Shaky Foundations

Dave Killion — November 24, 2010

If you get a chance to watch The Stossel Show, you should check it out.  Stossel is a former consumer journalist turned libertarian journalist, and he has a knack for stating the libertarian position in clear and simple terms.  The opposition gets to make their point, so there’s a fair hearing for all sides.

During the episode “Libertarians and the Election”, Stossel spoke with Newsday reporter and Democrat supporter Ellis Henican, and also with Republican Kate Obenshain from the Young America’s Foundation.  Listening to folks like this fills me with gratitude for being libertarian, because it reminds me that I don’t have to engage in the intellectual and moral contortions they have to in order to deceive themselves and others.  Like what, you ask?

Like this: Obenshain wants Stossel to tell her what women he has spoken to who say they desperately want to be prostitutes.  Well, of course she has to use the word ‘desperately’, because exaggeration and distortion are the only way she can get the answer she wants.  If she was intellectually honest, she would have to acknowledge that every prostitute (other than literal sex slaves) was demonstrating her preference to work as a prostitute over all other options available to her.

Henican is no better, of course.  While discussing social security, he speaks about providing for the elderly and asks rhetorically “… isn’t that part of the deal we have, as decent people?”  Ugh.  What decency is there in taking money away from people without their consent, and handing it over to someone else who may not even need or deserve it?  Isn’t it part of the deal we have, as decent people, to find a way to help others without resorting to theft and the threat of violence against each other?

Such a shame.  These are two bright, engaging people, and they could make great libertarians, if they could give up distortion, exaggeration, fabrication, and self-deceit.  For the moment, that seems a little too much to ask.


David C says

Dave: Your post has reminded me that we should never stop pointing out to progressives and socialists that all of the entitlements and regulations they call for rest on a bed of state violence. I am listening to Bastiat’s The Law right now and he covers this principle quite thoroughly as well.

— November 24, 2010

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