Monday, July 6, 2015

Left & right misuse libertarian ideas for partisan gain

How conservatives and liberals are both hijacking libertarian principles for partisan gain -  Shikha Dalmia, The Week:

July 6, 2015 - "Libertarianism has been at the forefront of the gay rights cause from the get-go. Reason magazine, the flagship libertarian publication where I work, has always maintained that the government has no business regulating — much less criminalizing — what two people do behind closed doors so long as they don't hurt anyone....  As Cato Institute's David Boaz points out, libertarians were making arguments in support of gay marriage way before the cause became hip among progressives. The Libertarian Party demanded equality for gays back in 1972, when the Democratic vice presidential nominee was still referring to gays as 'queers,' and endorsed gay marriage in 1976....

"But now, in the wake of the gay marriage revolution, conservatives and progressives alike are turning to libertarian ideas — and both for the wrong reasons.

"Progressives are doing it to settle a vendetta against religious conservatives and reverse-persecute them for their private beliefs. And religious conservatives are trying to refight the wars of the sexual revolution.

"Let's begin with the left. As if on cue, no sooner did the ruling come out than progressives such as Felix Salmon started calling for scrapping the tax-exempt status of religious non-profits that preach against gay marriage, just as conservatives had feared would happen.... But since denying some faith-based organizations a tax exemption because of their faith would be a violation of their First Amendment rights ... Salmon hinted he would be fine with the 'libertarian' solution to 'abolish tax exemption for all religious organizations'....

"However, today's opposition to gay marriage ... is arguably more prevalent among blacks and Latinos than religious whites. Yet their churches perform vital services for minority children, offering a semblance of stability in a sea of poverty and family breakdown. Taking away their tax exemption ... would make gays-rights activists look like fanatical Jacobins willing to sacrifice living, breathing humans to satisfy a thin-skinned need to purge every last vestige of anti-gay animus.

 "But progressives are not the only ones misusing libertarian ideas when it comes to gay marriage. Conservatives are ... already looking for ways to flout the Supreme Court ruling. Since Justice Kennedy ruled that states can't selectively withhold marriage licenses from gay couples ... Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican presidential aspirant from Kentucky, is calling on them to simply get out of the marriage business. What's more, Texas and Mississippi are heeding his call and have announced they might stop issuing marriage licenses altogether.

"Privatizing marriage is a long-standing libertarian idea whose whole purpose was to foster John Stuart Mill's 'thousand experiments in living.' Pulling it out now to deny gays an opportunity to get married — in a sense, keeping alive discrimination by privatizing it — will not just pervert the idea but also discredit it."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment