Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Why I Will Never Be a Libertarian--Reason 1

My nephew regularly shows up at my parents' house with weird rashes and burns and scrapes. He's four. A lot of times, this shit just happens. Hell, I have a big bruise on my arm right now and I don't know where it came from. I'm just an easily bruised person. But when he comes into my dad's room late at night and pats my dad's arm and says, "It's okay, Grandpa, sometimes mommies don't come home." it makes me want to drive over to North Carolina and run my sister-in-law over. I don't, because all I have are my suspicions and a four year old nephew who doesn't think there's anything weird about the way that he lives and who has no interest in explaining where every strange bump and scrape on his body came from. If you've known me longer than five minutes, though, you know that I'm terrified for him. What do I want for him more than anything? I want him to live until August. I want him to get enrolled in kindergarten, because the law says he has to be, and I want him to go to a public school, because that's all his mom can afford to send him to, and I want him to be so cute and charming to a tax-payer funded teacher that when he starts showing up late or not at all, because his mom can't be bothered, I want a Department of Family Services to swoop in there and rescue him. I can't do this. I have a job and just one car. I don't have unlimited wealth to hire a private detective to follow him around and make sure he's okay. No one in my family has enough money to quit their jobs and move to North Carolina to keep their eye on things and intervene if need be. Plus, she moved to North Carolina, in part, to keep my family out of her hair. I need for there to be someone with the weight of the government behind him or her who can force her to do right by my nephew. He deserves that, even if we aren't rich enough to provide it for him.

12 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Mack said...

I guess it just takes a personal experience sometimes. Thats all I have been trying to tell you. It's all good theory and fun intellectual exercise I suppose, but the practical application only suits those capable of defending themselves...

2/22/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't a family member do all that without more .gov involvement? And more effectively since they don't have to divide their attention among 40 kids?

Just saying, there's ways to deal with it that don't involve bureaucratic governmental agencies.

-SayUncle

2/22/2006 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Exador said...

I don't have unlimited wealth to hire a private detective to follow him around and make sure he's okay.

But you do have a phone. If you're that concerned, talk to your brother. If that gets you nowhere, after telling your brother that you will be calling DFACS, since he's not man enough to protect his own child, call DFACS yourself.

You don't want to do that because you don't want a confrontation. You want the government to be your bodyguard and nanny.

2/22/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Exador, according to Libertarians, there shouldn't be a DFACS at all, so, if we did things your way, they wouldn't be there for me to rely on in the first place.

Second, you're making some large assumptions about what I have or haven't done and why I have or haven't done them. I'm tempted to justify myself to you, but I suspect that's exactly your rhetorical motivation--to distract me by making me explain myself.

I don't want the government to be my bodyguard and nanny. I want the government be the bodyguard and nanny to that boy.

That boy has a right to life, liberty, and whatever third thing you all believe in, property, I guess. And if there's not some way of enforcing that he has those things (using property in this case to just mean a right to self-ownership), the libertarian claim that he has them doesn't mean much.

I could claim that I have a right to the moon, but if no one else treats that as if it's true, it doesn't much matter.

2/22/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Exador said...

Libertarians are not against the police or the prevention of crime.

2/22/2006 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger saraclark said...

You can still call the local DFCS and notify them of what you see and suspect when the nephew visits. Even if nothing gets done now, it will create a record for the future(and that school teacher). It's a tough balance and call, because you don't want to lose the few visits that you get now, but the law requires DFCS to check it out and note the report and it can be anonymous.
My mom is the Children's Meth Task Force Leader and you can't even begin to imagine the stories. Exposing children to a Meth environment in TN means the parent automatically loses custody of the children. I am not sure if this is a federal or state law.
Sorry Libertarians, but you pay for the abused children now or you pay for them later.

2/22/2006 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Well, Boy Scout, it's going to make it very hard for me to fight with you if you say reasonable things like that.

2/22/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Exador said...

Should there be laws against child abuse, molestation, statutory rape, etc?

I think most libertarians would say yes. This necessitates the need for a body to investigate such criminality. Hence no conflict with DFACS.
Maybe that's the difference between a big L and little l libertarian?
The Devil's in the details. How far-reaching, etc.

Personally, I see a loophole in the individual responsibility rule, as regards those that are too young to be responsible for themselves.

2/22/2006 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Argh! Flip those last two comments, folks, obviously.

2/22/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Exador said...

OK, how about,

"The Wage Gender Gap is a feminist myth with no basis in reality."

2/22/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger saraclark said...

Political tags and descriptions are tricky things in America and I think that's a good thing. I once heard someone ask my dad his political affiliation and he replied "smart enough to think for myself." I think this applies pretty well. Take a little from here and a little from there, add a dash of this and it creates a stronger political whole. Libertarian (big L or little l)ideas feel comfortable, but I'm still mixing and matching to suit my interests. Of course most of my State Representatives are under investigation or indictment, so what do I know?

2/22/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

SHIT! I want to help this little boy!

2/23/2006 12:28:00 PM  

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