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Does John Stossel represent mainstream libertarian belief?

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  • Does John Stossel represent mainstream libertarian belief?

    I consider myself a Republican and a conservative and while I am highly suspicious about liberalism I confess I am equally skeptical about libertarianism. One of the only shows I "hate watch" is Stossel's program on Fox and although I have tried to give him a fair shake I confess that mostly I finish his shows thinking "If Hillary Clinton gets elected, just remember it could have been worse. These lunatics could have been in charge."

    Stossel has advocated a number of lunatic propositions and it doesn't stop with weed. He has advocated legalizing prostitution, legalizing polygamy (because who is the government to stop extremist Mormons from treating women like cattle), and even doing away with border security altogether and just letting everyone come running in with no restrictions whatsoever. Sure we'll be getting rapists as well as refugees but it will all work in the end because free market!

    He recently started talking about how libertarianism is catching fire among young people which I don't consider to be helpful to his case. I am inherently suspicious of political movements that are emotionally embraced by people with little life experience. As much as I don't want this country run by the crazy ideas of dumb liberal college kids, I'm not quite willing to trade that for this country being run by the crazy ideas of dumb libertarian college kids. And no, neo-yuppies, you are not John Galt (if you've seen the screen version of Atlas Shrugged you'll know what I'm talking about) and Howard Roark was a spoiled brat who whined about his employers wanting him to do the job he was being paid to do. You should be hating that guy, not idolizing him.

    But I am willing to concede that most of my exposure to libertarianism has been via John Stossel and Glenn Beck, of which many Americans think at least one of these two personalities is bat crazy. That and college kids fetishizing Ayn Rand the way liberal college kids fetishize Marx. And since that is a bit of a narrow view I figured I would ask the question. Do guys like Stossel speak for libertarianism? Or is he an extremist and are there more moderate personalities I should examine?

    Because as of right now I see liberalism as the infantile son that has to be dragged into the real world and self sufficiency. But libertarianism I see as a drunk teenager shouting "you're not the boss of me! I can take care of myself!" before passing out in vomit.

    I believe in small government. Very small government. But I still believe in law and order and libertarianism just looks like anarchy.

    Or am I looking in the wrong place?
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

  • #2
    Given Stossels track record of outright fabrications I'd look elsewhere. How many times has he been caught here distorting the 'persecution' of the church? A couple of dozen times? More?

    Nah, the guy is a liar.
    Credo quia absurdum.


    Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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    • #3
      Law and order is not protecting people from themselves. I don't know about libertanianism/etc but here in Europe people, at least my generation, is starting to get enough about all this control. To be honest, I think we must be living the most effective period in history when it comes to surveillance and law enforcement. Or amount of laws, bans etc.
      Wisdom is personal

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      • #4
        No he is not, Libertarianism does not come under one Umbrella, there are so many libertarian philosophies that it is hard to define, they can range from the collective, almost communism to almost anarchy.
        Trying hard to be the Man, that my Dog believes I am!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
          I consider myself a Republican and a conservative and while I am highly suspicious about liberalism I confess I am equally skeptical about libertarianism. One of the only shows I "hate watch" is Stossel's program on Fox and although I have tried to give him a fair shake I confess that mostly I finish his shows thinking "If Hillary Clinton gets elected, just remember it could have been worse. These lunatics could have been in charge."

          Stossel has advocated a number of lunatic propositions and it doesn't stop with weed. He has advocated legalizing prostitution, legalizing polygamy (because who is the government to stop extremist Mormons from treating women like cattle), and even doing away with border security altogether and just letting everyone come running in with no restrictions whatsoever. Sure we'll be getting rapists as well as refugees but it will all work in the end because free market!

          He recently started talking about how libertarianism is catching fire among young people which I don't consider to be helpful to his case. I am inherently suspicious of political movements that are emotionally embraced by people with little life experience. As much as I don't want this country run by the crazy ideas of dumb liberal college kids, I'm not quite willing to trade that for this country being run by the crazy ideas of dumb libertarian college kids. And no, neo-yuppies, you are not John Galt (if you've seen the screen version of Atlas Shrugged you'll know what I'm talking about) and Howard Roark was a spoiled brat who whined about his employers wanting him to do the job he was being paid to do. You should be hating that guy, not idolizing him.

