Saturday, August 28, 2010

Quote for the Day

Blogger Timothy B. Lee, making a very good point about libertarianism and conservatism:
Personally I’m not interested in “limited government” as an end in itself, but as a means to greater individual liberty. I’m opposed to government programs that waste taxpayer dollars because higher taxes restrict my freedom. But I’m much more opposed to government programs that use taxpayer dollars to restrict freedom directly. I’m not interested in joining a “limited government” movement that considers the two equivalent. And I’m definitely not interested in being part of a movement that gives torture and preemptive war a free pass under the heading of “national defense” while it focuses instead on fighting the tyranny of SCHIP and unemployment insurance.
No one argues that a strong national defense is a worthwhile government program. But, no matter what so-called movement conservatives say, we do not have to concede an expansion of that program to include warrantless eavesdropping, torture, and illegal war-waging as a way to defend liberty. The whole Cheneyite "dark side" argument was a pretext for directing billions of taxpayer dollars into the bank accounts of corporate interests friendly to the president. The events of 9/11 gave them conveniently perfect cover. The fact is, abiding by the Constitution is the best way to defend liberty, because the Constitution already does a great job of defending liberty all by itself.

And, while we're on the topic of the Constitution, "promote the general welfare" is one of the topics of the Preamble. Every citizen should be able to benefit from what the government could provide. A strong national government could insure the expansion of land holdings, industry, and investment. So it naturally follows that people who fall through the cracks are given a safety net by which that can get back on their feet again and start giving back.

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