Stopped Clock Syndrome Strikes Again

« December 2014 »

Memo to Glibertarian Wingnuts: MAYBE STAY OFF OUR SIDE ON THIS ONE.

In the wake of the Eric Garner grand jury decision, I've seen a lot of press given to a lot of people on the right saying that Eric Garner shouldn't have died and the cop who killed him should have been indicted for something. MSNBC even played clips of Glenn Beck. It's a symptom common to center-right Democrats, who get all a-flutter whenever a wingnut is on their side, and to a lesser extent more proper leftists, who approach the situation with an "even the people who are always wrong agree with us here", which is a bit of a problem for obvious reasons.

But the traditional problem with libertarianism, and the reason it seems more appealing than other wingnut varietals, is that their philosophy will occasionally lead them to the correct conclusions by accident. For example, Ron Paul famously opposed the Iraq War, but not on the grounds that it was a stupid war of choice attacking the wrong country. No, he opposed it because libertarians are isolationists. It's a knee-jerk reflex.

And the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Here's Rand Pauul's opposition to the death of Eric Garner. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I think it is important to know that some politician put a tax of $5.85 on a pack of cigarettes so that driven cigarettes underground by making them so expensive. But then some politician also had to direct the police say, ‘hey we want you arresting people for selling a loose cigarette.’ For someone to die over breaking that law, there is really no excuse for it. But I do blame the politicians. We put our police in a difficult situation with bad laws.”

In other words, in Rand Paul's view, there are plenty of laws that it would have been perfectly OK for Eric Garner to die over. Just not cigarette tax laws, because TAXATION IS THEFT and government has no business collecting money from people, especially off of products that harm society through individual choice. Or some other Randian/Paulian bullshit.

Rand Paul and his ilk don't blame the police because they can't blame the police. Funny how that works, by the way. In most jobs, if you do the job wrong, you don't get patted on the back and told it's OK that you got it wrong because your job is very hard. Police get that all the time, and their mistakes lead to people being choked to death, pepper-sprayed, or shot.

The problem isn't with the laws. Well, it's not with most of the laws. It's certainly not cigarette tax laws. Laws against filming police, laws that let cops arrest you for protesting peacefully, thaat kind of thing can be a problem, but most of the time, the problem isn't even the enforcement of laws, it's the overzealous enforcement of order, the status quo, and police authority.

And the fact is, police perceive those challenges to order, the status quo, and their authority very differently for minorities than they do for white people. Some cops are straight-up racist, some cops become racist as part of being immersed in cop culture, and some cops are just dicks.

Take away all the laws libertarians hate, which basically means all the laws that don't keep you from taking a libertarian's stuff, and the problem would still persist. Some unarmed black pickpocket would get shot to death for taking a libertarian's wallet and not complying enough, because it is impossible to comply enough to keep some wingnut from thinking you deserved it.

Unless they can make a cheap point about their bankrupt, selfish ideology. Then they'll martyr you no matter your skin color, because libertarians may like white better than black, but they like green better than anything.