Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, July 16, 2010

American Conservatives Are Not Libertarians (again)

The American right LOVES to claim that they are "libertarians." They like to wear funny tricornered hats and wave Revolutionary period flags and claim privileged connection to the heritage of the American Revolution. But then do stuff like vehemently (and occasionally violently) opposing equal rights based on gender, race and religion. They also rail against welfare but have no problem with bloated defense contracts, agricultural subsidies and tax breaks for churches (as long as they agree with the political positions of the churches in question). The latest instance of this departure from libertarianism is the circulation of the private data (including social security numbers, addresses, etc) of hundreds of SUSPECTED illegal immigrants in Utah. Suspected by whom? Well, the tea party vigilante who ILLEGALLY collected and circulated the data that's who.

This is really disturbing. What's the next list of private data to go out? Some Christian Avenger's personal list of suspected homosexuals in the military? "Communists?" Or will they simple start digging around in the voter roles and publishing the financial data of people who they think don't vote the way they want?

I once made smoke come out of my Christian fundamentalist cousin's ears when he declared his politics were "libertarian" and I asked him what the libertarian justification for banning gay marriage was. It was like when Spock outsmarts a computer on Star Trek and it starts screeching "Error...error... does not compute..." He was forced to either give up and end the conversation or admit that his politics were motivated by his religion not some sort of "libertarian" principle - we walked away. I would like to ask the tea party people what the libertarian justification for this vigilante move in Utah is.


The Law Talking Guy said...

Since the goal of libertarian philosophy is (and always was) to find a way for the wealthy and powerful to abjure any social responsibility, it is no surprise that it is closely aligned with traditional conservatism, even confused with it.

What is a shame is how readily the 60s generation of hippies - with its barely disguised anti-Americanism - allowed conservatives of every stripe to seize the symbols of the American people for themselves. Revolutionary gear should, by its very nature, be the garb of liberals, not modern-day Tories.

Raised By Republicans said...

LTG, do you have anything legalistic to add about this data theft/dump in Utah?

The Law Talking Guy said...

There aren't a lot of rules to prohibit person A from saying true, but private, things about person B. The causes of action for revealing private true things usually require a lot of personal malice and are real hard anyway. Even if the data is collected illegally, it is not illegal to publish it (see the Pentagon Papers).

My main thought is that this sort of thing can only backfire. You harm one innocent person and it all comes down on you.