I thought that Sanborn’s explication of his political philosophy (at least in part) was interesting enough that I thought I might try my hand at explaining mine.
Politics is the continuous argument over who gets to do what to whom, for how long, and against what degree of dissent. (credit to Lewis Lapham, managing editor of Harper's magazine at the time he wrote that definition)
That said, the political discussion in my lifetime has expanded exponentially in its scope, and had expanded exponentially prior to that from the scope proposed by the Founding Fathers. I might add that many of them did much of the illicit expansion.
As for my philosophy, it includes a philosophy of life, not just what I think elected officials should or shouldn’t make into law. Above all is this: No one—neither a mugger in an alley, nor a group of suits in some capitol building—has the moral right to initiate force or commit fraud in the pursuit of personal or political goals.
Government is force, before and after it is anything else. Those at the top make laws and hire thu…, uh, law enforcement officers and armies to enforce those laws. Government, defined, is that which has a monopoly on the initiation of force and fraud as its principle identifying feature.
There really is no “left” or “right,” as in “liberal” or “conservative,” “socialist” or “fascist.” There is libertarian and authoritarian, and shades in between. Libertarians by definition endorse the non-initiation of force standard. Authoritarians often agree with libertarians on some issues, but think it’s okay to initiate force to achieve some goals. Hitler and Stalin were both authoritarians; they were on the same wave length of the ideological spectrum.
No one would admit out loud that he thinks fraud is a licit tool in the pursuit of political goals, but fraud is an element in selling the public on any violation of the non-initiation of force principle. Politicians in general have no problem telling massive lies (even though they may have been able to convince themselves that a lie is the truth) in order to achieve what they believe is beneficial to them, and therefore beneficial to their constituents (how could it be otherwise?).
In the interest of keeping this block of words manageable, I’ll stop, with the promise of revisiting specific issues. I might say that I am in step with Sanborn on four of the five issues he visited in the Grrr topic. I have voted Libertarian in every presidential race since 1988.