On November 27, 2011, Scott Morgan, a member of the Libertarian Party of Queens County who also has been active in the Independence Party of New York State, posted a response to Ron Paul's recent comments on evolution and to Carl Person's classification of bestiality as a victimless crime. Ron Paul is seeking the Republican Party's Presidential Nomination and Carl Person is seeking the Libertarian Party's Presidential Nomination.
Scott Morgan's comments were as follows:
As hard as it might be for True Believers and Ideologues to imagine, politicians sometimes utter ritual incantations to placate their "base". Ron Paul, though a legitimate libertarian, quite simply needs a fair share of the dung-ignorant yahoo vote to be electorally viable, and he is being pressed hard by the Bachmann-Cain-Perry-Santorum wingnuts for even that. Obviously, as a physician, Paul had to take-- and pass-- any number of biology courses, and since Evolution can no more be "put up for a vote" than Gravity or String Theory, he feels it's pretty much okay to spew nonsense regarding a non-essential issue. And if you're advocating removing U.S. troops from imperialist wars abroad, repealing the Patriot Act and overhauling the Fed, who needs the distraction of some illiterates demanding you hold to a "literal" interpretation of one or another translation of the Christian Bible, anyway?
Besides which, there aren't any religious tests for "libertarianism", nor should there be. True, while an ignorant misunderstanding of-- or petulant opposition to-- Evolution or String Theory might well cause one to doubt the intellectual candlepower of a friend or acquaintance, remember: politicians are just politicians. Not intellectuals, not "truth seekers", not academic researchers, not visionaries-- just damn politicians, and as such must be held to a fairly low standard.
I'm reminded of some anarchists refusing to recognize Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker movement as a "true anarchist" because she was, well, a Catholic. N.Y. City Councilman Dan Halloran describes himself as a pagan, and is a defender of civil liberties. I know an absolutely flaming libertarian who takes great interest in the work of Zecharia Sitchin, who postulated that the ancient Hebrews' Elohim and Nefilim (like the western Chinese "giants") were extraterrestrials who mated with proto-Earthwomen to create the Human Race. (Parenthetically, Anunnaki theory can be said to support both Evolution and Natural Selection.) An odd fascination many would say, but hardly one which would prompt the dude to advocate government censorship of libraries or to enable jack-booted thugs as they stop and frisk folks who walk and talk funny, demanding their "documents".
As for bestiality? It would seem to depend upon whether one views animals as sentient beings or as "property". Also the presumption is that the animal him/herself doesn't initiate the sexual conduct. Higher primates possess language skills, even rudimentary grammar. Some can even "read" after a fashion, but few beyond the level of a State College MBA candidate. (This may be apocryphal, but the ASL "signing ape" Koko was reportedly fond of Hayek and Szasz, though found Ayn Rand insulting to her intelligence. "Bad write" Koko purportedly signed.)
The Non-Coercion Principle (apparently based on a one-liner spoken by Murrays Rothbard and Bookchin) is a tenet of "flashcard libertarianism" almost up there with "Cut Taxes!". But what constitutes "coercion"? I put landlordism, taxation and usury into pretty much the same category. To some, drivers' licenses seem little more than taxation by another name, plus a data-mining "gateway" device. I heard an antiabortion libertarian (and, no, not one of the clownish "cultural conservatives") describe abortion as "just about as coercive as it gets". So there are, reasonably, various interpretations of the term.
I believe many animals are sentient, although, of course, lack "Consciousness" in the accepted Jaynes/Hampden-Turner sense. (Oh, and Consciousness exists separate from Language, and vice versa.) In bestiality (or Zoophilia, if you prefer), "consent" is hard to determine or define. Bestiality figures prominently in American (especially Southern American) literature. Entire academic careers have been established in re the "Ike in the barn" chapter of Faulkner's The Hamlet, after all. Plus current research holds that 10-20% of all farm boys have had "animal contacts". Ah, a voting bloc! Perhaps this is why Carl would raise bestiality as a campaign issue in the first place.
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