Saturday, December 10, 2005

Indiana Civil Liberties Union Is A Fellow Fighter For Freedom with the Libertarian Party of Indiana

The Indiana Civil Liberties Union (soon to be officially the ACLU of Indiana) has long treated the Libertarian Party of Indiana with respect and dignity. When I became active in the LPIN in 1998, they were one of the few organizations that would take us seriously, treat us respectfully and do so in a dignified manner. When our activists rights were trampled, they reviewed the situation thoroughly and even choose to take action on occasion. This has continued to be the case and is the case today.

I have always believed that they are part of the network of organizations working to preserve Constitutional freedoms.

Thus, I hate libertarian knee-jerk reactions to the ACLU and ICLU denouncing the whole organization when all the dispute is about is one small facet of their work. Let's find our common ground first and work together. If we do so, we'll both achieve 90% of our missions. Only then should we "bicker" over the other 10%.

I participate in the Lawyers Council of the ICLU and do so proudly. I also know that many self-identified libertarians are involved with the ICLU, two of whom are in significant leadership positions with the ICLU. I've known both individuals for years, and they are libertarian, in their beliefs and voting patterns.

Rather than attack, shouldn't Libertarians become more active with the ACLU and ICLU? If more Libertarians did this, maybe some day there wouldn't even be the 10% difference in opinion between both our organizations' beliefs and goals.

If 100% agreement with an organization or individual is a requirement of support, then I'm afraid I'd have to drop out of all organizations to which I am a participant, even the Libertarian Party. I'd have to leave my wife, disown my parents, hide from my nephews and nieces, and eventually live in a cave far, far away from anyone. That's a silly thing for me to do. It would be awfully lonely - and with whom would I engage in debate over a nice single malt scotch? What a wretched existence.


Kenn Gividen said...

I don't even agree with myself 10 percent of the time.

"Woo them, don't boo them," is the strategy for bridge building that our party should adopt.

Openly identifying with the ACLU may be a strategic faux pas, but the organization has room even for the most conservative of libertarians ... such as Bob Barr.

Read "Bob Barr, Civil Libertarian
The right wing of the ACLU
Interviewed by Jesse Walker" at this link:

Here's a snippet of the interview with Reason magazine...

Reason: Do you regret voting for the USA PATRIOT Act?

Barr: I do.

Rex the evil libertarian said...

Wait a minute, Mr. Rutherford. Are you saying that you would work with someone that wasn't 100% Libertarian clear to the bone in order to advance the libertarian cause? Hmmmm.... I don't know if I like that. I don't know if I like that at all.

Kenn Gividen said...

100% Libertarian clear to the bone

I call them "fundamentalists"

Debbie said...

I think the problem centers around organizations in general. True, it would be amazing if one single individual can say she believes 100% in what a specific organization is doing. That would likely only occur if the organization was very singular in its purpose and goal.

Since most organizations are not formed for a small, singular purpose, the individual then has to "rate" the organization on how well it matches up to the individual's goals. If it weighs more heavily on the positive side, the individual could possibly be persuaded to help out. If it doesn't the individual just moves on and keeps looking. Or perhaps creates her own organization, or does things strictly on an individual basis.

But we have to keep in mind that when individuals decide not to work with an organizations, they are likely making a decision based on their individual goals.

And I don't call people who make these decisions "fundamentalist" because that word's meaning has been so twisted it causes knee-jerk reactions rather than serious thought.

I prefer the word "principled," at least until that word becomes twisted enough to create the same knee-jerk reactions. :)

GadFlier said...

I prefer "dogmatic" and "totalitarian" to describe those people so misguided as to demand 100% adherence to every tiny bit of doctrine when it comes to matters of politics. It's the difference between a political party and a political religion. The first people I ever came across who insisted upon doctrinal purity when it came to political matters were the Marxists I found when attending college. As I studied the psychology of totalitarianism--primarily to elucidate why I oppose such movements, I realized that rigid adherance to every iota of doctrine and refusal to compromise any dogma as set down by "the leader" or "the founders" was part and parcel of every totalitarian political movement.

GadFlier said...

Regarding the specific essay topic, I've a theory regarding the vehement hatred of certain Libertarians for the *CLU. These Libertarians are actually just closeted conservatives. They have the "libertarianism of the Puritans". The Puritans came here seeking not religious freedom. They sought freedom to not only practice thier own beliefs but to impose them upon everyone else. They might have called that religious freedom, but it was the "freedom" to be the master that they sought, not freedom for all.