Monday, February 18, 2008

Stevie Joe Discusses Presidential Politics in the Holler

Things have been busy for ol' Stevie Joe lately. I've been slaving away down in the pundit mines during the day, and Mrs. Stevie Joe has plenty of chores for me when I get home. Plus, Junior is fully healed and mobile. So, he is causing headaches for the community as a whole. Since we are in the middle of a deep winter freeze, Junior chooses to pass out indoors, usually on my davenport.

The gang down at Prudy's has been all abuzz with the presidential primaries. Of course, this is not your typical high-minded political discourse. It's usually just bitching about having to choose between a woman and Borat Osama, the colored fellow. Not that this is really an issue since most folks in the Holler are Republicans. So, they can safely choose amongst a number of old white men, just like usual.

In fact, one old white man in particular has caught their attention, and that's Ron Paul. Ron Paul is a Libertarian-turned-Republican because nobody is electing a Libertarian to anything. Mr. Paul still believes in limited government, and that is regarded as a good thing around here. When the local face of government is Mayor Barney the Dirt Thief, you want as little government as possible.

However, some of these limited government folks aren't always consistent. Don't touch my guns but feel free to take away the hippies' dope and spy on the malcontents. Cut off the welfare bums but make sure my road is nice and smooth. In other words, "screw the other guy, I want mine." At least the Republicans and Democrats are up front about it.

Of course, there are some folks who say they want the government out of just about everything. It's fine with them to allow the hippies to have their pot, and they are willing to pay to travel on private road networks. We call these people "crazy." It's an idealistic vision that oversimplifies reality. This is true with all pure ideologies. The world is simply too complicated for any one ideology to provide all the best answers. Reality requires compromise, flexibility, and good judgment.

A true libertarian (small "L") would say that everyone is permitted to do what one wishes and that the only just role of government is to intervene when the exercise of liberty by one person interferes with another's. So, driving under the influence would not be illegal. Despite your intoxication, you are not infringing upon anyone else until you run into them.

The libertarian says to punish those who cause accidents, but not those who simply drive drunk. Sounds OK in theory, but it is difficult to implement in reality. Doing away with DUI regulations would require greater personal responsibility. That is, unless people refrain from abusing this freedom, more accidents will occur and more lives will be lost.

Of course, this goes over the head of most folks down at Prudy's. They are just worried about having somebody other than an old, white guy as President.

Don't make me pull out John Locke's Second Treatise of Government,
Stevie Joe Parker

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