Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin, John McCains choice for Vice President, has many qualities. Tough, smart, Alaskan (or maybe Idahoan) and pretty.

As Skepticlawyer notes “the play to the gender gallery in McCain’s choice is clear”.

However in terms of identity politics Skeptic may have missed one angle. There are claims that Sarah Palin sees the world through Libertarian eyes. Will Sarah energise the Libertarian wing of the Republican party?

62 thoughts on “Sarah Palin

  1. Its quite true Terje, here is an article from Libertarian Republican on the issue.

    She was endorsed by the LP in her run for governor and is known to attend LP meetings. She has a reputation as a conservative sufficient to make the right happy, but from where I am seeing it (I supported the Draught Sarah Palin movement since it started) she tends to be a personal conservative with a broad minded approach to social issues.

    She is a fiscal conservative and strongly against government waste.

    She is into fishing, hunting, life member of the NRA, owns a AR 15, flies a float plane and her husband is a three time winner of the 2000 mile Ironhorse race. She also rides a Harley.

  2. She’s a conservative on social issues. She supports strong abortion laws and vetoed gay entitlements. I don’t think anyone should get carried away with the idea that she is some kind of libertarian.

    She is though, heavily pro-market, cracks down on corrupt practices even in her own state party organization and is in favor of drilling in ANWR. So as libertarians, take you pick as to what is important and what isn’t.

  3. She is into fishing, hunting, life member of the NRA, owns a AR 15, flies a float plane and her husband is a three time winner of the 2000 mile Ironhorse race. She also rides a Harley.

    Jeez, that’s a lot of ticks on my scoresheet.

    Abortion is not a black and white issue on the libertarian totem pole, so I’ll overlook that. Gay issues are, so I guess she has a blind spot or two (like most libertarians).

  4. I my view anyone who doesn’t support peoples rights to chose there own sexuality or womens right to chose the outcome of a pregnancy is no libertarian. She is just another right wing nutter.

  5. Charles:

    There are libertarians who view the Scotus decision of Roe v Wade to be an enormous legal stretch. They argue that abortion is a political issue that rightly belongs in the political sphere rather than the courts. Unlike here and elsewhere where abortion is legal the US is the only country that has seen abortion laws implemented through the courts rather than the political process.

    Furthermore there are right to life libertarians who think life begins at conception. It’s a big tent, Charles.

    There are others who think the father should also have say in determining an abortion. Right now a father has no right to determine life or an abortion while still being hit for the costs of care. Doesn’t sound right to me.

  6. Palin’s first veto was used to block legislation that would have barred the state from granting benefits to the partners of gay state employees. In effect, her veto granted State of Alaska benefits to same-sex couples.

    I am not sure where the anti-gay stuff is coming from, other than that she opposes ‘gay marriage’ which is not an important issue in the scheme of things.

    We are already seeing some pretty wild claims from the demented left, but we expect that anyway.

  7. Charles, I feel that last barb was directed at you – considering you’re not a libertarian anyway and have some downright silly ideas about subsidising poverty to prevent an uprising of the poor.

  8. Unlike here and elsewhere where abortion is legal the US is the only country that has seen abortion laws implemented through the courts rather than the political process.

    JC – Abortion is criminal in Australia. It’s ongoing practice hinges entirely on legal interpretation. See the following reference:-

    Click to access thelegalstatusofabortioninaustralia.pdf

  9. Terje:

    For fucks sake, women can obtain abortion in Oz as a result of an act of parliament. It is not criminal if people follow the directions of the law. It is far more restrictive than it is in the US.

    Abortion in the US became legal as a result of Scotus stretching the definition of the right to privacy and thereby turning abortion in a constitutionally sanctioned right. this as far as I know has never happened in another country.

    One can be pro abortion and anti- scotus meddling in what was obvious over reach on the part of the court.

  10. I am not sure where the anti-gay stuff is coming from, other than that she opposes ‘gay marriage’ which is not an important issue in the scheme of things.

    Is that true? I read the opposite on some blog I can’t recall.

  11. I’m not sure I’d call her libertarian – but then labels are a funny thing. She is certainly the “most libertarian” of the 4 major players (McCain, Obama, Biden). I only heard about her a month or so back went the “draft Sarah Palin” movement was making noises… I was impressed, but figured she had no hope.

