Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Why I could never be a liberal

P. J. O'Rourke once said, speaking of abortion and capital punishment, (I'm paraphrasing here) "I understand the view that killing babies and murderers is wrong. I understand the view that both are okay. I even understand the view that killing murderers is okay and killing babies is wrong. But to believe killing babies is okay and killing murderers is wrong requires years of therapy." I think of that comment whenever I try to explain why I could never be a liberal. First a caveat -- I recognize that any definition of any group really defines only a stereotype, and not all people who self-identify as liberal will agree with my view of them. Still, I believe the view is generally accurate. At some fundamental level liberals seem not to believe in private property. I have never met a liberal who did not believe that one person's need, if sufficiently seriously, justifies using the power of government to steal money from other people to pay for it. I know "steal" is a strong word, but what other word fits? Taxation really is theft. The government takes the money by force, threatening to throw anyone in jail who refuses to pay and confiscates by armed force, if necessary, the money and goods of those who don't cooperate. I know liberals understand the concept. I've heard them often talk about withholding funds that the government would use for national security (okay, to pursue wars they disagree with). But they have little patience with tax evaders who would protest having their money stolen to give to someone else in their favorite wealth redistribution scheme. As I discussed yesterday, I do believe that there are a limited number of functions the government must, or should, perform and I understand taxation may be necessary to fund those functions. I can understand that is the price of living in the society to begin with. But I do not believe that the government is justified in forcing me to turn over my money just to give it to somebody else. The only justification I've ever heard (outside of, gee, they really need it or, worse, have a right to it) is that it's a part of the price we pay for a peaceful society. That is, frankly, a form of blackmail, and I'm not persuaded by it. To come back around to O'Rourke's comment, liberals believe that a women has an absolute right to kill a fetus, just because the fetus is still a part of, and dependent on, the woman's body. They believe that the murderer has a right to continue to live, at the citizens' expense, no matter how awful his crimes. They believe that anyone who needs food, shelter, medical care, whatever, has a right to it. They're big on rights. But they don't believe that people have a right to keep their money, no matter how hard they've worked to earn it. If I need money to buy food and you have money, liberals believe that I have a greater right to your money than you do. I disagree. I believe that the person who earned the money has a right to keep it and the person who did nothing to earn the money has no right to it (no matter how great their need for it). It's really that simple. I'd love to hear from liberals who can explain why this view is wrong, that is, why the person who did not work to earn the money has a higher claim on it than the person who did work to earn it.