          But I am willing to concede that most of my exposure to libertarianism has been via John Stossel and Glenn Beck, of which many Americans think at least one of these two personalities is bat crazy. That and college kids fetishizing Ayn Rand the way liberal college kids fetishize Marx. And since that is a bit of a narrow view I figured I would ask the question. Do guys like Stossel speak for libertarianism? Or is he an extremist and are there more moderate personalities I should examine?

          Because as of right now I see liberalism as the infantile son that has to be dragged into the real world and self sufficiency. But libertarianism I see as a drunk teenager shouting "you're not the boss of me! I can take care of myself!" before passing out in vomit.

          I believe in small government. Very small government. But I still believe in law and order and libertarianism just looks like anarchy.

          Or am I looking in the wrong place?
          I find that its probable that John Stossel holds some liberal leaning viewpoints, that is that Stossels will identify some of his views as falling under the category of liberal. The legalization of Cannabis is something that Stossel agrees with, but I do not find this specific viewpoint to fall under the category of a liberal or conservative viewpoint. There are a # of "conservative"(GOP members whom will self identify as conservative) politicians for example whom are for the legalization of Cannabis. Im against this view that to side with one side of a specific topic, specifically such as Abortion, Prohibition, Tax rates, Jobs, would put one under the category of liberal or conservative. I do of course recognize that there are folks whom self identify as liberal or conservative.

          As for the legalization of prostitution, I dont know any GOP or Democrat Congressmen, Mayor or Senator whom is for legalizing prostitution on a federal level. Prostitution is legal in certain parts of Nevada, so I suppose there are some politicians in states around the USA whom would be for legalizing prostitution on a state level.

          As for immigration and the refugee issue,

          I watched one of Stossels recent shows, the topic was immigration,

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FHS-JllJn8

          I respect but disagree with Mr Lynchs views on immigration. I also know that both Lynch and the Cato institute guy would be labeled as lunatics from numerous sorts of folks. I myself do not think that Mr Lynch or the Cato institute guy would fall under the category of lunatic, and these are two folks who very well could use identifiers such as Conservative or liberal.
          Last edited by Taieb el-Okbi; 29 Sep 15, 13:49. Reason: fixed an error

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          • #6
            I am a Libertarian in the political sense and I would say that Stossel is pretty much a mainstream Libertarian. There is extreme's in Libertarianism as there are in all forms of political beliefs. Both Conservatism and Liberalism are forms of bigger Government. Both pretend they are not but they are. But I see no threat or fear to be had of Libertarians. Just like I see there is no reason to believe conservatives or liberals. Their rhetoric does not come close to the reality of their deeds or goals.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mystikeye View Post
              I am a Libertarian in the political sense and I would say that Stossel is pretty much a mainstream Libertarian. There is extreme's in Libertarianism as there are in all forms of political beliefs. Both Conservatism and Liberalism are forms of bigger Government. Both pretend they are not but they are. But I see no threat or fear to be had of Libertarians. Just like I see there is no reason to believe conservatives or liberals. Their rhetoric does not come close to the reality of their deeds or goals.
              Pretty much.

              If you believe in the primacy of personal liberties and the free market, which is a cornerstone of mainstream libertarianism, then everything in the OP is aligned with that belief.

              Now, considering that "mainstream libertarianism" is generally of the minarchist bent, with some variation (going from your socially liberal Tea Party types to pure anarchists), those ideas he discusses certainly aren't far removed from American libertarianism. However, if there is ANY major political ideology in the US which could be guilty of infighting and disagreement on policy, it's libertarianism. Hell, the LP had to explicitly make an agreement to unite the wings together.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_Accord