    If I was a US citizen, this appointment would bring me back to the Republican fold. In a nation that (rightly) has voluntary voting, I think this is where it will have most impact – rather than appealing to Hillary supporters (thought that certainly won’t hurt). Well done, McCain.

  12. As for the anti-gay, anti-choice stuff… she opposed gay marriage, which is not exactly a libertarian position, but as other have pointed out, has been rather positive on gay rights in other regards.

    On abortion… that aint a clear-cut libertarian issue. For example, would you support abortion at 8 months? (I wouldn’t)

    NOBODY who opposes abortion, does so because they have disregard for women’s rights.

  13. Sarah Palin is only accidentally “libertarian” for some of her fiscal conservative views.

    1. She was never endorsed by the LP. She got the personal endorsement of the LPAK Chairman after their candidate was repudiated;
    2. Her primary accomplishment was to *raise* taxes on oil companies (at the expense of every consumer) and passed out “free checks” to every resident, every year;
    3. She has no apparent interest in being “broad minded”, nor building a “big tent”, on any social issues;
    4. She is not against “government waste”, even if she did condemn gross corruption – even within the GOP. She was *in favor* of the “Bridge To Nowhere”, as long as it was paid for with other people’s money;
    5. I haven’t seen any evidence that she is “heavily pro-market”, nor that she had done anything to reduce state bureaucracy or hand-out programs;
    6. She is *only* in favor of drilling in ANWR because her state claims to own all of the state’s resources and collects an “excise” tax on all production – practically an Arabian Sheikdom of frozen tundra.

    Palin is a straight-line Christian Conservative, not in any way a libertarian-republican, leaning or otherwise.

  14. So moving tax to royalties instead of an income tax or a sales tax is an anti-libertarisn thing, Westmiller? Since when?

    And so what if that is her motivation for supporting the drilling in ANWR. She supports all all sorts of drilling in the wasted tundra anyway which is a good thing.

  15. JC

    I was having a go at no one but Ms. Palin, she believe that evolution is a myth, that women should be barred from choosing to have abortions, and that global warming has yet to be proven. She is a nutter.

    She has been a lord mayor of a small country town ( even by Australian standards) and a Governor of a state with a population of 650,000.

    This woman makes Pauline Hanson look like a Libertarian, and TerjeP wants to claim her?

  16. “she believe that evolution is a myth”

    Can you find evidence for that claim? How is that even relevant to being a federal politician anyway?

    “woman should be barred from choosing to have abortions”

    This is not a clear cut issue. There are many pro-life libertarians – it largely comes down to when you believe life begins.

    “global warming has yet to be proven”

    It hasn’t and it can’t be. Anyway get with the picture Charles, it’s called ‘climate change’ now – the world has cooled over the last few years and the environmentalists need to make sure sheeple like yourself don’t lose faith.

    She’s not perfect but she’s a lot better than a hawk nutcase like Lieberman being vice-president. I’d be interested in her foreign policy stance – there’s not much I can find on it. She has said that she hopes an ‘exit plan is in place’ on Iraq which is a good start at least. Expecting her to have a good position on monetary policy and the Federal Reserve would be a stretch although that goes for the majority of the US federal government.

  17. Charles; You are using the first part of her statement : –

    “Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.” without the bit that followed : –

    In an interview Thursday, Palin said she meant only to say that discussion of alternative views should be allowed to arise in Alaska classrooms:

    “I don’t think there should be a prohibition against debate if it comes up in class. It doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”

    She added that, if elected, she would not push the state Board of Education to add such creation-based alternatives to the state’s required curriculum.

    As for your statement that She has been a lord mayor of a small country town ( even by Australian standards) and a Governor of a state with a population of 650,000. it is ironic that this gives her vastly more executive experience than Obama.

  18. Charles,

    I have not claimed Palin as a libertarian. My opinion is far from made up. I know very little about her and had not even heard of her a week ago. After McCain named her as his running mate I followed the story and I saw the libertarian angle being put by others. As such I thought it worthy of further discussion.

    Out of interest on what issues do you find Pauline Hanson more liberal than Sarah Palin.

