The Libertarian Debate was on TV last night, as I'm noticing this morning, reading my son John's live-blogging of it, which begins:
9:03 — Gary Johnson uses his opening statement to talk about his "wonderful family," including his grandchildren and his fiance, with whom he shares "a passion for health and wellness." "It's great to be in love, and I'm in love!" He talks about starting a successful "handyman business," then selling it in 1999 — "nobody lost their job." He also points out that he got elected governor in a state that's 2 to 1 Democratic, New Mexico. And he's adventurous: "I climbed the tallest mountain in each of the seven continents!"Funny that 2 of them were so personal and one was so abstract. It's the excessive abstraction that scares me about libertarians, so maybe I should be wary of McAfee, even though I loved his quote and immediately chose it for the post title.
9:05 — John McAfee's opening statement strikes a different tone — philosophical, not personal: "Libertarianism is grounded in the concept of liberty. What is liberty? Liberty is the idea that our minds and bodies belong to ourselves. . . . Liberty cannot be extinguished . . . through laws; it can only be unjustly punished."
9:06 — Austin Petersen sketches his biography to highlight how he's learned the value of liberty. He grew up on a horse farm near a town called Liberty, Missouri. He learned about "economic liberty" as a kid, when his parents sent him to sell chrysanthemums. He learned about "personal liberty" from "the Golden Rule." "I may be the youngest candidate in this race, but I'm the oldest in libertarian years!"
Anyway, the whole live-blog is well worth reading. Ah, yes, here's some more about McAfee, perhaps explanatory of why he, unlike Johnson and Peterson, declined to make his opening statement a Song of Myself:
9:38 — McAfee is asked about his shady alleged activities in Belize and Guatemala. "You're still technically a fugitive!" He was also arrested for driving on Xanax. McAfee says . . . well, he's never been charged with murder! (That's reassuring.) He admits his DUI was "the stupidest thing I've ever done."I like this Peterson-Johnson engagement with the iconic issue of our day, forced cake decoration:
9:42 — Petersen challenges Johnson on his support for requiring bakeries to make cakes for same-sex weddings. "Should a Jewish baker be forced to bake a Nazi wedding cake?" Johnson says: "Yes!" Petersen accuses Johnson of not understanding the free market. Petersen frames his argument as pro-gay: "Let the bigots out themselves!"That's 2 damned different forms of libertarian. The libertarian position should be Petersen's, don't you think? Petersen is only 35, by the way. Asked about it, he said, "I'm 35, so I'm constitutionally eligible.... Don't hate me because I'm young and pretty!"