Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tulsi Gabbard and Gay Marriage

By Rick Miller

A reader challenged my contention that Congresswoman Gabbard is an interventionist in domestic policy when it comes to gay marriage.  So, I dug a bit deeper to find that Gabbard did express a non interventionist position in her opposition to DOMA in 2012:

"Tulsi says she looks at the law 'with the goal being government getting out of our personal lives.'

'Marriage is a bond of love, and it’s spiritual and metaphysical in nature,' Tulsi told Civil Beat in an interview. 'It’s a sacred bond, and that is not an area where government should be involved.'"
Now that's more like it!  Now, if she were to set her compass to the concept of "government getting out of our personal lives", Gabbard would be right on track.  But, principled opposition to government intervention is, naturally, not something politicians are known for.  Alas, it becomes clear as one examines the positions Gabbard has on various issues, that she does not embrace said principle, unless it is politically convenient.  Ag subsidies, labeling laws, energy subsidies, health care- in all of these cases, Gabbard believes in getting government into our personal lives.  She is an advocate for expanding government, not shrinking it.  

For the non interventionist position on gay marriage, see Justin Raimondo:
"The modern gay-rights movement is all about securing the symbols of societal acceptance. It is a defensive strategy, one that attempts to define homosexuals as an officially sanctioned victim group afflicted with an inherent disability, a disadvantage that must be compensated for legislatively. But if “gay pride” means anything, it means not wanting, needing, or seeking any sort of acceptance but self-acceptance. Marriage is a social institution designed by heterosexuals for heterosexuals: why should gay people settle for their cast-off hand-me-downs?"
Or, Ron Paul:
"This is why I’m so strongly annoyed with all this, because it assume that this is a responsibility of government, and I do not believe that is the case. This is just mischief and there’s a lot of attention towards it, and I think it’s pretty amazing that there’s a lot to be said about the need for traditional marriage. But none of this stuff is going other help traditional marriage, matter of fact, it emphasis so much that the people who believe in traditional marriages are going the wrong way. We need to clean up our act and find out what traditional marriage is all about...these kind of things should be solved in a voluntary society, and of course, this society would be more peaceful, because if you want to be part of the freedom movement, you have one very, very strict rule. And that is the rejection of the use force, personal force, or legal force, by the government to do certain things. And, of course, it means you have to be tolerant of other people’s choices, you shouldn’t be too tolerant of government’s use of force, that is what we should be intolerant of."  (emphasis mine)

In the above examples, the State hate is palpable; this is what a libertarian sounds like!  

As libertarians, we have low expectations of politicians- even if they do, like a broken clock, occasionally take a position that a libertarian can support.  This usually happens accidentally, as politicians are generally interested in making the government a third party to every conceivable interaction between people within its area of influence.  This is why, in my letter to Congresswoman Gabbard, I commend her for opposition to Hillary, but do not condone her stated support of Bernie.  I think it is possible that Bernie is slightly closer to the libertarian position on many issues in comparison to Hillary.  But, Bernie is generating love for the State- not someone a libertarian would want to be associated with!

I believe that, contrary to their instincts, Dr. Walter Block and others are setting aside their State hate to support Trump, and that their association with Trump muddies the waters.  When Block says that Trump should be supported, as "...the closest to libertarian of all the Republican candidates", it really brings home the point that there will always be a "closest to libertarian" candidate.  Does this mean that, it is a libertarian act to vote for Trump, as Armentano still plans to, especially in light of the fact that he is taking positions like nuclear proliferation is desirable?  Or, that the libertarian who abstains should feel responsible if Hillary is appointed?  Of course not!

That said, can libertarians, as libertarians, support any candidate for political office?  Sure- two types of candidate are open to the libertarian to support in good conscience: the interventionist bumbler who can also reliably generate state hate (Hillary is the consummate example), and the persuasive non-interventionist who can do the same.  Supporting any other type of candidate- particularly a persuasive interventionist like Trump- hinders rather than helps the overall goal of the libertarian: to reduce the size and scope of government when and wherever possible.

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