What the hell is a radical centrist?

Hi, I'm Rich, just started this thing, and thought I ought to explain what it is. When asked about my politics, I generally tell people I'm a radical centrist ... Technically, I'm a Libertarian, but most people don't know what that means either, and it's more fun watching them try to figure out what a radical centrist is.

I describe myself as a radical centrist because as a Libertarian, I manage to be to the left of the Democrats and to the right to the Republicans. I believe that people should be free, not only to make and spend money as they see fit, but also to control their own bodies and minds. (Since I'm not an official spokesman for the Libertarian Party, have a look at www.lp.org if you want the official platform).

I was, at one time, a liberal, but realized as time went on that their way, as espoused by the Democrats and Socialists was as anti-freedom as that espoused by the Republicans and Nazis. The problem is that social freedom, combined with a welfare state, is not -- as the environmentalists say -- sustainable. In such a society, everybody would be free to make their own mistakes. That's good! But they would also be free to force their neighbors, who did not make the mistakes, to pay the consequences. That's less good. If I decide to spend my life exploring the 50 ways to leave my liver, just how many livers are you prepared to pay for? If I decide to spend my life playing, just how much work are you willing to do to support me in the manner to which I have become accustomed? So although this Brave New World they envision is seductive, it cannot withstand the cold calculus of reason. And no matter how much we legislate, we will no more be able to repeal the law of supply and demand then we could repeal the law of gravity. So where is the welfare state compelled to go? Just like the fascist state, it is compelled to totalitarianism, simply because if you have to pay for your neighbor's mistakes, you'd be crazy not to keep an eye on him.

So that's what I don't want. What do I want? To live my own life, to make my own decisions, and if I make mistakes, to pay the price myself. I want to be beholden to no man, and to have no man beholden to me. Simply put, I want self-ownership, for myself and for every other human on the planet. But hey -- if you don't like the idea of self-ownership, just take your extra money -- low taxes, remember? -- and hire Mistress Spanks-a-Lot to tell you what to do. I have it on good authority that she is not only more capable of making good decisions for you than the government ever will be, but she's not nearly as brutal as they are.

So that is what a radical centrist is. Or at least what this one is.

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