  19. George Reisman is unimpressed.

    In the following blog he discusses the way Obama intends to tax oil companies and how Palin has already done so.

    “Obama and Palin are both obviously ignorant of economics. John McCain, who picked Palin to be his running mate, has admitted his own lack of knowledge of the subject. Knowing little or nothing of the subject himself, he could not be expected to realize that Palin knew nothing of the subject either.”

  20. Jim

    There is science and there is faith. The difference is my view is science will change it’s view when new evidence is found, with the whole process aimed at producing new evidence to overturn or reinforce current knowledge.

    The foundations on faith never changes.

    Her position is gobble gook rubbish, if this is where the Libertarian movement is going then it deserves to be treated with contempt.

    I read this blog and what do I see, pro guns, anti welfare, anti science, and now support for an attempt to mix faith and science.

    It would seem to be a reflection of the position of the right wing nutters. If that is where you want the libertarian movement to be then fine, but expect contempt from people who believe in science, capitalism and for a system to has enough flexibility for people to do as they wish without interfering with the rights of other.

  21. Charles,

    It’s not religion that needs to be out of schools, it’s the government. I am an atheist, but I believe people should have a right to their own religion. That right extends to deciding how to raise (and by extension, teach) their children. Do you have an issue with private schools teaching religion?

    I would, of course, be opposed to government mandating any form of religious instruction.

  22. Charles,

    If you are going to turn a phrase, at least get it right, or it will look like gobbledygook. You might get egg on your face trying to ridicule a philosophy when what you write looks like it was written by a poorly educated foreign exchange student.

    You are a serial bullshit artist. We are not pro gun or anti welfare. We are pro choice. We want reasonable adults to be able to reasonably use a gun. We don’t want to force this on anyone. We want people to be able to get jobs, not to be taxed into welfare, public housing and generational poverty. (Which you see as some idiotic precondition for “capitalism” [which in turn you see as a system where taxpayers subsidise you to train and employ people] to “work”).

    I don’t think a single one of us here believes in creationism…(quite a few of us are scientists, engineers, veterinarians, or economists, lawyers, accountants etc with a technophile, anti-authoritarian streak) despite that you lack the scruples to admit this.

    You have repulsive left wing views on civil rights (Government knows what’s best) and the worst Tory viewpoint on how the economy should work that would put even Cecil Rhodes to shame.

    You will be shown up every time you display these vulgarities and lies. Sarah Palin apparently has a more libertarian and generally appealing point of view to the general public than you.

  23. Mark

    I can spell gobble gook any way I dam well please, gobble gook is like that. I gather from your comments that you managed to decode my meaning.

    As I pointed out in the pro gun post above, I happen to believe I have the right to walk down the street with the knowledge that the average moron doesn’t have a gun. It would seem a Libertarian and in the USA the NFA want to deny me that right. You arguments may be based on freedom of choice, your conclusions are the same as the average right wing nutter. If that is what you want to be associated with good luck, fortunately right wing nuttery is going down. It would seem this is being driven by the people who you hold in contempt ( true liberals, and the left).

    Oh, and by the by, one of the commandments is; thou shalt not kill; and there is no weasel words. It sort of makes a gun a bit useless unless your expecting a tiger to run down Bourke street.


    I have no argument with religion being taught as long as it is a good solid education covering the topic in full, not an attempt to turn one section of society against another. Both of my children went to CofE schools. To make sure they didn’t get sucked into blinked religious hate I made dam sure they both had a solid knowledge of the bible and the history of the other two Abraham faiths.

    For the rational working of our society our education system also needs to include a good dose of rational science that isn’t corrupted by faith based nonsense.

  24. Shorter charles:

    “True *liberals* don’t believe in freedom of choice”

    (Really charles – you think that freedom of choice is an invalid concept? No abortion even in cases of rape or incest, no euthanasia, no gun rights [even for vets or farmers], no freely marrying – a very interesting insight about your viewpoint. Essentially by totally rejecting freedom of choice, you are admitting your totalitarian tendencies.)

    “I don’t believe in a defence force, police force or the death penalty for war criminals or dictators”

    (Don’t kill anyone, it’s in the bible, but Charles has no worries about hammering the fundamentalists on science. The man has no scruples).

