Last night I spent some time over at alan.com. Alan Colmes is a liberal commentator on Fox. He has his own radio show that I enjoy and his blog and chat room are both exceptional. In fact, it’s because of Alan that I started TarheelRed. Anyway, so, I was chattin’ up the locals and, as you would expect, found myself in the minority on many topics.
We discussed taxes, education, labor, Presidential politics and even Iran. The banter was back and forth, very quick and not unpleasant. It’s hard and frustrating, to be sure, being the only Voice of Reason in a room full of Liberals, but hey, good times.
As I left I had two takeaways:
- Democrats and Republicans are very nearly the same.
- Very few people understand Liberty
I think that all people, from the Left and the Right, want good things to happen to people. I think all people wanna help people when they need that help. I think all people feel that everyone should contribute to society. I think we’re all on agreement there. And it goes even further.
Both Republicans and Democrats want to coerce man to cast aside their wicked ways.
The vehicle for the Republicans is Religion. Via faith and God, the Right attempts to coerce people into doing good things. The vehicle for the Democrats is the State. Via laws and guns, the Left attempts to coerce people into doing good things.
We were discussing education. I tried to make the case that given we ALL want a great educational system, up to and including college, we should work towards building a system that works. I was immediately accused of wanting to privatize education. When I admitted that would be preferable I also ceded the argument for the sake of discussion and said we could keep it public. Even in a public setting, we have room for reform. For example, disband the unions and allow administrations to hire and fire based on merit. Provide bonuses and pay increases based on performance.
I hate teachers and don’t wanna educate the poor. Why don’t I want the whole country to be educated? It’s for my own good. Even evil capitalists want and need educated children and adults.
People, left to their own devices, will not find it within themselves to provide an educational experience that satisfies the needs of the society. And so the Leftist enacts laws, the Conservative pulls on faith, all in an attempt to coerce people into doing what is deemed to be in their self interest.
The folks felt that even college education ought to be free.
I asked them if my neighbor to the west was unable to provide college tuition for his daughter, would I be within my rights to knock on the door of my neighbor to the east and demand money and time from him, by force of gun or sword, in order to provide tuition for my neighbor’s daughter.
They laughed and considered me extreme.
I then asked what real difference is there in THAT scenario and the one where a bunch of people vote to take my eastern neighbors money via the state. I mentioned that they had a confused sense of Liberty.
Which brings me to point number 2 and perhaps the quote of the year:
Sadly, I had to acknowledge that neither the Democrat nor the Republican are interested in Liberty. Rather, only forcing their brand of charity through their approved vehicle of coercion.
Liberty Schmiberty indeed.