Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On Compromise and Moderation.

My dad likes to share a quote from Mark Steyn about compromise. He says if you take a scoop of ice cream, and a scoop of dog s**t and mix them together, the mixture just tastes like dog s**t. This is supposed to mean that liberals and conservatives can't compromise, because liberals want to destroy America or some such nonsense. I suppose it works just as well for liberals in their belief that conservatives are knuckle-dragging throwbacks to an era of discrimination. Likewise, Barry Goldwater said, "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

I agree with both of these quotes, but I disagree that they mean liberals and conservatives can't come together and agree on solutions to the country's myriad problems. For the record, I also disagree with the idea that liberals want to destroy America, or that conservatives are knuckle-dragging throwbacks.

Liberals favor a big government, according to the understanding in the conservative zeitgeist. Conservatives favor a big government too, if you listen to liberals. Each camp thinks the opposite about themselves.

They're both right.

The question is on which issues? Conservatives favor a government just small enough to fit in your bedroom, according to a popular saying on the left. While they are in favor of economic deregulation and lower taxes, they are vehemently opposed to treating homosexuals and other minorities equally, and allowing people to make their own decisions about what they do with their own bodies. Liberals are just the opposite. They are against deregulation and reduced taxation, but are in favor of personal liberty and equality before the law.

The compromise is to take the best of both worlds. Why not reduce taxes, regulations, AND allow people to make their own decisions about their own lives? Why not have a GENUINELY small government? That's called libertarianism.

Vote Libertarian on November 2nd!

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