In a recent article for the online journal Public Discourse, conservative Jay Richards asks the question: “Should Libertarians Be Conservatives?: The Tough Cases of Abortion and Marriage.”
Richards is Director and Senior Fellow of the Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality at the Discovery Institute, a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, and co-author, with James Robison, of the New York Times bestselling book Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It’s Too Late (FaithWords, 2012). Richards and I have many common interests: Christianity, theology, economics, politics. He sounds like my kind of guy – except that he’s not.
Richards is your typical “criticize the welfare state while you support the warfare state conservative.” I wasn’t sure at first, but after looking at his new book Indivisible, and especially his remarks in chapter five (“Bearing the Sword”) on pacifism, just war, the war on terror, the military, and defense spending, my suspicions were confirmed.
Richards maintains in his Public Discourse article that libertarians “tend to disagree with conservatives on social issues.” He views the issues of abortion and marriage as “the two greatest sources of conflict between libertarians and conservatives.” He believes that “there is a tacit if inarticulate conservative wisdom that recognizes that the libertarian commitment to free markets and limited government is best preserved within a broader conservative context.” He posits that this “conservative wisdom” should appeal to the “‘everyman libertarian’ who values limited governments, individual rights, and free markets, but is not otherwise committed to a deeply libertarian philosophy.” Richards concludes: “We conservatives need to strengthen our base without alienating our near allies. One way to do that is to show how the central convictions of ‘everyman libertarians’ can find a peaceful repose in a conservative home.”
One does not have to be a conservative to oppose abortion and defend traditional marriage. And one should certainly not be a conservative when it comes to other important issues.
sfweekly.com ^ | 18 November, 2011 | Joe Eskenazi
Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2011 5:51:42 AM by marktwain
The term “assault weapon” has always rankled Second Amendment absolutists. Handled properly, an umbrella could be an “assault weapon.” Considering the purpose of a weapon, the term “assault weapon” is rather redundant.
In this state it’s also “unconstitutionally vague” according to a lawsuit filed this week by a band of gun rights crusaders.
The plaintiffs in the case, filed Thursday in Oakland, are the Calguns Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Brendan John Richards. The latter is an Iraq vet who managed to get himself arrested and his guns impounded — twice. The former are two litigious firearms aficionado groups who have made a cottage industry out of suing cities and states (you may recall the Second Amendment Foundation successfully forcing Muni to accept advertising in which people brandish firearms).
In both of Richards’ confrontations with the law, he and the arresting officer differed on whether the firearms in the ex-Marine’s trunk fit the definition of “assault weapons.” In both cases, Richards lost the argument, was arrested, had his guns taken away, and spent several days in jail while his family ponied up bail money. And, finally, in both cases, weapons experts overruled the arresting officers, declaring Richards’ armory were not “assault weapons” — all charges were dismissed, and Richards got his non-assault weapons back.