    “I unashamedly take Government money for my own business [I can make widgets but other businesses can’t possibly make “education widgets”] and support the subsidisation of poverty to support my loony theory about keeping people poor so they don’t from rise up and threaten my business”

    Really charles, with those gems we really don’t care about what you think about libertarianism or what advice you can give us. Especially with your self admitted totalitarian tendencies. We don’t need a mini Pol Pot telling us how to run our lives or what we should do to become more popular.

    It’s not that you can’t spell that worries me charles. What is worrying is you think you are rational, abuse the term etc whilst holding some very bizarre and hypocritical political philosophies (i.e advising libertarians whilst admitting totalitarian tendencies).

    charles – you need to sort out your own philosophy before you rip shreds off right wing nuttery.

  25. On war Sarah Palin said recently, “I’m a mom, and my son is going to get deployed in September, and we better have a real clear plan for this war. And it better not have to do with oil and dependence on foreign energy.”

    Sounds like a reasonable stance to me. Let’s hope McCain croaks it sooner rather than later.

  26. If that is what you want to be associated with good luck, fortunately right wing nuttery is going down. It would seem this is being driven by the people who you hold in contempt ( true liberals, and the left).

    I think what you mean is individualism and personal choice are ‘going down’. I don’t think it is, but if it ever does then so will western freedom, peace, prosperity, happiness, creativity, productivity and quality of life.

    Most of the people here are true libertarians, and those with the left-wing bias would probably hate Sarah Palin just for being a Republican. In that sense people like me effectively consider her the ‘lesser evil’ primarily, I suspect, because she at least represents the individualist with her moose huntin’, plane flyin’, Harley freewheelin’ ways.

  27. I am not sure what you know about the libertarian movement but we tend to accept that people are free to believe what they like even if it is illogical. It is in fact logical that if evolution is being taught then it quite likely that questions could arise from students in relation to creationism. In that case the subject should be able to be addressed.

    pro guns, anti welfare, anti science, and now support for an attempt to mix faith and science. is rubbish and you know that.

    What right do you assume you have to prevent people having guns? You would be a damn sight safer if there was a chance that 50 law abiding citizens were carrying in your vicinity, nutters go for disarmed groups, like you feel you have a right to force us to be.

    I am not sure what that last paragraph is supposed to mean. You seem to be trying to suggest that we fail to meet our own beliefs; while as an authoritarian you do not have the foggiest idea of what those beliefs are or what they mean.

    Palin is good enough for the Alaskan LP to accept her and that is about as good as it gets in either of the major parties.

    Radley Balko writing at Reason blog:

    “From what little of Palin I know thus far, she seems to be about as good a pick from a major party as libertarians could hope for… I don’t buy the “no experience” critique. Frankly, I’d rather have someone in the White House who hasn’t been corrupted by too much time in politics.”

  28. To all the regulars, I’d say Charles is, in fact a standard left-libertarian. You can’t be a true left/right libertarian using the traditional definitions of those words but, for reasons I’m yet to understand, people polarise along these lines. Charles doesn’t believe in set individual rights; he believes society should dictate how the individual should live, even though he has capitalistic and some pro-freedom tendencies. It comes down to the usual individualist versus collectivist paradigm.

    In terms of real world politics, I fail to see how we can work with the left and have any sort of coherent, amicable and functional political demographic. The LP in the USA has proven this doesn’t work beyond the ‘true believers’ and that’s simply not enough. I love the ideal of a ‘metapolitical’ organisation that unites people with different biases but I doubt it has any chance of having real world impact.

  29. Humphreys has been playing with the left wing / right wing libertarian idea. You can see the LDP blog he kicked off along these lines:-

    Charles – there is no biblical commandment against killing. There is a biblical commandment against murder. Killing and murder are not the same thing. The fact that christians have been killing for centuries in wars and otherwise should make it clear that this theological distinction is not only made on paper but also in practice.

    And for what it is worth I’m an athiest also.

  30. For what it’s worth TerjeP I don’t believe there is a personal god either, we are a insignificant species on an insignificant planet revolving around an insignificant star in an insignificant galaxy in what is probable an insignificant universe, and the church wants me to believe whatever is responsible cares, and the bigger joke, that we are created in his image, hell we can’t even count the stars.

