A Little Disclaimer

Judging from several of the responses to a recent post of mine, it would seem that some commentators here like to think that if you don’t agree with calling the President of the United States a “Marxist,” you‘re a Marxist.

I think that’s nonsense.

People who are quick to describe Obama as either a “communist” or a “Marxist” need a history lesson. With the exception of FDR, Barack Obama is quite probably the most interventionist, statist president the United States have ever seen, and I wouldn’t mind describing some of his policies as socialist. America, as it is, is a welfare state and both Democrats and Republicans have worked to make that happen.

But America is hardly the Soviet Union yet. No matter bombastic claims to the contrary, Obama is not a socialist. Instead, he’s constantly positioned himself as a “pragmatic” which is far more dangerous. The pragmatic is the man without ideology, willing to go with anything that “works.” Such a utilitarian approach to government is what makes the slow obliteration of civil liberties possible. ObamaCare, for instance, is a good thing, the president argues, because it will get more people insured. The moral (and financial!) implications are too often ignored, even by opponents of collectivized health insurance.

I try to make such arguments here and at other places, reasoning from a libertarian, not necessarily a conservative, perspective. This means that, sometimes, I’m with the Democrats, for instance, on abortion, same-sex marriage, separation of Church and State, don’t ask, don’t tell. That hardly outweighs their interventionist economic agenda though. I believe in free markets and free trade, low taxes, and zero regulation. I believe that individuals have a right to chose; that is not the government’s place to chose for them, even if it’s for their own good and when left alone, people make the wrong choices.

Government’s role should be limited to 1) national defense, to protect the people against foreign invasion; 2) police, to protect people against violence and fraud; 3) courts of law, to settle disputes among citizens. Any government that oversteps these boundaries and takes on more responsibility is likely to crush the natural rights and liberties of the people instead of protect them.

And for reference, I don’t like Daily Kos either.

If you think this all makes me a Marxist or worse, you would be wrong.