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Thursday, November 08, 2012


How Reality-Based are Libertarians?

One Derek Lowe (the baseball player?  the blogging chemist?) e-mails Glenn Reynolds about the recent election, saying that
“I can’t picture myself voting for him [Obama]”
... but also putting down the other candidates who ran in the Republican primary.

He’s a self-described libertarian:
“I think America is a great country. But I’m not religious, and my political beliefs don’t rest on a religious foundation. Gay marriage (to pick one example) doesn’t bother me much. I did, though, find the various bizarre comments about rape from Republican candidates to be stupid and offensive, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they helped to cost enough potential Republican votes to sway the election.”
Here’s what he says about a few of the other Republicans:
“But I can’t picture myself voting for someone like Rick Santorum, either, or a Sarah Palin, or a Mike Huckabee, just to pick some well-known types. I’m sure that there are people out there who think that if we could just get some more candidates like these, that enough people would flock to their banner. I don’t see it happening; too many voters find something “off” about them. The streak of anti-intellectualism in the Republican party is in danger of making it a caricature of itself, and such a party would leave a lot of potential voters shaking their heads in the polling booth. I’d be one of them.”
So here’s a question for my non-religious Libertarian friends: all three of these people have political records; what is there in their records do you find objectionable? Were either Palin or Huckabee bad governors imposing their religious beliefs over the objections of the voters of their states? Was Santorum a bad Senator, and if so why?

You profess to be non-religious. Did these three propose or enact laws that made your views on religion more difficult for you? Did they do something in office that would have given any advantage to any religion that would have impacted atheists or violated the constitution?

Regarding the indiscriminate use of the term “anti-intellectualism,” I don’t think it means what you think it means. Certainly the moral and ethical basis for religious and non-religious people differs, but the presumption among atheists is that their prime moral and ethical bedrock is intellectually based while religious people wallow in some stupid superstitious mire. This is pure hubris and nothing could be further from the truth. Every one of us is a creature of our environment, shaped and molded by the culture in which we are immersed.  Modern atheists live in a culture and a moral environment that was shaped and molded by a religious people, specifically by Christianity.  They may rebel against it to some extent, but to suppose that they can invent their own truth is analogous to imagining that a fish can decide one day to leave the water, walk on land and breathe air.   

What you find “off” about them is the sort of thing I find “off” about many Libertarians: a sort of supercilious smugness that is as earned as Barack Obama’s Nobel Prize.

And to be perfectly clear, the Republican Party without religious people is the Libertarian Party which surpassed all its previous records and garnered an astounding 1% of the vote in 2012. I believe that the Republican Party can get along without the backbiting of people like Derek Lowe who view most of the others in the party as superstitious hicks who would impose the Christian version of sharia if they got the power. For some reason when they have the power that never happens, but in the fertile imagination of Derek Lowe a Christian like Sarah Palin is simply an ayatollah without the beard.  Reality-baseds not how I would describe Mr. Lowe.

Bill Whittle has a few words on this:


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