    In the St James bible no six is “Thou shalt not kill”, it comes in at number 5 in the catholic bible, same words. I am well aware of recent attempts by evangelistic churches to weasel out of it, and thousands of years of church hypocrisy.

    Mick I think your summation of my views as left-libertarian is correct.

    I would defend the state as follows. If the state is ran on democratic grounds, then like it or not it should reflect the views of the majority in some sort of way, you can only unconditionally condemn the state when it is completely controlled by a ruling elite.

    I think all but anarchists would believe that the rule of law is a plus. You require the state for the rule of law. The question is where should the state stop.

    Clearly I believe the state is responsible for external defense and internal law and order, and the job of those dealing with internal security should not be complicated by ratbags carrying guns. I actually think the swiss have got it right.

  31. I am an unorthodox Christian who believes in a personal God. Humans are the dominant species of this planet, which is the most dense of the planets of our system, and which has a moon with very unusual properties which are needed for life. Our sun is an average sun, in an average part of our Galaxy, but our Galaxy does appear to be larger than others. Hebrew commentators have always understood “made in God’s image” to refer to our ability to plan and make decisions. (As an aside, the Hebrew letters for the name of God, when placed vertically, look like a stick figure of a human, so some of these references may be language points that escape us.)
    I am a minarchist, believing that small communities will end up owning roads and ‘public’ infrastructure, so the locals could make whatever laws they wanted on their ministate. And I agree that certifiable morons should be kept away from weapons. But ordinary citizens should not be prohibited.
    Thou shalt not kill, but thou can wound in the leg. Guns don’t have to kill.

  32. If the state is ran on democratic grounds, then like it or not it should reflect the views of the majority in some sort of way, you can only unconditionally condemn the state when it is completely controlled by a ruling elite.

    Well, Charles, you’ve previously raised the issues of abortion and gay rights. I don’t see how you can defend these on the basis of your statement above. The majority has spoken and they don’t like these things. Especially gay marriage; both sides of politics in Australia are holding to marriage being between a man and a woman. And by your logic, it’s fine because the majority are happier with this state of affairs.

    I’d really careful going down this path. From time to time a majority in some society decides that what’s needed is a little ethnic cleansing, and this continues right up to this day. By your logic, that’s a reasonable position for a society to adopt, if the majority is large enough I suppose.

  33. charles,

    You are one confused dude:

    “Switzerland has it right”

    (Giving guns to people in their compulsury militia)

    Yet, you described yourself as a left-libertarian who thinks the right to choose is BS and the right to bear arms, even for self defence in your own home is rubbish.

    You say you respect democracy but you have no idea about the populist and to my mind, just law in NSW which allows homeowners to use deadly force against intruders.

    You accuse the right and churches of trying to blot out thou shalt kill (not murder) like it is an immutable law yet you think we should have a military and police force.

    Yet to the two above paragraphs, we remind ourselves of your assertion that Switzerland (who forces militiamen to take their guns home) has got it right.

    You in turn are simply rubbishing the name of left liberalism as a refuge for totalitarian control freaks.

  34. I wonder if Charles, like me, believes that home-defence is good (hence having guns in the home is okay)? And if he leaves it at idiots and morons being excluded, but no-one else, from having a right to have weapons, he might not be so far from our opinions. My own view would be that roads and public properties are owned by the local councils, and only willing citizens should have a right to openly bear arms on public areas. Literal morons and idiots wouldn’t pass any citizenship test, so I’m with Charles on that point.

  35. NOBODY who opposes abortion, does so because they have disregard for women’s rights.


    Can you find evidence for that claim? How is that even relevant to being a federal politician anyway?

    From The New York Times:

    Shortly after becoming mayor, former city officials and Wasilla residents said, Ms. Palin approached the town librarian about the possibility of banning some books, though she never followed through and it was unclear which books or passages were in question.

    Anne Kilkenny, a Democrat who said she attended every City Council meeting in Ms. Palin’s first year in office, said Ms. Palin brought up the idea of banning some books at one meeting. “They were somehow morally or socially objectionable to her,” Ms. Kilkenny said.

