Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A-yep, that's about right...

Rolling down the High Road, I saw this, from L. Neil Smith:

...during any election season, a lot of comparisons are invariably made between politicians and "ladies of the evening". Some individuals with different values than mine might call me a square, I suppose, but I have never sought nor ever employed the services offered by the latter. Knowing history and human nature as I do, however, especially the history and nature of politicians -- and keeping in mind all of the tragedy, destruction, wastage, and death for which even the least of their ilk is historically responsible -- I have always believed that such comparisons were a grave insult to prostitutes.

Consider: did a prostitute ever show up on your doorstep demanding that you fork over a significant fraction of your income, whether you want her services or not? Did she have an entire bureaucracy of goons to threaten you and make sure you pay up? Has a prostitute ever thrown you into prison or stolen your house or car because you wouldn't pay her?

Has a prostitute ever told you what religion to practice or how to practice it? Has she ever threatened to censor you or punish you for something you wrote or said? Has she ever shut down a single newspaper or radio or TV station? Has she ever demanded that you purchase a license from her to hold a meeting or a march, or put you on a list of suspected terrorists just because you wrote her a letter she didn't like?

Politicians do that sort of thing all the time....
An excellent point, one that should be spread far and wide, and then we have this rather trenchant observation over at Mr. Bane's place:
Libertarians are always saying that if they can get the gun nuts and the pot heads together, they would run the country.

I think that the basis of the libertarians is that you accept that there are liberties that you may not value but other people do and together you have to willing to fight as one for the protection of both.

Sounds about right to me, although sometimes I wonder how many of the "potheads" are for more government intrusion into other people's lives via odious measures like the Assault Weapons Ban. By the same token, of course, you could say that there's a fair number of gun owners who are all for things like the War On Some Drugs. But somehow I think there's more than a grain of truth to the above-quoted observation. It'd be quite interesting to see what would happen if a candidate went after those two voting blocs with the message that an attack on one liberty is an attack on all of them. Somehow I don't see that happening any time soon, though, and it's a bit disheartening...