If, like me and the Gipper, you lean libertarian and believe the basic watchword for any political movement should be “freedom” (or “liberty”), you naturally cringe when you hear of an organization turning to the state to mandate “equality.” While the ideal of equality is perhaps noble in concept, the historical record of the past century has shown that when the state seeks to promote equality, it does so at the expense of liberty (and oftentimes prosperity as well).
Conservative and libertarian political philosophers have long recognized the tension between the two ideals. Laws to promote equality often nibble at our liberty.
This thought comes to mind every time I receive an e-mail from “Equality California” (EqCA) touting their legislative achievements. Given how successful this Democratic group has been at lobbying the Golden State’s Democratic legislature over the years, you’d think that they would no longer need to push bills in Sacramento. By now, that is, they should have passed enough laws to advance gay equality.
But, the laws keep coming. EqCA mentioned seven in an e-mail earlier this month, four which the Governor signed, three which he vetoed.
Now, to be sure, some laws do indeed advance liberty (such as a bill downgrading “possession of an ounce or less” of marijuana “from a misdemeanor to an infraction.”)
Three days after receiving that electronic missive from EqCA, I received one from Log Cabin, heralding “pro-equality Republicans.” Four days later, they touted a candidate as advocated for equality while running on a “freedom-based platform”. Were they even aware of the contradictions between that supposed advocacy and his platform?
If Log Cabin wishes to be a genuinely Republican organization, it, like the GOP nationally, must understand what freedom means. It would be nice if, instead of aping the watchword of the gay left, Log Cabin leaders could craft a real gay conservative agenda, one where the guiding principle is the same one which inspired the founders of our nation — and our party: freedom or liberty.
NB: Tweaked the title to make it more concise.