I really dont know how Ron Paul does it, arguing with idiots all day and somehow managing not to go ape shit on them for their ignorance. I can not express how frustrating it is to have such amazing ideas that could so thoroughly revolutionize the world, be so uniformly misunderstood. What I am about to say is an extremely EXTREMELY basic principle, and it is not that complicated.
Libertarians believe in personal liberty and freedom. This does NOT mean they agree with the actions of everything they think should be legal, or that they do not support something simply because they do not feel it should be government funded. They simply believe in a very very small, limited government, that doesn't really play a role in people's day to day lives, and has very little power outside of the justice system. (Other parts of the "liberty movement" believe in no government at all.)
With all the hoopla that went on about Phil Robertson saying his comments on gays, many who are incapable of thoughtful analysis and principled concepts, took my support of Phil Robertson to mean I think the government should be involved in marriage and tell gay people they "should not be allowed to get married."
Do you really think on that shallow of a level? Because if so, that is scary. You do realize you could be a GAY PERSON and still support Phil Robertson's right to speak freely without being publicly chastised? You can also be the most gay hating person in the world but still understand the dangers of allowing the government into something as private and personal as marriage, and because of that believe gays should be allowed to get married.
Just because you morally oppose something doesn't mean that you think it should be "illegal" is that really so hard to understand? Libertarian Christians especially understand the dangers of allowing the government into our churches, the same power they use to stop gays from marrying could be used in a short amount of time to stop Christians from marrying... No thank you!
Likewise, you can HATE prostitution, heroin, gay marriage and alcohol yet still think the government should not be involved in criminalizing those things due to the infringement on our personal liberty such laws would create.
Another often misunderstood example; DUI checkpoints. I am morally opposed to DUI checkpoints because they are an infringement on the right to privacy of every person the police question throughout the night. This is not Nazi Germany. We should be able to go from point A to point B without getting harassed and questioned by police, especially without probable cause. Because of my stance on this issue I have had people act as though I want people to drive drunk and kill people!
NO, just because I do not think the police have the right to stop old ladies coming home from bingo on Friday night does NOT mean I support people getting wasted and endangering/violating the rights of everyone they jeopardize with their irresponsible and reckless behavior. All I am asking for is a respect of our basic human decency and rights as individuals. If someone is driving like a moron swerving drunk all over the road, by all means pull them over and kick their ass while you are at it! But no, I do not care who you are, NO ONE, especially not a police officer, has the right to stop people at random, force them to roll down their window, and answer questions without you being a suspect and there being a damn good reason!
Government Run Public School System:
Many believe that because libertatians do not support a public school system or a welfare state, they are "against education" and "want poor people to starve and die." You do realize countries with the largest welfare states have the most impoverished citizens right?
I LOVE education, and when I say love it I mean I LOOOOVE it. I spent my evenings after school and homework reading "a book a day" (most of which were well over 100 pages) throughout grade school, and volunteered to do 12 page projects on the solar system "for fun".
In middle school I agonized over writing plots in English, submerged myself in reading, and poured my heart into my paintings in art class. In College I became obsessed with current events, social issues, economics, and Geo-politics. After all nighters in the library, I would head to Barnes and Noble, to get as many books as I could afford on the subjects just because I wanted to better understand them. I'd have lively conversations with my professors, and chase them down after lectures just to pick their brains, talk philosophy, and discuss ideas. I am currently working toward my Graduate degree in English, not for a job, but simply because I love learning, I love writing, and I love literature.
With all that said, I do not think the government should have a role in the public education system, because I do not think there should be a government run "public education system" It is nothing more than a co-ed prison system for children to go to during the day. They are all taught the exact way, to think about the exact same subjects, all taught not to question, all taught to sit still, all taught to be the same cookie cutter version of each other. There is no diversity, the learning is shallow, it teaches children what to think, not HOW to think, not how to question. Because it is government run, it instills in children, a dependence and trust of the government that is neither deserved or warranted. Thus, resulting in the apathy we see today, as people across the country do not bat an eyelid or even mind as their privacy is violated, as their information is stored, as their freedom is stripped away by their "beloved and just government".
"Well if there was not a government education system, wouldn't there be many kids from poor families who would never get an education?"
The answer is "Far less than there are today!" Churches would offer educational programs, charities and non profits would take donations teaching those whose parents can not afford tuition. The internet would make education easily accessible and affordable for everyone. The number of families homeschooling would quadruple, children would be taught by their own parents, with the values their parents believe are right, taught in ways their parents deem acceptable, not what some stranger government worker deems acceptable. Diversity would thrive, as children from all different cultures and belief systems would be able to cultivate their unique talents, and foster the uniqueness of their cultures. Ideas would flourish, because they would be given the freedom to flourish, without the burden of making education "one size fits all" We would regain a sense of community, compassion, and care for our neighbor, because there would no longer be the "government safety net" that took 40% of the money we would have shared if we had been given the chance. How it would look on the outside would be very similar to what we have today. There would be large institutions paid for and run by charities and non profits open to all ( just as government run public education is open to all) , some children taught at home, some at specialized schools, but it would be a VOLUNTARY exchange. One that allows education the freedom it needs to thrive. As someone who loves education, that is pretty cool!
Is this really so complicated? We should live our lives FREE of the government. Meaning there will be things we disapprove of but due to individual rights we still believe the action we find immoral should be legal. There can be many things we think are WONDERFUL such as charity, education, and feeding the poor. Yet even though we support these things 100%, we believe they should not be government supported. This is because of individual freedom and the freedom that would be taken from the individual by taking their property (ie wages via taxes) to subsidize such programs. Taxation is theft, as it is money taken from business owners and individuals by the government against their will for things they possibly do not even consent to. Regardless of if they do or do not consent, the government still takes this money, ie this "property". We believe the government should have nothing to do with even "moral" causes or social programs. At the same time we can disagree vehemently with things like prostitution, drug use, and gay marriage, yet believe they should remain legal.
We have the freedom to choose how to live our own life. We have the freedom to fail and the freedom to succeed, we have the freedom to starve or gorge. We have the right to decide what we put into our own bodies, We as individuals have the right to decide how and in what way we want to educate our children. We have the right to our own property, we have the right to our own privacy. We have the right to keep the fruits of our own labor. We have an obligation to help our neighbor, and we should, but no government, no man on this earth, has the right to steal from one to give to another as he deems fit.
Restore rights to the individual, restore power to the people. Let us be the governor of our own lives. With freedom and liberty there is responsibility.