Let me preface this by saying that I am speaking for myself, not John or anyone else at the Sentry Journal.
There is a strong libertarian thread that runs through my veins – something that should be evident by my posts. I’ve been no fan of Governor Romney and have little enthusiasm about the candidate. Still, I have found myself in his corner for reasons that some of you might find flawed. If so, so be it.
I am not new to politics and have in the past endorsed 3rd party candidates. I have long been a supporter of those who vote according to their conscience – even with the knowledge that their vote is going to a losing candidate. Gary Johnson is going to lose this election, but that is not why don’t support him.
There are many issues where I do agree with Mr. Johnson – perhaps more issues than I agree with Mr. Romney on. I would even go so far as to say that I agree with the fundamental political philosophy of Mr. Johnson more so than I do the philosophy of Romney. So why am I supporting Romney over Johnson?
I suppose that I should first say that I am not a single issue voter. I weigh a lot of issues when it comes down to who I vote for – and while I am not a single issue voter, I am prone to having a single issue become the most important in deciding factors. All of you are as well – you just might not be willing to admit it. For instance, how many of you would support candidate A if you agreed with him on every issue except that he thinks that we should kill all of the Jews? Or how about this candidate is perfect except that he has a concubine of teenage girls? I know the examples are far-fetched; but they’re examples for the sake of an argument.
For me Gary Johnson is a good candidate – but he supports “the right of a woman to have an abortion up until the viability” of the fetus. First, from a health care perspective, that is not a concrete or legal term (viability). That aside, I cannot support someone who has such a convoluted understanding of liberty – even a libertarian.
I’ve often feared that the trap of libertarianism is that the movement would focus too much on liberty and ignore the more sacred principles of government – the protection of life. Life is necessary for liberty. That is why it comes first in the Declaration’s list of our unalienable rights, because liberty doesn’t exist without life just as the pursuit of happiness doesn’t exist without liberty. They are hierarchical in nature. This plain and simple understanding can best be illustrated by the rhetorical question, “What liberties do the 50,000,000 unborn babies in aborted in America have?” The obvious answer is that they have none.
Whether in religion or law, life is always the presupposing factor to justification. In other words, life trumps law and liberty. Let me support that with an example in each category. It would be strictly legal for an officer of the law to give you a ticket for running a red light. However, that ticket would be waived if you ran the red light in order to dodge a pedestrian. In this case, the law was broken but justified by the superiority of the law of life. In regard to liberty – the practice of human sacrifice would be accepted by almost nobody in a purely libertarian society, even though the practice, strictly speaking, would be a practice of liberty. That liberty, however, would intrude on the life of another and, subsequently, the liberty of another. Life trumps liberty.
Gary Johnson has stumbled over the proverbial stumbling block of legalism. He has made an idol of liberty to the point that it has convoluted his moral obligation to protect life.
So am I a single issue voter? Not necessarily…but I do distinguish these two candidates on this point more than any other. Is Romney a great candidate? Hardly! He’s only a recently converted to a “pro-life” candidate and who knows why or how strongly he clings to this stance.
Most people will be voting on other important issues in this election – likely the economy. I do not fault you for that. Others will be voting according to their libertarian conviction which is also understandable. I have simply made my case.
You can read my personal story regarding abortion here if you haven’t already.
Filed under: Uncategorized