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Fri Aug 21, 2020, 08:45 AM

Someone needs to stop me

... from telling my libertarian friends that their complaints about a "duopoly" in politics is just them griping about their ideas not being competitive in the free marketplace of ideas.

I like libertarians, I really do. They tend to be artistic & original thinkers, if not completely informed about how economics work in a post-industrial society, and a lot of them have that entrepreneurial hustle needed to make a small business thrive.

They believe that big government should mostly leave people alone -- and I largely agree with that. But damn, if they don't drive me up a wall with their "taxation is theft" malarkey and complete denial of the social costs (to all of us) in letting social problems and economic inequality go unaddressed.

So when they kvetch about the Republican/Democrat duopoly in politics, the snarky little ideologue in my head wants to point out that their political views are based on complaining about problems and never doing anything to solve them.

But that wouldn't be very nice. And I'm a Democrat because I'm nice.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 08:47 AM

1. You should totally tell them that

If they are going to live and die by the free market, so be it.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #1)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 08:52 AM

3. Nah

It's not my job to teach them economics.

They're still my friends after all.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #3)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 08:58 AM

5. I always just tell them

That they are fortunate that they don't have to live in the world they are asking for. It would be a nasty and cruel society indeed.

Of course, they are always assuming that they will be the cream that floats to the top.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #5)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:17 AM

10. Yes, agree 100%

I live in gratitude for the advantages I have in life. Decent health, a reliable job, a wide social network, and an interesting neighborhood full of diverse respectful neighbors.

And part of what makes that possible for so many people is a social and economic infrastructure that's guided by a government looking out for the collective good.

I think of libertarians as being more naive than malicious. And the same goes for Republicans with libertarian leanings. I always refer people to Hanlon's Razor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razor

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 08:52 AM

2. You know what they say about Libertarians, right


They're just Republicans who want to get laid and smoke pot.

With all due respect to your friends, they appear to care nothing about anyone but themselves.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #2)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:01 AM

7. It's okay to have friends with different opinions

The "Republicans who want to get laid and smoke pot" line is funny, but not a real definition. I can tell you that you're entirely wrong about them not caring about other people.

If anything, I think it's helpful to have people in society who are skeptical about how effectively a big activist government can work, who are on the lookout for government abuse of peoples' rights.

We just disagree on whether those concerns are reason enough to do nothing to fix historical injustices.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #7)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:13 AM

9. I'm not criticizing your choice of friends..

but the line about Libertarians being "Republicans who want to smoke pot, etc", is funny precisely BECAUSE of how real it is

I don't know how your friends excercise their "caring" for others, but I see nothing of it in Libertarian positions.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #9)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:23 AM

13. Well humor is funny because it contains an element of truth

but when you use sweeping generalizations you have to understand that they're sweeping and general, and that individual humans are a lot more complicated than jokes.

Perhaps I misunderstood what you meant by "they appear to care nothing about anyone but themselves." That phrasing seems pretty personal. My friends' economic short-sightedness frustrates me, but I know it doesn't comes from a hateful place.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 10:01 AM

20. Yes, but in some cases the "element" is larger than in others.

Beyond that, I think you're taking my comments too personally. I don't know your friends; I was speaking of Libertarians generally, and I used the word "appear" precisely BECAUSE I don't know them personally.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 08:55 AM

4. My one brother is a libertarian...and I console myself with an 'at least he is not voting for

Dump'...my sis in law tells me she thinks he will vote for Biden in the end. She is a die-hard Democrat.

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:01 AM

6. I disagree with your description about them. They are Just Republicans but more openly assholes

I don't think they are hard workers or know anything more than most people.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #6)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:10 AM

8. See, I'm talking about actual people, not boogeymen in my head

I can assure you the three or four friends that I'm talking about are in fact hardworking, responsible, compassionate human beings. Most of them are self employed artists. One of them is helping me organize a fundraiser at church to help victims of the Beirut explosion. They just aren't seeing the utility of using community resources collectively to deal with shared problems.

Honestly, I do not understand the impulse to impugn the moral character of folks that I hold different opinions from. If anything, feeling the need to call complete strangers "assholes" is a characteristic I would associate with Republicans.

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Response to Bucky (Reply #8)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:18 AM

11. engaging in private charity doesn't mean they can't be assholes

Dick Cheney gives a lot of money to charity .

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Response to JI7 (Reply #11)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:26 AM

14. Oh, the arrogance of certainty.

I hope you're more liberal in real life than you are online

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:21 AM

12. Over 90% of Libertarians are men.

That tells me something. I suspect that most of them are liberals who feel emasculated and can not bring themselves to identify as a Democrat because doing so would threaten their masculinity.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #12)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:31 AM

15. Interesting.

Oddly enough, of the four people I'm thinking about when I started this conversation, two are women. And of course Libertarians have nominated a woman for president. In my journalism sidegig, my libertarian friends hooked me up to interview a guy running for the libertarian nomination, and all three of the the people I talked with in his campaign were also women.

A number that extreme doesn't square with my personal experience. Where did you get that 90% from?

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Response to Bucky (Reply #15)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:44 AM

18. That's just been my personal experience.

I haven’t engaged with any who were running for office. I assume in your own experience, it was the male libertarians who were running for office. The females were support staff (friends, wives, lovers).

The vast majority of the libertarians I have met have been men, and the few female libertarians I have met have been “attached” in some way to a male libertarian.

But this observation is purely anecdotal. Feel free to ignore the underlying point if you like.

Libertarian = a social liberal who’s afraid to identify as a Democrat because that would be emasculating. Might actually be an economic conservative, if they’re wealthy, but most are not wealthy and are amenable to liberal economic policy. They take liberal economic policy for granted even when they spew conservative economic policy.

That’s what I have observed.

-Laelth

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Response to Laelth (Reply #12)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:36 AM

16. That are not Democrats at all. They are Republicans

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Response to JI7 (Reply #16)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:51 AM

19. They certainly won't identify as Democrats.

That would be emasculating to them.

But they won’t identify as Republicans, either. Why is that? I suspect it’s because their politics are principally liberal, but they just can’t bring themselves to identify as Democrats.

-Laelth

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Response to Bucky (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 09:42 AM

17. Democrats (and Republicans) have done the hard work of building Party structure at the local level

Libertarians and Greens run celebrity candidates for President and then call it a day.

Ask your friends how many of them have taken on a Libertarian Party Committee leadership role, or petitioned and actively campaigned for a candidate.

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