that is the result of the choices they have made in the life they lived yesterday, and you're an asshole.
But I could be wrong. I may very well just be one, down to my very black heart.
I can live with that, too. After all, I'm not running for office.