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I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Initial Reaction to The Enemy Within

I received a copy of Michael Savage’s latest best seller, The Enemy Within, as a Christmas present from a friend and just started reading it today. After hearing a few people talk about Savage, I expected to either agree with it or at least find it entertaining. I was disappointed that I didn’t even make it through the four page preface without getting angry.

According to the preface, this book is Savage’s attempt to:

“reaffirm the meaning of the most basic concepts of family, nation and morality. By pointing out how internal enemies [Liberals] are undermining our religion, schools, courts, military, media and police.”

He then proceeds to throw out a number of illogical arguments for why Liberals are the enemy. For example, he brings up how “Liberals” hate the Patriot Act that gives government wider reaching powers, and has led to the arrest of drug dealers and child pornographers. He then quotes Anthony Romero of the ACLU as saying “Once the American public understands that many of the powers granted to the federal government apply to much more than just terror, I think the opposition will gain momentum”. Savage follows this up with the non sequitur:

“Which side is Mr. Romero on? The law, or that of the child pornographer and drug dealer”?

This is childish nonsense. I think child pornographers should be executed but I’m still against the Patriot Act. I object to the government being able to skip the traditional requirements of “due process” and “probable cause” and use the lesser standard of “suspicion” as grounds for recording, monitoring and even detaining citizens who used to be “presumed innocent until proven guilty”. This does not mean that I am on the side of drug dealers and other criminals.

Here’s another of Savage’s statements:

“It is clear to me if God could vote, He would be a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy. In fact, to the mad dog leftists in the ACLU, The National Lawyers Guild, and the Democratic party, God is the enemy.”

As a Libertarian, I’m generally against most of the “Leftist” ideas found in contemporary politics and I still find this childish and offensive. This is yet another example of a prominent pundit reducing politics to a war between “Left” and “Right”, “Conservative” and “Liberal”, Republican and Democrat. It is dogmatic ideologues like this that long ago helped me to realize I needed to leave the Republican Party and support a smaller party that actually supports my beliefs rather than vote for “the lesser” of two evils.

It’s very disturbing that so much of America polarizes around inflammatory pundits like Savage, Gloria Allred, etc. It’s long past time for people to start thinking for themselves and learn to value logic and reason over party loyalty.

To be fair, I’ve read less than 2% of The Enemy Within so far and will need to read a lot more before I can really pass judgment. It HAS to get better, doesn’t it?

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