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Why Iím a Libertarian Nut Instead of Just a Nut
The Glenn Beck Program ^ | July 1, 2009 | Penn Jillette

Posted on 07/08/2009 9:27:16 AM PDT by r-q-tek86

I don’t speak for all Libertarians any more than Sean Penn speaks for all Democrats. I’m not even sure my LP membership card is up to date. I’ve voted Libertarian as long as I can remember but I don’t really remember much before the Clintons and the Bushes. Those clans made a lot of us bugnutty. When I go on Glenn’s show he calls me a Libertarian, I think that’s my only real credential.

There are historical reasons and pragmatic reasons to be a Libertarian, but there are historic and pragmatic reasons to be a Democrat, a Republican or a Socialist. I don’t know if everyone would be better off under a Libertarian government. I don’t know what would be best for anyone. I don’t even know what’s best for me. What makes me Libertarian is I don’t think anyone else really knows what’s best for anyone. My argument for Libertarianism is simple - personal morality.

I start with the Declaration of Independence: “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” So, essentially our government does what they do with my consent.

I know barely enough about Max Weber to type his name into Google, but it seems he’s credited with asserting the idea that the state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. I put those two ideas together (my consent and use of physical force) and figure we all give our government the right to use force. So, the way I figure, it’s not okay for our government to use force in any situation where I personally wouldn’t use force.

For example, if I’m not willing to kill a cute cow, I shouldn’t eat steak. I don’t have to kill Bessy right now with my bare hands, but I have to be willing to snuff her if I want to chow down on a T-bone. If it’s not okay for me, it’s not okay for a slaughterhouse. Asking someone else to do something immoral is immoral. If it’s not okay for me to break David Blaine’s hands so my magic show has less competition, it’s not okay for me to ask someone else to beat him up. Someone else doing your dirty work is still your dirty work.

If I had a gun, and I knew a murder was happening, (we’re speaking hypothetically here, I’m not asking you to believe that I could accurately tell a murder from aggressive CPR), I would use that gun to stop that murder. I might be too much of a coward to use a gun myself to stop a murder or rape or robbery, but I think the use of a gun is justified. I’m even okay with using force to enforce voluntary contracts. If I were a hero, I would use a gun to protect the people who choose to live under this free system and to stop another country from attacking America. But I wouldn’t use a gun to force someone to love something like say…a library.

Look, I love libraries. I spent a lot of time in the Greenfield Public Library when I was a child. I would give money to build a library. I would ask you to give money to build a library. But, if for some reason you were crazy enough to think you had a better idea for your money than building my library, I wouldn’t pull a gun on you. I wouldn’t use a gun to build an art museum, look at the wonders of the universe through a big telescope, or even find a cure for cancer.

The fact that the majority wants something good does not give them the right to use force on the minority that don’t want to pay for it. If you have to use a gun, it’s not really a very good idea. Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It’s just ganging up on the weird kid, and I’m always the weird kid.

People try to argue that government isn’t really force. You believe that? Try not paying your taxes. (This is only a thought experiment though -- suggesting someone not pay their taxes is probably a federal offense, and while I may be a nut, I’m not crazy.) When they come to get you for not paying your taxes, try not going to court. Guns will be drawn. Government is force.

It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people yourself is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered. If we’re compassionate, we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.

I’m a Libertarian nut because I don’t want my government to do anything in my name that I wouldn’t do myself.

Penn Jillette is a celebrated magician, comedian, actor, author and producer. He is best known as the larger, louder half of Penn & Teller, a role he has held since 1975. With his partner Teller, Jillette has been awarded an Obie and an Emmy Award. Their critically acclaimed stage show spent several years both on and off-Broadway, and now has a permanent home at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Jillette can be seen weekly co-hosting the 11 time Emmy-nominated Showtime series, "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!" He also posts daily rants on his "Penn Says" VLog at Sony's www.Crackle.com site.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: New York
KEYWORDS: 2016election; atheist; coward; election2016; gaykkk; homosexualagenda; libertarians; medicalmarijuana; newyork; pennjillette; randpaul; ronpaul; trump
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1 posted on 07/08/2009 9:27:16 AM PDT by r-q-tek86
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To: r-q-tek86

Thanks, that was an interesting (and thought-provoking) read.


2 posted on 07/08/2009 9:33:53 AM PDT by astyanax (I'm here to spread peace, love and happiness... so get the f*#% out of my way.)
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To: astyanax

Between Penn and John Stossel, I find very little I disagree with.


3 posted on 07/08/2009 9:37:35 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 (The U.S. Constitution may be flawed, but it's a whole lot better than what we have now)
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To: r-q-tek86

I agree. Penn is a nut.


4 posted on 07/08/2009 9:39:30 AM PDT by HoustonTech
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To: r-q-tek86

I love his show, “Bullshit!” and I agree with much of what he says.

However, even when I don’t agree, at least I can give him credit for the intellectual honesty of his arguments.


