Big Tent of What, Exactly?
So, even though I don’t fully agree with, and in many cases only slightly agree with, many of the people who are in Life, Liberty, Property, I think that I would rather see something come together that has some opportunity to effect change in a positive direction rather than no opportunity. As much as QandO’s rather strident support of Iraq bothers me, I recognize that they advocate movement away from other parts of the oppressive state. So, I will choose to associate with them.
There’s only three choices in front of us that I see.
1. Remain ideologically pure and remain politically ineffective
2. Do nothing, quit
3. Tarnish our purity, but possibly bring about some change
Maybe I’m wrong. I’m willing to listen to ideas that show me how I’m wrong and how at least some change could be accomplished without association with people that propose some degree of statism.
Well, it seems obvious to me that what is missing here is this:
4. Do not sacrifice principles by including everyone and his brother in the big tent as "libertarians" regardless of what they actually advocate. Instead, acknowledge when one is allying with statists to bring about specific goals with respect to individual issues that advance liberty, and ally with them only on those specific goals which advance liberty.
I gave an example of this months ago which I will repost here. Diverse interests from fundamentalist Christians to feminists are forming partnerships to work toward specific goals on which they agree while continuing to work separately where they do not agree. Are rad fems now part of the religious right? Are evangelical Christians getting with the rad fem political program? No and no. There's no need to lump everyone into one big collective simply because they work together on a specific issue.
Similarly, I see no need to lump folks into a common liberty-loving category who advocate shooting unarmed public transit passengers, advocate sealing the borders to prevent peaceful people from associating with one another based on arbitrary characteristics, advocate legally denying basic rights to individuals who choose to form intimate relationships with one another because someone's preferred deity has not approved, advocate murdering thousands of innocents in a country which neither tried nor even had the capability to attack us, etc... These are just a few of the anti-life, liberty, property positions I've seen taken by members of the Life, Liberty, Property community.
What am I missing, Eric, that necessitates lumping such folks into a pro-liberty big tent rather than forming partnerships on specific issues without the pretense that we are all one, big, happy family? That way I wouldn't have to try to explain to non-libertarians that libertarianism isn't just a mishmash of flunkout Republicans/social conservatives who couldn't or wouldn't play in some other big tent.