A liberal at the Atlantic asks some reasonable questions of conservatives…

Do we support individual liberty or not?

If you’re a gun owner who worries that gun control today could make tyranny easier to impose tomorrow, I get that, and if you worry about federal excesses generally, I have no argument with you.

I think law-abiding Americans should always be allowed to own guns.

But if you’re a conservative gun owner who worries that gun control today could make tyranny easier to impose tomorrow, and you support warrantless spying, indefinite detention, and secret drone strikes on Americans accused of terrorism, what explains your seeming schizophrenia?

Think of it this way.

If you were a malign leader intent on imposing tyranny, what would you find more useful, banning high-capacity magazines… or a vast archive of the bank records, phone calls, texts and emails of millions of citizens that you could access in secret? Would you, as a malign leader, feel more empowered by a background check requirement on gun purchases… or the ability to legally kill anyone in secret on your say so alone? The powers the Republican Party has given to the presidency since 9/11 would obviously enable far more grave abuses in the hands of a would be tyrant than any gun control legislation with even a miniscule chance of passing Congress. So why are so many liberty-invoking 2nd Amendment absolutists reliable Republican voters, as if the GOP’s stance on that issue somehow makes up for its shortcomings? And why do they so seldom speak up about threats to the Bill of Rights that don’t involve guns?

I don’t think any regular on this forum supports warrentless wiretaps on Americans, drone strikes on Americans, indefinite detention of Americans or anything of the kind. In fact, I think the lower case ‘l’ libertarian leanings of many of us mean we are supportive of civil rights for homosexuals and the legalization of marijuana. I’d say we are generally opposed to national boondoggles like No Child Left Behind, the federal war on drugs and national laws regarding marriage. The 2nd Amendment codifies just one of the many freedoms and individual liberties we support.

The author does raise some very good questions regarding conservatives in general, but I think Revoistas can easily respond to his criticism with intellectual honesty and without hypocrisy. We support individual liberty for those who share our values and for those who don’t. We expect the same support in return but, as it turns out, seldom get it. Liberals are as guilty of individual liberty cherry picking as are conservatives.

Why do so many liberals who claim to support individual liberty and civil rights ignore the clear language of the 2nd Amendment. Why do so many want to control what we eat and how we live? Why do they support liberty crushing initiatives like Obamacare and laws forcing people of faith to pay for abortions? Why do they support confiscatory taxation and all manner of restrictions on private property? Why do liberals insist that laws appropriate for Connecticut be applied to Alaska and Wyoming? There is no end to the hypocrisy of liberals’ supposed support for liberty.

It is obvious that conservatives aren’t alone in their hypocrisy when it comes to individual liberty. Liberals do the exact same thing. Here at the Real Revo, however, we actually do stand for individual liberty. We live it.

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12 Responses to A liberal at the Atlantic asks some reasonable questions of conservatives…

  1. Bman says:

    “…warrantless spying, indefinite detention, and secret drone strikes on Americans accused of terrorism…”

    I have never met ANYONE who supports this, liberal or conservative. That doesn’t mean that these folks don’t exist. I would have to go on a gut feeling and say that 94.8% of conservatives do NOT support what the author stated. I think he is trying to paint conservatives as hypocrites to the under-informed reader.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Obama ordered a drone strike on an American citizen in Yemen and last week signed a bill to allow warrentless wiretaps on Americans as long as at least one party in the communication is a foreigner.

  2. BigJimTX says:

    Obama re-authorized the Patriot Act in 2010 with a majority in both sides of congress. I agree with this guy, but he needs to get the facts straight. It is not ONLY Republicans that are trying to spy on you and have absolute power.

  3. notamobster says:

    Diane Feinstein worked to have indefinite detention removed from the NDAA. I applauded her for it. It passed and Barry signed it, without the Feinstein Amendment attached. Where’s the outrage from liberals? The only mention I’ve seen of the issue is from libertarian (“l”) commentators.

    I rail against drone strikes (mostly because of the leftist hypocrisy on the issue). I ask liberals I know why they support Obama’s policy of murdering women & children with drones. I get {{{crickets}}}

    I think most folks don’t, in-fact, support these issues. They just don’t care because it doesn’t have any direct influence in the conduct of their daily lives. If they could see a result in their life, of these unconstitutional actions, they’d be pissed.

    It’s much harder to get angry about losing rights you can’t see being lost.

  4. fubar says:

    such stupidness.

    warrantless wiretaps to spy on suspected domestic terrorists aren’t necessary –

    all you have to do is round up the college academia

    Oh. maybe that’s the point.

  5. DocO says:

    I’m supportive of most of the libertarian arguments posted here, however I think throwing drone strikes into the mix is not completely valid.

    I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. I’m being a little flippant but also a little serious.

    I support drone strikes against foreign entities hostile to the US. The largest threats to geo-political stability today are dictators and terrorists. Responsible nation states have to much to lose to going to war. Responsible nations also are more open to negotiation and threats of economic sanctions.

    Let’s take dictators and regimes that support terrorism. The typical first response to their transgressions are economic sanctions. Who does this hurt? The general populace. If this doesn’t solve the problem, and I’ve never seen it do so, you’re left with doing nothing or military action.

    Doing nothing perpetuates the problem. Military action causes large amounts of collateral damage that again hurts the general population.

    My solution would be to clearly state the grievances to the state actors or terrorists. Demand a stop to them. And state the consequences if they do not stop. Assassination by drone or other means.

    The prohibition against state sponsored assassination was made by those who would be most affected by it, the elites making the actual decisions that cause all the problems. It reminds me of the old tradition of avoiding the targeting of officers.

    Now to actually implement this policy would take great skill and require enormous psy-ops to avoid back lash in the targeted countries.

    I would also have another level of escalation before full bore invasion type military action.

    If targeted assassination doesn’t work the problem may be a whole class of bad guys who are united in a cause. This is usually a military type junta. My escalation of intensity would be “break the toys of the dictators”. In this phase, military raids and strikes would be employed to destroy the junta’s military assets and “elite units”.

    Now, a valid counter argument would be that this is too much power for the executive branch to yield.

    I would say that this type of operation would require some type of declaration of war of congressional oversight at a minimum.

  6. notamobster says:

    I rail against drone strikes (mostly because of the leftist hypocrisy on the issue).

    I have no problem with killing terrorists with drones. It’s a great tool. I absolutely DO NOT SUPPORT the extra-judicial killing of ANY American unless he is physical fighting against American troops and is killed in that engagement. Targeting them with drones should not happen. Our Constitution prevents the government from depriving Americans of due process.

  7. sortahwitte says:

    This pinko is neither reasonable or sane if he truly believes the repubs, by themselves, gave extra power to the president. I doubt if, at that time, any member of congress ever visualized a pResident like the one in power now. They were all so busy to be seen as being bi-partisan cockroaches, that their tiny common sense went out the window.

  8. Ray Davies says:

    Can anyone remember when we had a polititianwho really had the interests of the Country at heart? We had Col. West, but really a president who was not interested in getting re elected and doing the Right thing? I’m thinking it might have been Andrew Jackson, but then we had Louisana and Mexico

  9. Ray Davies says:

    Great Piece Mr Walker.