Monday, June 23, 2008

Because (as usual) Waldo is right even when I'm not going to follow his advice....

Waldo continually (and legitimately) raises the paradoxical issue of the ostensibly freedom-loving Libertarian Party nominating the author of the Defense of Marriage Act for President, and expecting the gay community to sign on.

People are free to vote for whom they choose. But in the interests of fairness and accuracy, they shouldn't go on about liberty and justice for all. Your position is, more accurately, liberty and justice for me.

Now, while I should point out (before Brian Miller beats me to the point) that many LGBT Libertarians see the Democrats in general and Senator Barack Obama in particular are much less gay-friendly than Waldo does,

But surely, Barack Obama, the "hope and change" candidate, is leading the way to transform the Democrats' "old politics" into the "new politics of hope and empowerment," right?

Doesn't appear to be so:

In a recent interview with The Advocate, a gay newsmagazine, Democrat Barack Obama stopped short of promising to lead the way for change, saying only that he can "reasonably see" a repeal of the current ban if elected president.

So let's get this, ehrmmmm, straight.

The Democratic Party has a majority of both houses of Congress -- a majority that's expected to grow in November. The Democrats have a presidential candidate who is almost certain to win the election -- by double-digit margins against his rivals.

That Democrat claims to be in favor of "real change" and worked to court gay voters.

The policy in question actively harms the US military's ability to recruit and retain skilled workers at a time when there's a severe shortage of them.

A repeal of the policy in question is supported by at least 2/3rds of the public -- probably even more today -- eliminating even the most wimpy inside-the-beltway spineless "we need to avoid backlash" argument against taking action.

And the best the Democrats can do is "reasonably see" if eliminating this law is "possible?"


... I have to say that in terms of my beliefs about Bob Barr's core beliefs (and therefore his subsequent actions in the statistically possible event he became POTUS), I agree with Waldo that Barr is at best a poor standard-bearer for many aspects of personal liberty, including not just gay rights or same-sex marriage, but also issues like the war on drugs, freedom of religion, etc....

But--and there is one--there are equally compelling reasons why I cannot, will not vote for Barack Obama even though he is the candidate with the best view on civil rights for all Americans.

I have stated before what I expect from my President and my Government:

1) Foreign policy/defense: I want American imperialism rolled back and American interventionism halted, as the same time we begin to pull free from the military/industrial complex by slashing the budgets for defense and homeland security to reasonable levels.

2) Civil libertarian issues: I want to see gay marriage legalized; drugs decriminalized; Real ID abolished; the Patriot Act gutted; and immigrants viewed as human beings. I want intrusive government the hell out of my life.

3) Fiscal sanity: I want a government that stops growing and taking an ever-expanding bite out of my paycheck; I want to see wasteful programs cut, and to have Congress faced with the same sort of imperative the Delaware General Assembly had to face this year: balancing the budget.

So you tell me: if that's what I want, who is my best candidate?

I put these desires in priority order, because I really believe that American imperialism, the defense/industrial complex, and an interventionist foreign policy are greater threats to our future than civil liberties at home. I don't like having to say that; no, I hate having to say that. But to me those issues touch directly on our survival as a nation, and the survival of our civil liberties appear--at least at this point in history--on the survival of the American republic as imperfect as it is.

And based on his repeated statements that he will not rule out unilateral interventionism, pre-emptive war, sanctions against the citizens of other nations, and that he explicitly promises a larger defense budget than we've had under Dubya (don't believe me; go visit his website and look at his section on a 21st Century military; I've given the link before; go find it for yourself), I cannot in good conscience vote for Barack Obama.

Nor does Obama's sell-out on the FISA compromise bode well for how he's going to keep any of his promises on civil liberties once he's in office.

I certainly can't vote for John McCain, who fails on both items One and Two above.

The stated positions of the Libertarian Party and candidate are what I'm supporting, that and the ability to throw a monkey-wrench into the remorseless two-oarty duopoly that restricts our choices to a couple of suits.

I've been as honest as I could be over this issue--playing out my personal decision-making in these pages, muddled as it sometimes is.

But if I am to vote as a one-issue candidate, reluctantly my one issue has to be the one upon which our survival as a nation ultimately depends.

And, so far, on those issues Bob Barr has been the closest to what I think is correct in this campaign.

I'd really have preferred it to have been Barack Obama, but his steadfast stand for equal rights for gay Americans has been paralleled by a pathetic, even craven record on foreign policy that is too hopelessly bad to support under any conditions.

1 comment:

Brian Miller said...

Barr is indeed suboptimal on gay rights. Point taken.

However, holding up Barack Obama as a "superior alternative" is like offering one a meal of cow manure as an alternative to "unhealthy" hot dogs. Obama's platform is indisputable worse than Barr's in this election -- even moreso when one considers the level of LGBT support that Obama attracts.

I'm not pushing Bob Barr as the perfect candidate for gay Americans, because he isn't. But to see Democrats supporting Barack do-nothing Obama as a better choice is just galling -- especially considering that the same people objecting to Barr on the grounds of DOMA were HUGE Bill Clinton boosters. You'll recall that Clinton signed DOMA and supports it unconditionally, while Barr has since called for a significant repeal of its worst provisions.

It's just not consistent.