5 posted on 07/08/2009 9:39:58 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: r-q-tek86
What does Teller have to say about this?

People try to argue that government isn’t really force. You believe that? Try not paying your taxes. (This is only a thought experiment though -- suggesting someone not pay their taxes is probably a federal offense, and while I may be a nut, I’m not crazy.) When they come to get you for not paying your taxes, try not going to court. Guns will be drawn. Government is force.

And those parts of government where the fact that government is about force and violence is openly admitted are the most effective parts of government (like the military) while the parts where they try to hide the inherent violence of government behind a smiley face are the least effective parts (like just about any welfare program).

6 posted on 07/08/2009 9:46:06 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, Chrysler and GM are what Marx meant by the means of production.)
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To: SJSAMPLE

Wasn’t it Penn and Teller who went to an earth day rally and got people to sign a petition to outlaw dihydrogen monoxide (water)?

Seems like even the rally organizer signed it.


7 posted on 07/08/2009 9:47:12 AM PDT by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: r-q-tek86
Between Penn and John Stossel, I find very little I disagree with.
Is John Stossel also a Libertarian?
Those two make much more sense than most of the RINOs.

8 posted on 07/08/2009 9:51:19 AM PDT by astyanax (I'm here to spread peace, love and happiness... so get the f*#% out of my way.)
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To: cripplecreek

Yep.

And the episodes on gun contol and “recycling”.

Great stuff and very informative.


9 posted on 07/08/2009 9:54:15 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: astyanax
Is John Stossel also a Libertarian?

Idon't know if he is a "card-carrying" libertarian, but everything I've seen from him seems to fit the description.

10 posted on 07/08/2009 9:55:32 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 (The U.S. Constitution may be flawed, but it's a whole lot better than what we have now)
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To: r-q-tek86

Nice words.

Lets see if backs them with any actions.


11 posted on 07/08/2009 9:58:39 AM PDT by dangerdoc (dangerdoc (not actually dangerous any more))
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To: cripplecreek
Wasn’t it Penn and Teller who went to an earth day rally and got people to sign a petition to outlaw dihydrogen monoxide (water)?

Along the same lines, The Man Show started a petition to end women's suffrage. Hysterical.

12 posted on 07/08/2009 9:59:04 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 (The U.S. Constitution may be flawed, but it's a whole lot better than what we have now)
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To: SJSAMPLE
at least I can give him credit for the intellectual honesty of his arguments.

Absolutely on point. I would, however, think that Mr. Jillette would be more properly identified as a libertarian (note the lower case) rather than a Libertarian (note the upper case) as his arguments centered on use of force, the basis of any libertarian discussion. The Libertarian Party, on the other hand, tends more towards anarchy, especially when it comes to drugs. JMHO, YMMV...

13 posted on 07/08/2009 10:01:14 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: r-q-tek86
Along the same lines, The Man Show started a petition to end women's suffrage. Hysterical.

LOL I saw that one too. Idiots.
14 posted on 07/08/2009 10:03:26 AM PDT by cripplecreek (The poor bastards have us surrounded.)
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To: dangerdoc
Nice words.

Lets see if [he?] backs them with any actions.

I think his television show is pretty good action. He presents these views in a way that can appeal to people without it being tied to politics.

15 posted on 07/08/2009 10:06:45 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 (The U.S. Constitution may be flawed, but it's a whole lot better than what we have now)
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To: T-Bird45; r-q-tek86; SJSAMPLE

Anyone know of a decent site that “rates” your political leanings?
Other than generally having to vote “against” the dems, I wouldn’t consider myself a republican, either (at least not as they currently stand.)
I’m a big fan of the Constitution, low taxes and small gov’t.
Is “conservative” close enough?


16 posted on 07/08/2009 10:07:33 AM PDT by astyanax (I'm here to spread peace, love and happiness... so get the f*#% out of my way.)
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To: SJSAMPLE

Don’t mean to single you out this is for all, where’s the love for EVERY other libertarian? Most posts relating to them make them out to be the lowest of the low.


17 posted on 07/08/2009 10:10:46 AM PDT by enduserindy (Conservative Dead Head)
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To: astyanax
Anyone know of a decent site that “rates” your political leanings?

I've seen one or two in the past, but I would have to search to find them again. From your self-description, you sound like a (little l) libertarian

18 posted on 07/08/2009 10:11:03 AM PDT by r-q-tek86 (The U.S. Constitution may be flawed, but it's a whole lot better than what we have now)
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To: r-q-tek86

If you don’t mind (and to further flaunt my ignorance,) what’s the difference between a “libertarian” and a “Libertarian”?


19 posted on 07/08/2009 10:14:36 AM PDT by astyanax (I'm here to spread peace, love and happiness... so get the f*#% out of my way.)
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To: astyanax

Conservative works for me. Perhaps the modifier of Constitutional Conservative might be a better fit.


20 posted on 07/08/2009 10:15:15 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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