              The Dallas Accord was an implicit agreement made at the 1974 Libertarian National Convention to compromise between the larger minarchist and smaller anarcho-capitalist factions by adopting a platform that explicitly did not say whether it was desirable for the state to exist.
              Still, the objection to those beliefs is part of why it is amusing when conservatives stand up and claim to represent the free market, personal freedom, and small government.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mystikeye View Post
                I am a Libertarian in the political sense and I would say that Stossel is pretty much a mainstream Libertarian. There is extreme's in Libertarianism as there are in all forms of political beliefs. Both Conservatism and Liberalism are forms of bigger Government. Both pretend they are not but they are. But I see no threat or fear to be had of Libertarians. Just like I see there is no reason to believe conservatives or liberals. Their rhetoric does not come close to the reality of their deeds or goals.
                I would disagree. Liberalism is big government. Conservatism is small government. Libertarianism, as I have seen it, is no government. Which makes conservatism look like big government but only because in a land of Road Warrior anarchy, even a stop sign is 100% bigger government.
                A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
                  I would disagree. Liberalism is big government. Conservatism is small government. Libertarianism, as I have seen it, is no government. Which makes conservatism look like big government but only because in a land of Road Warrior anarchy, even a stop sign is 100% bigger government.
                  Which is why libertarians, with their minarchist beliefs, laugh at conservative pretensions to believing in "small government". It's kinda quaint how they think lowering taxes makes them small government, like a child hitting a tee-ball and believing they're a MLB pro.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
                    I would disagree. Liberalism is big government. Conservatism is small government. Libertarianism, as I have seen it, is no government. Which makes conservatism look like big government but only because in a land of Road Warrior anarchy, even a stop sign is 100% bigger government.
                    No, Libertarians believe in a restrained and limited federal government, as envisioned by the framers of our constitution, and the bulk of day-to-day oversight is the realm of similarly small and restrained local and state entities, with clearly defined areas in which each operates.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
                      Given Stossels track record of outright fabrications I'd look elsewhere. How many times has he been caught here distorting the 'persecution' of the church? A couple of dozen times? More?

                      Nah, the guy is a liar.
                      Facts, not rhetoric, would be appropriate here. You've been around here a great deal longer than I have, so you should be embarrassed such a noob as myself would need to remind you of this.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Armored Fist View Post
                        Facts, not rhetoric, would be appropriate here. You've been around here a great deal longer than I have, so you should be embarrassed such a noob as myself would need to remind you of this.
                        Sigh. I'm not about to waste my time documenting his fabrications. /Shrug. Not worthy of it.
                        Credo quia absurdum.


                        Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
                          However, if there is ANY major political ideology in the US which could be guilty of infighting and disagreement on policy, it's libertarianism. Hell, the LP had to explicitly make an agreement to unite the wings together.
                          .
                          That's pretty much what I was trying to convey in my post, only you said it better.
                          Trying hard to be the Man, that my Dog believes I am!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bwaha View Post
                            Sigh. I'm not about to waste my time documenting his fabrications. /Shrug. Not worthy of it.
                            But you WERE fine with throwing around accusations without supporting evidence, which makes your posts on the subject, well, null and void.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Armored Fist View Post
                              No, Libertarians believe in a restrained and limited federal government, as envisioned by the framers of our constitution, and the bulk of day-to-day oversight is the realm of similarly small and restrained local and state entities, with clearly defined areas in which each operates.
                              Stossel's vision though, which you described as mainstream, is one of sheer anarchy. When he advocated for zero border security he went full nutball. That's not restrained government. That's a total absence of government.

                              I believe in minimal regulation, but I believe regulation should exist.

                              I believe that law should not restrict the rights of the individual, but I still believe in law and order.

                              I don't think the US can or should be world cop, but I also don't believe in full on Fallout Shelter style isolationism.

                              On his last episode this dopey kid was suing Obama because the NSA collects phone metadata. But I'll bet dollars to donuts she broadcasts more about her life via Facebook than whatever data they collected. That is the funny kind of crazy but I don't want it running this country.

                              The ideal libertarian world that Stossel has been describing is basically a cross between an Upton Sinclair/Charles Dickens urban jungle (which libertarians like Stossel and Beck have openly declared the good old days on their respective TV programs) and the Thunderdome. No law. No security. No morals. Mexican cartels can roll across the border and murder at will, women are exploited, and canned food could be preserved with formaldehyde for all anyone knows.

                              I remain a Republican but I will run screaming to Bernie Sanders before inviting that kind of chaos.
                              A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

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