The Spring of 1999 saw some dark days. There was the Columbine massacre, in which two losers murdered and wounded several defenseless students and teachers at a government school. In Serbia, Slobodon Milosevic was forcibly removing Albanians from their provincial home of Kosovo. With jaw-dropping contempt of the obvious lessons of these events, new gun control legislation was proposed, and the gutless Republican organ called the National Rifle Association was willing to compromise with the Clinton administration. I wanted to shout out to all friends of gun control, "But what if they come for YOU? Are we to be sitting ducks for the next mass-murderers? Are we to let government troops expel us from our homes, shoot our sons and molest our daughters?"
But if, in fact, these things did happen because of gun control, I could not sit back and say, "Ha, ha, you ignorant twits, I told you so!" Laughing at the suffering of others shows a lack of basic compassion properly understood, and a general lack of respect for human life.
Likewise, I wouldn't fall off my chair laughing if a decent, conservative, conscientious, Republican-voting youth minister sees his car confiscated in the Drug War. It could happen; it may have already happened several times. The minister is driving a new attendee at youth group home. A marijuana joint slips out of the teen's loose pants pocket as he is dropped off at his home, rests on the seat unnoticed by the driver, but is plainly seen by a cop during a routine traffic stop. Bye, bye, car. The Fifth Amendment has been repealed as far as the War on Drugs in concerned, and if you want your car back you must prove your innocence.
The libertarian could criticize the minister for being an ignorant supporter of the two-party junta and the massive attack on liberty that is the War on Drugs. But the libertarian can't laugh at him, because he is still a victim of The State. The government shouldn't just take our property from us without due process, and there shouldn't be anything illegal about marijuana possession anyway. It is wrong for anyone to suffer at the hands of The State, and if libertarians celebrate the "poetic justice" of a gun control advocate being ethnically cleansed, or a Drug War supporter seeing his property confiscated, then we are as contemptuous of the individual as Republicans and Democrats are. We must be better than that.
Which leads me to say something I'd never think I'd say: Thank God for the Supreme Court!
Oh, sure, it's easy to nit-pick about the Supreme Court making a new federal law last week barring the states of The State excuse me states of the Union from making and enforcing their own laws against sodomy. The Supreme Court is a judicial, not a legislative branch, and should interpret law under the Constitution, not make up new laws out of thin air. And yes, the Supreme Court violated the Constitution's own Tenth Amendment by making such a law. Yes, yes, agreed and agreed. Nevertheless, this could be a victimless usurpation of the Constitution, one in which both liberals and conservatives, the Politically Correct and the Fundamentalists, the do-gooders and the nationalists, the liberty-haters everywhere, all get their come-uppance. One which may get them all to scream and protest in outrage, yet allows me to just laugh and laugh and laugh.
Laws against prostitution? Unconstitutional. Hey, it's about sex, and like the right to privacy in abortion, it's also a business transaction. Regulation of any form of gambling between mutually consenting adults? Unconstitutional. To prohibit it is to impose one religious and moral viewpoint upon others, violating equal protection of the laws.
Drug Prohibition? Out. As with abortion, a person has the right to his or her own body. Drugs may also be used in religious activities, so we have equal protection and First Amendment issues there as well.
When you think about it, any transaction involving consenting adults must be legal, and any obstructive legislation unconstitutional. Libertarians used to say that something was unconstitutional if the Constitution didn't authorize it, or specifically prohibited it. Now, we can say, hey, go with the flow. Let's extend the logic of the (mythical) "privacy" right in the Constitution to render just about every law banning peaceful activity, that is, most laws on the books, unconstitutional. Just as when Democrats screamed and howled when the Supreme Court voted for Bush in 2000, let all the leftists expose their hypocrisy when they protest against the Supreme Court advancing privacy and liberty by striking down federal gun laws and free trade. Let the right-wingers of every stripe scream and howl in favor of state's rights, as they did in this sodomy case, but then also hear them when the Court repeals the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, and other conservative attacks on state's rights. When all else fails on every other front, all the Statists resort to the federal courts and the Supreme Court to get their way. When politics fails them, they make the federal courts and the Supreme Court political. Perhaps Libertarians could do the same, since we've always failed in politics anyway, and maybe through the court we can expose these tyrannical, self-righteous dolts for their inconsistencies.
Do I really think the libertarian agenda can be advanced by the Supreme Court? Of course not. The anti-anti-sodomy decision was just another sanctimonious display of destroying state sovereignty even further under the illusion of advancing individual rights. Nothing good will come of the decision, only the further duping of Americans, providing them further "evidence" that this is the "land of the free" even while they are pummeled with Homeland Security, business regulations, an expensive military even though our neighbors can't and won't threaten us, the Income Tax, the costs of unconstitutional and undeclared wars, trade barriers, corporate welfare, agricultural subsidies, impoverishing deficits, all of the economic burdens of government spending, and the concentration of power in Washington, D.C. But still, it is an amusing thought. To see the Supreme Court apply the very logic of the liberals to destroy the liberal agenda, and to apply the very logic of the conservatives to destroy the conservative agenda. I'm not saying this is the best way to advance libertarianism, but if it does happen this way, I will be quite amused to say the least.
July 2, 2003