Four political groups are unhappy with the current state of affairs in the nation: left-liberals, faux conservatives on the religious right, progressives, and libertarians/true conservatives. Let’s see which group has the biggest beef:
Left-liberals are unhappy about a lot of things, including being born. But when all of that unhappiness is boiled down to its essence, their major beef is that there is not enough redistribution. They want higher taxes on the “rich” so that there will be more social justice, more fairness, less poverty, and fewer Wal-Mart stores. (I don’t understand what Wal-Mart has to do with anything, but my job here is to just repeat what they say.)
Do left-liberals have the biggest beef? No, for two reasons: one, because the government is not forcing them to do something that they don’t want to do; and two, because no one is stopping them from giving their money to their pet causes. They’re even free to start their own retail chain and charge the poor higher prices.
Faux conservatives on the Religious Right are unhappy with the secular state, with the banning of God from classrooms and public squares, and with Americans marrying sheep or people of the same gender. But they don’t have the biggest beef, because no one is stopping them from practicing their faith. Heck, they can even start their own religion, although, admittedly, all of the good ones have already been taken, including the one about God speaking through a burning bush, the one about a prophet flying to heaven on a winged horse, the one about a guy in Italy being infallible, and the one about an angel giving golden tablets to an absentminded prophet who then loses them.
Progressives are unhappy that the government isn’t more of a busybody. But they don’t have the biggest beef, because they’re still free to form their own utopian sub-society with its own busybody rules. It might even become a tourist attraction, like the Amish in Penn.
Since you’re a smart cookie, you’ve probably concluded through a process of elimination that libertarians and true conservatives have the biggest beef. Yes, indeed. Why? Because the other three groups won’t leave them alone.
Libertarians and true conservatives believe that people can do whatever they want as long as they’re not harming anyone else. Like the Founders, they believe that government should be powerful enough to protect life, liberty and property, but not so powerful that it infringes on basic rights. They even have the quaint notion that the individual comes before the collective.
A typical day for a libertarian or true conservative goes like this: He is sitting at home minding his own business when there is a knock on the door. Opening the door, he finds a left-liberal with a collection basket, a member of the religious right with a Bible and a video camera, and a progressive with a new regulation. The left-liberal wants his money, the religious righter wants to put the Bible and camera in his bedroom, and the progressive wants to tax his cigarettes to fund the early childhood development of other people’s kids. If he slams the door in their face, they’ll come back with federal agents to break down the door.
Libertarians and true conservatives don’t knock on other people’s doors or retain federal agents to break down other people’s doors. Yet, amazingly, they are called names by the other groups, especially the pejorative of “extremist.” Imagine that: The nation has strayed so far from its founding principles that someone who minds his own business is an extremist.
Well, take it from this extremist that the political group with the biggest beef is the libertarian/true conservative group. Gotta go now. Someone is knocking on the door.
An author, columnist and extremist, Mr. Cantoni can be reached at ccan2[remove]@aol.com.