Why Libertarians Never Get Taken Seriously, Exhibit Aby Doug Mataconis
Via Third Party Watch, here’s a rather bizarre comment from Mary Ruwart, one of the candidates for the LP’s Presidential nomination:
For years, myself and other libertarian candidates have pointed out that “when guns are banned, only criminals will have guns.” The shift in popular perception has come about primarily because courageous Libertarian candidates are willing to teach the American public about the benefits of liberty, even at the cost of being “slimed” by the media. I am proud to be counted among those candidates, proud to be saving lives, especially the lives of our children.
Today, other bans, such as the ones against child pornography, are touted as panaceas to “save the children.” Like drug prohibition and the ban on firearms, these bans backfire, harming the very innocents they are intended to help. Anyone who believes in liberty can see the pattern. Bans and prohibitions drive vices underground, where participants have no legal recourse when they experience exploitation.
Bans make criminals out of 17-year-olds having consensual sex with 15-year-olds, because the younger partner is presumed too immature to make an informed decision. These draconian laws destroy the lives of our young people by making them carry the label of “sex offender” for the rest of their lives. Yet as late as the last century, it was not at all unusual for American boys and girls to marry and start families in their early teens!
Bans based on arbitrary age limits aren’t needed to protect those too young to make informed decisions about sexual conduct. Pre-pubescent children, for example, don’t have the physical or emotional maturity to even understand what sex is all about. When an adult engages in sexual conduct with a young child, we don’t need a law specifying an age limit in order to convict those adults of rape. All we need to do is show a jury that the child wasn’t competent to consent.
Yea, that’s just what the Libertarian Party needs. They’ve been known as the drug legalization party for years. Now, Ruwart is suggesting that they sign on to policy prescriptions that we brand them as the party who wants to legalize child pornography and sex with children.
There are legitimate issues regarding age of consent laws as they apply to 17 year olds, but they don’t need to be part of a Presidential campaign or a Political Party platform.
If the LP nominates Ruwart, they’ll be even more irrelevant in 2008 than they have been in the past.