A Dopey Argument

A cartoon in a recent issue of the New Yorker shows a fireman arriving at a burning house only to be told by the homeowner, “No thanks.  I’m a Libertarian.”  That’s a cute joke because it pushes a political philosophy to its furthest extreme where virtually any political philosophy becomes absurd.

But our cartoonish friends on the left actually think this is some kind of serious argument.  Again and again, I hear them saying:  “If you tea partiers don’t like big government, why are you supporting Arizona’s government arresting illegal immigrants?”  Alan Colmes actually made this argument to me when I appeared with him last month on FoxNews.com’s Strategy Room.  Alan’s a good guy and I understand he had to develop his gotcha style of debate to keep from being hammered to dust by Hannity’s relentless logic, but come on!

Surely even leftists can understand that, in our philosophy, government’s proper role is to protect us from attack by criminals within and without.  Its role is not to protect us from ourselves or from the natural vagaries of life.  You can oppose that philosophy, but it makes no sense to argue with some cartoonishly extreme version of it that no one on the right actually supports.  I mean, if we pushed leftism to its extreme, the government would take care of us cradle to grave, reducing us to enslaved infants.  Is that what the left wants?

It is?  Oh.  Never mind.

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  • http://brianjnoggle.com Brian J.

    The flavor I encounter most is the “argument” that if you drive on public roads, you’re a hypocrite to oppose government health control.

    Support for finite government = anarchist. Remember, they are the people who see nuance better than we do.

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  • http://EasyOpinions.blogspot.com Andrew_M_Garland

    In a Libertarian world, the fire department would not be a monopoly choice provided by the city, with nepotistic hiring practices, and bloated pensions based on the last month’s salary rate. Competition would increase productivity.

    They might combine fire protection with alarm monitoring, and reduced rates for safe wiring and appliances.

    There seems to be no innovation in current fire departments, beyond extracting higher pensions.