    The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, pledged to “resist all efforts at censorship,” Ms. Kilkenny recalled. Ms. Palin fired Ms. Emmons shortly after taking office but changed course after residents made a strong show of support. Ms. Emmons, who left her job and Wasilla a couple of years later, declined to comment for this article.

    If you consider banning books you are not an advocate of classical liberalism. You might be an advocate of some of its tenets but banning books is not something a truly liberal person would do.

    She’s on record as supporting the notion that Creationism be taught alongside the theory of evolution in science classes. She never did anything about it however. And as vice-president she couldn’t do anything about it directly.

    Whatever her virtues and she appears to have them it should be clear that she is a member of the religious right albeit a moderate one. There might be certain intersections between libertarianism and Ms Palin’s views. Alaska is quite famous for its libertinage. But there are differences as well.

    I have to say that all the (valid) assertions of hysterical cult of personality viz Obama are gaining a little perspective by some of the hyperbole I’ve read about Ms Palin.

  36. TerjeP –

    Charles – you don’t necessarily require the state in order to have the rule of law.

    Utopian speculation does not a viable political system make. Emerson said that the state disappears with the appearance of the Wise Man. A viable project indeed. But I reckon the Wise Man is at least a 1000 years away. For now we have to deal with the Stupid Monkey.


  37. But I reckon the Wise Man is at least a 1000 years away. For now we have to deal with the Stupid Monkey.

    I agree. I don’t even think we’ll completely get rid of the state, it will exist in some unobtrusive form as, when used properly, it makes the individual’s life better.

    However, there are some societies around the world who still live in the jungle, and others that put people into space. How did this happen? I’d say it was due to the conscious efforts of the Wise Men coming up with ‘Utopian speculation’ (based in reason, not imagination) and then pushing the limits of the human experience to see how much of this speculation could be achieved. I certainly don’t think we came out of the jungle by trying to find a political system that could reduce everyone to lowest collective level in order to achieve peace.

  38. Interesting story from Time magazine re Palin’s early days as mayor of Wassila:

    …according to some who were involved in that fight, Palin was a highly polarizing political figure who brought partisan politics and hot-button social issues like abortion and gun control into a mayoral race that had traditionally been contested like a friendly intramural contest among neighbors.

    ‘According to some’includes John Stein the dude who lost of course. He’s extensively quoted. But not only him:

    Vicki Naegele was the managing editor of the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman at the time. “[Stein] figured he was just going to run your average, friendly small-town race,” she recalls, “but it turned into something much different than that.” Naegele held the same conservative Christian beliefs as Palin but didn’t think they had any place in local politics.

    Naegele recalls Palin putting gag orders on city department heads which she associates with ‘big city politics’. In any event what happened to the political culture of Wassila was possibly a lot less libertarian then people here might think:

    One thing all sides agree on is that the valley was in flux. The old libertarian pioneer ethos was giving way to a rising Christian conservatism. By shrewdly invoking issues that mattered to the ascendant majority, Palin won the mayor’s race.

    A way of looking at Palin was that she put an end to the old frontier “leave everyone alone” philosophy and started to impose aspects of Christian fundamentalism via the city apparatus. Reading the article she doesn’t come across as a fanatic, more a moderate. However the story is interesting. Many aspects of it particularly that she considered ‘cleansing’ the library should be more than enough to require that those who advocate classical liberalism treat her with critical skepticism.

  39. Except, Adrien, that McCain will be the President, and Mrs. Palin will be only the vice-President. Yes, if John joins the Heavenly Choir earlier than he hopes, she’ll rule, but we can’t know that.
    On balance, if I was an American who decided to vote, I would prefer the Republicanters to the Democrazies.

  40. There hasn’t been any evidence of any such imposing of her values though… just rumours and hearsay. The alleged “library cleansing” has not had any evidence to back it up, despite numerous people digging – but has had people deny it took place – and the more specific charges of book-banning have been pretty well debunked (eg, books she was alleged to have tried to ban at the time hadn’t even been published yet).

  41. Mick –

    Charles is, in fact a standard left-libertarian….Charles doesn’t believe in set individual rights; he believes society should dictate how the individual should live, even though he has capitalistic and some pro-freedom tendencies. It comes down to the usual individualist versus collectivist paradigm.

