Friday, May 22, 2009

The Blissfully Oblivious Libertarian*

Over at The Corner, Cato fellow Jerry Taylor asks a question for non-Libertarians:
"For those of you who don’t embrace freedom as your political lodestar... If we are to prevent people from engaging in what some deem to be self-destructive behavior (guys marrying guys, women joining a structured harem, whatever), on what principled basis do we decide what sort of self-destructive behavior is ripe for legal sanction as opposed to, say, other sorts of legalized self-destructive behavior like gambling, drinking, smoking, or watching Oprah?"
Is it really that difficult to understand the thinking of ordinary conservatives? Indeed, the vast majority of people who don't hold to an ideological libertarianism? The answer is we decide on the basis of considered pragmatic judgment. One weighs the good to be gained against the negative consequences. Pretty straightforward, really.

*Lest it be misinterpreted, I'm borrowing this from the nickname of Alex Rios, rightfielder for the Blue Jays: the "blissfully oblivious gazelle" - extremely talented but a trifle abstracted.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rights for Me, Not for You

As I have noted previously, Gay rights activists often aim to bulldoze religious freedom to eliminate all opposition to their aims. The latest example: New Hampshire, where the State House is objecting to guarantees of religious freedom inserted into a gay marriage bill by the Governor.