Signal Intelligence About The LP

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Friday, May 30, 2008

A Clean Slate, Not A Blank Check

I agree with Tom Knapp the Barr-Root ticket deserves a clean slate, but not a blank check. 
 
I tend to agree with Barr critics who will be watching him for backsliding on DOMA and drug prohibition. Neither of these is one of the LP's Big Three Franchise Schisms on whether the U.S. should enfranchise those who are unborn (e.g. not to be gratuitously killed during eviction) or who are outside our borders (e.g. to always be allowed to migrate here, or to never be defended by us from tyranny there).  The LP should be ecumenical toward a libertarian like Ron Paul who deviates on the first two schisms, or toward a libertarian like Starchild who deviates on the third.
 
But substance use and marriage are about the individual rights of adults for whom none of us questions their equal franchise under U.S. law.  Federalism is an indispensable strategy for 1) dividing and conquering the nanny state (e.g. through Tiebout sorting) and 2) letting states compete to outrace the federal judiciary in recognizing individual rights.  However, federalism is not an end in itself, and we are not the Constitution Party.
 
If Barr's position on drug policy is just that it should be defederalized, then I guess I can live with that if Steve  Kubby can -- as long as Barr doesn't speak in favor of states conducting their own wars on drugs, or in favor of the feds taking the drug war overseas.
 
DOMA, by contrast, seems specifically designed to undermine competition among the states in recognizing marriage equality.  We wouldn't support states being able to deny full faith and credit to mixed-race marriages, and we shouldn't support states being able to deny full faith and credit to same-sex marriages.  Our new Platform is very clear: "Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no discriminatory impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration, or military service laws."
 
We are the Libertarian Party, not the Federalist Party.  We should treat the U.S. Constitution as a sword with which to divide and conquer the nanny state.  We should not let the Constitution be a shield that protects 50 nanny states from condemnation by the LPUS.  "We, the members of the Libertarian Party, defend the rights of the individual" -- and that defense must not be constrained by how the U.S. government currently happens to divide up responsibility for invading those rights.

6 comments:

Peter Orvetti said...

As a Catholic at least some of the time and a recovering alcoholic all the time, I believe in the ability of people to redeem themselves. To say I am skeptical about Barr is an understatement, but I will give him the chance to show me he has changed. He's got five months.

William H. Stoddard said...

What's your third franchise schism? You refer to three, and you refer to Starchild's position on the third, but you identify only two: abortion and immigration.

Brian Holtz said...

Abortion, immigration, libervention. My use of "e.g." made this unclear.

Anonymous said...

Brian, while I often disagree with you on specifics, I also must give you kudos when you get it right. This is definitely one of those times. Thanks for standing up for real liberty here!

Dave Dellinger said...

Brian, while I often disagree with you on specifics, I also must give you kudos when you get it right. This is definitely one of those times. Thanks for standing up for real liberty here! I neglected to identify myself previously. I'm sorry for that.

Anonymous said...

The only changes Barr made on his drug position was that he wants the states to enforce drug laws and thinks marijuana, for medicinal purposes only, should be legal. He has not made any other statements. So precisely how can he backslide on this since he's hardly moved on this at all.

And on Hannity and Colmes he said he wanted state enforncment because they would be more efficient at it. A more efficient drug war? If his backsliding means a less efficient drug war then let's hope he backslides.

In the end Barr is not on board on the war on drugs. I heard his answers in Denver as well and he didn't change on this. He only said the federal war on drugs failed and said he wanted it turned over to the states. This is not anything more than a cosmetic improvement.