    I’m not vouching for your classification of Charles but I disagree with your definition of left-libertarian. It seems to me more a (somewhat hyperbolous) definition of a social-democrat. Someone who tolerates markets as necessary evils but defaults to collective solutions. They’re socialists who believe in certain social vicissitudes of liberal-democracy.

    A left-libertarian may agree with social-democrats on aspects of policy but will tend to doubt that raising taxes and throwing govt money at problems will solve them.

    Camille Paglia gave a fairly good description of this ethos in her interview with Reason magazine:

    I believe that government should confine itself to the public realm and that it should be as stripped down as possible, within reason. It should not be burdened by excess bureaucracy….

    I feel that capitalism has a very bad press with the pseudo-leftists who clog our best college campuses and that in point of fact capitalism has produced modern individualism and feminism. Modern capitalism has allowed the birth of the independent woman who is no longer economically dependent on her husband. I despise the sneering that our liberal humanists do about capitalism even while they enjoy all of its pleasures and conveniences. I just despise it.

    Hear hear. I share this attitude. But she goes on to say:

    However, I do believe that capitalism is inherently Darwinian and that a totally free market is ultimately inhumane

    This distinguishes the left-libertarian from those on the right economically. This is of course a dilution of libertarian economics. However as Paglia points out conservative libertarians dilute libertarian politics:

    the public realm is not owned by Judeo-Christianity. It is shared by people of all cultural and religious backgrounds. Therefore, I’m arguing for the Greco-Roman

    Many right-wing libertarians may protest that they are atheists. But both the indifference to Palin’s theocratic leanings here and the fundamentally protestant views on values espoused by many libertarian atheists show she has a point.

    You can see that from her condemnation of affirmative action that her position is distinguishable from social democrats in general.
    As an aside you may notice how she was in love with Clintons in ’95. It didn’t last. These days she hates their guts. And so she should.

  42. I would prefer the Republicanters to the Democrazies.

    Please read this and either a. debunk it thoroughly or b. tell me why the Republicans deserve to win office.

  43. Fleeced –

    I’m afraid I have higher standards for ‘thorough debunking’ than that. You’ve linked to an hysterical commnetator whose comments are about other hysterical commentators and their various shitsheeting hordes.

    Palin did not ban books she made an inquiry about doing so; she asked the librarian how to go about doing so. The librarian (those oft unsung heroes of liberty) refused to acquiesce and reportedly was threatened. She has been unavailable for comment.

    But it never actually happened so whoever’s cooking up these ‘lists’ is feeding the bullshit monster. I don’t even know if Palin had a list, she backed off. But if she thought it was a good idea then I’m afraid her ‘libertarian’ credentials are not exactly impeccable. I’m not condemning her mind I’m just treating the adulation with skepticism.

    The most in depth article on this apparently is in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. I can’t vouch for it ’cause I haven’t read it ’cause the damn thing won’t download. In fact the Frontiersman site won’t download. It’s a conspiracy 🙂

    Here’s the link anyway.

    Part of the problem with American politics is that it’s become standard for various agitprop artists on both sides to create heavy streams of bullshit. The citizen’s choice then becomes a. Just swallow your own side’s agit prop whole or b. Make skeptical inquiries with a bullshit detector and a shotgun.

    What do most people do? The easiest thing they can.

  44. For the record, I don’t believe she is a libertarian either – I think it’s an exaggeration to suggest she is… but some of her actions have been more “palatable” to libertarian minded people, when compared to other candidates. To hear some people talk though, libertarianism and religious belief of any kind are mutually exclusive… I do not believe this to be the case.

    A lot of the stuff that’s been said about her is complete nonsense and has no evidence to back it up. I can only make judgements based on what I can prove. You’re right about the heavy streams of bs (on both sides)… It seems like there is a lot more of it with Palin.

    At the moment, McCain/Palin are at least making the right noises about taxes, not having government look over your shoulder, etc…

  45. As for Republicans deserving to win office, I’m not sure any of the candidates do. I can’t debunk the article you linked (comment 50), and worse – find it believable. But Bush/Cheney aren’t running – and McCain, much to my surprise, has made a better case for change than Obama/Biden.

  46. I don’t believe that libertarian values are incompatible entirely with religious views. But they are definitely incompatible with theocratic views.

