Are Libertarian Ideas Too Radical???

Dear All;

I am sending this to both yahoo group lists as the message from Sharon Harris is
too good to pass up.

Ron Getty

One-Minute Liberty Tip By Sharon Harris

Too Radical?

“Your ideas are just too radical to ever be accepted,” she said to me across
the restaurant table. “It just makes you sound foolish when you advocate them.
Your libertarian ideas won’t get anywhere because they’re just too extreme.”

“Well, I think a lot of your political ideas are very radical, too,” I

“What do you mean?”

“Well, consider that gentleman over there.” I indicated a black man at a nearby
table. “Do you think it should be legal to own and sell him?”

“Of course not!”

“I agree,” I said. “And so does everyone else – now. But that was an extremely
radical idea in this part of America back in, say, 1858. Still, some people had
the courage to call for it. And because of them, that man is free today.”

I pointed at the glass of wine at her table.

“Do you think it should be legal for you to buy that wine?”

“Of course.”

“Another radical anti-Establishment idea of yours,” I said. “The manufacture,
sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages was outlawed in 1920 – by a
constitutional amendment, no less. Prohibition lasted until 1933 – until years
of hard work by radical anti-Prohibitionist activists finally resulted in that
Amendment being repealed.

“And what about voting?” I continued. “Should you, a woman, be allowed to vote?”

Her eyebrows shot up. “Certainly!”

“That’s still another radical belief you hold,” I said. “In fact, the first
U.S. political party to propose it was the Liberty Party in 1848 – one of those
radical third parties you laugh at. But it wasn’t until 1920 that the U.S.
Constitution was finally amended to allow women to vote. It took nearly a
century of activism to bring that about.”

“Well, all that was a long time ago…”

“Let’s look at more recent times. Do you think it should be legal to publish
and buy the works of D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and William Burroughs?”

“Certainly. They’re major figures in world literature.”

“Your radicalism is showing again,” I smiled. “It was illegal to publish some
of their major works in America as late as the 1950s and 1960s. Booksellers
were arrested for selling them. Court cases supported by First Amendment
activists – who were often denounced as radicals, pornographers and enemies of
America -- eventually made it legal to print and sell them.

“We could go on,” I said. “Nudity and cursing in mainstream films – illegal
until several decades ago. The use of medical marijuana – only now finally
winning acceptance. Strong language in stand-up comedy -- remember what
happened to Lenny Bruce as late as 1964?

“My point is, we’re both radicals. You’re as radical as I am on many issues.
The only difference is that you’re radical on issues that were settled a while
back. It’s easy now to defend the freedom to purchase alcohol or to read Henry
Miller or to listen to comedians who use strong language. But that’s only
because passionate and brave people spoke up and took risks – including
sometimes ridicule, criticism and persecution -- when those were the hot issues
of the moment.

“You and I agree on those issues. But the difference is -- I’m also radical on
the burning freedom issues of 2011. And let me ask you: What will happen on
those vital issues if people like you and me don’t speak up now?”

Indeed, excellent essay Ron, thanks for sharing! I will be passing it along for sure.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))