Thursday, October 06, 2005

You Own Yourself

This is the simple, three-word philosophy that is libertarianism. I've never found a single person who would express to me that he or she did not hold this notion to apply to themself. Of course, it's not an absolute. Libertarians believe that you should be the ones who make the decisions that affect your life, with the exception being that you cannot initiate force or fraud against another person. Do that, and the aggrieved party can rightly call on the government for protection against you.

The problem is, most people have a streak of anti-libertarian in him: authoritarianism, which is the idea that you can tell other people how to live their lives, even in areas that do not affect them.

Authoritarianism is winning the battle across the United States, unfortunately. This was made astonishingly plain to anyone who has put eyes on some hideous legislation proposed by Pat Miller, regarding reproductive rights.

I'm not talking about abortion here. Miller drafted law that would make it illegal to have a child out of wedlock, without a permit.

It's bad enough that you have to get a license to marry, but this is getting ridiculous. A permit? If you own yourself?

I understand that there a lot of lousy parents out there. Many of them are married, straight, church-going, the lot... and yet beat or molest their kids. Is this preferable to a single mother who raises kids to be respectful and studious? Is it better than a lesbian couple that raises kids in a loving, caring household? Why do we want government overseeing any of this anyway? Government fails at anything it touches, from preventing levees from bursting to producing high school graduates, with the notable exception of making war. That government does pretty well.

Fortunately, we do not want this. Miller has since withdrawn the legislation, under a ton of well-deserved heat. While obviously eager to throw the social conservative base a bone, there is enough libertarianism left in this state to kill this thing before it got out of committee. Nuvo ran a major article. Liberal blog Daily Kos posted on it, with comments generally trashing Indiana to follow.

Let's make sure to run somebody against Miller the next time her State Senate seat comes up. She was sorely underchallenged in 2004. While this could be the result of district gerrymandering, her positions on self-ownership and the right to reproduce regardless of marital status is reason enough to put up a serious challenge. She obviously needs to learn that there is more to governing than throwing your party's social conservative base the kind of bone that would make some people's lives unnecessarily miserable.

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