    If Ms Palin attempts, for example, to have schools teaching creationism as science she crosses the line. She does however seem to understand where her personal religious views end and public policy begins (at least more so than others of the Religious Right).

    The American system allows for McCain to claim a disavowal of the Bush years. However voting Republican would endorse Bush somewhat. That’s how people would spin it.

    Personally however I’m trepiditious that there will be any significant change in the US except for the worse. We’ve had two class A crooks in a row. But their supporters persist in lauding them.

    Democracies fall when the citizenry decline from strong people who stand up for themselves and take their politicians to harsh task into self-indulgent, bleary-eyed fat-arsed, cattle….


  47. I don’t think she is libertarian but I do think she is logically of interest to libertarians because she challenges the political concensus in areas that need challenging.

    In terms of the religion thing. I’d rather vote for people that want Jesus to save me from my sins than people that want Government to save me from my sins.

  48. I would still be inclined to vote Republicanter, simply because the Democrazies seem more committed to centralism, and I’m sure that corruption occurred under them, as well. The war gave more opportunity for corruption, but wouldn’t they have handled things in a similar manner?
    It’s a shame that the Libertarian Party isn’t fielding a candidate, or are they? Haven’t heard a thing from them for ages.

  49. Faith based politics are quite likely to lead to totalitarian/authoritarian conditions if history is anything to go by.
    If you take away the faculty of reasoning from political decision making, then it is much more difficult to settle disagreements, and it is more likely that force will be used.

    I think the religious-hijacked Republican party is currently very dangerous and in addition, there’s no reason to think they’ll be particularly economically conservative. Bush and McCain in particular.

    Fundamentals of ideology matter in a big way, and socialism is easier to defeat than thousands of years of supernaturalism which is the more important battle. To defeat socialism simply takes utilitarian arguments and doesn’t require a major shift in ideology. To defeat supernaturalism means getting people to accept that existence preceeds consciousness and this is very difficult when people are clinging to the promise of an afterlife.

    IMO politics doesn’t have a huge impact on cultural ideology norms in that culture preceedes politics (culture = cause, politics = effect), but I still think it would be bad news for the more religious party (Republicans) to be in power.

    In addition, the religous right don’t have a sound intellectual basis to justify capitalism or individual rights. Religion is anti-self interest and all about servitude and sacrifice. It’s actually more intellectually in line with socialism and environmentalism IMO. eg/ McCain is religious, an environmentalist and happy with increasing economic regulations.
    I think the lack of ethical basis to support capitalism partly explains why the economic reforms of the late 70s and 80s are now been eroded away so easily after such a short time span.

    So while I think it’s a difficult choice between two incredibly poor candidates, McCain and Obama, I’m not nearly as optimistic about the Republicans as many others seem to be.

  50. Tim, you are so wrong on some issues! Religion is PRO-self-interest! I am only in it because it promises rich rewards in the long term!
    And there need be no conflict between being libertarian, and wanting a clean environment! If McCain was going to sign on to Kyoto, then you’d have cause to worry!
    And I’m not wildly optimistic about the Republicans, but they still seem better than the Democrats.

  51. regardless of formal religion, Jesus gave us a good guide to living- Treat other people as you would wish to be treated. John, in his letters, told a Christian that ‘helping the old and infirm’ was true religion.
    What harm is there in these calls for voluntary action? Established churches say otherwise, but they should just be support structures. And individual action is not socialism even if it is social and sociable.

  52. You are quite right there Nicholas, the passage “This is what your king shall do unto you, …….” is one of the best warnings against the power of the state that I have ever seen.

  53. […]First, in all three conflicts, Democrats postponed the initiation of direct combat as long as possible. In only one, World War I, did Wilson decide to join the war without prior direct attack. Roosevelt maneuvered near war but did not enter the war until after Pearl Harbor. Truman also maneuvered near war but did not get into direct combat until after the North Korean invasion of South Korea. Indeed, even Wilson chose to go to war to protect free passage on the Atlantic. More important, he sought to prevent Germany from defeating the Russians and the Anglo-French alliance and to stop the subsequent German domination of Europe, which appeared possible. In other words, the Democratic approach to war was reactive. All three presidents reacted to events on the surface, while trying to shape them underneath the surface.[…]

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