21 August 2012

Uncommon Commentary #282: Or Are They Trying to Persuade People Not to Vote for Their Own Party, Which Is a Much Better Idea?

My dictionary defines a libertarian as (1) "an advocate of the doctrine of free will" or as (2) "one who upholds the principles of absolute and unrestricted liberty esp. of thought and action". As a Christian (who rejects the Calvinistic form of predestinarianism) I certainly make no objection to the libertarians of the first definition, but on the same grounds (less the parenthesized material) I have cause for disagreement with the libertarians of the second meaning. The latter are right most of the time, and indeed there evidently are Christians who profess libertarianism as their political philosophy, but if they should think more deeply about the matter they would find it impossible to reconcile that philosophy with what we ought to know as Christians: that the purpose of life is not to have as much liberty as possible but to do the will of God, "in whose service [to quote Saint Augustine] there is perfect freedom". Non-Christian libertarians carry their faulty logic to its inevitable end, and reason that people have a right even to do such un-Christian things as fornicate, use illegal drugs, kill unborn children, and marry a member of one's own sex.
And then there are those libertarians with a capital "L". This past week, the Libertarian Party put out a statement with a subject line that reads thus: "Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gov. Gary Johnson Could Deprive Mitt Romney of 5 battleground states, 74 Electoral Votes, 27% of the Electoral Votes needed to win in 2012". (I have no explanation for the inconsistency in capitalization, unless it's just that Libertarians feel that their unrestricted liberty gives them the right to disregard the rules of proper English.) Are Libertarians trying to give the election to the incumbent?