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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Still No Quote of a Root Smear Against Ruwart

As usual, Dan Wiener says it far better than I can.  But since I've already drafted the following, here it is:
Ruwart was explicitly campaigning a candidate who has "gotten the whole picture" and is "fully attuned to the Libertarian philosophy" and "can explain to the American people what we truly are all about".  You Ruwart supporters were bragging how she "wrote the book" on libertarianism, so it's simply ludicrous to complain when we quote the book you bragged she wrote.  I said repeatedly that if Ruwart had been running to be ONLY the chief salesman for consensus libertarianism, and would disavow her apparent claim to represent the best and most authentic form of libertarianism, then she would have been my #3 choice (behind Root and Phillies).  But when she decided to campaign on the moral superiority of her anarchist brand of libertarianism, then her anarchism became fair game.  If fairly characterizing her anarchist views is a "smear" or a "red herring", well, so much for holding high the banner of radical principle.
Less, feel free to cite the paragraph and sentence number if you don't want to quote what you claim are Root's misrepresentations of Ruwart's positions.  And if you don't claim that Root misrepresented her, and instead are merely complaining that Root chose a part of Ruwart's "whole picture" that is embarrassing to her, then we're done here.
I freely and eagerly admit that I, and presumably Root, tried to embarrass Ruwart by accurately characterizing her anarchistic quasi-Rothbardian principles.  Indeed, I tried to go beyond the child prostitution angle, and ask whether Ruwart agreed with Rothbard that the rules should not punish parents who choose to let their children starve to death. My attempt failed utterly, and I couldn't even induce other Ruwart critics to probe that position -- one which the LP platform implicitly defended until 1996, when it removed the following sentence:
"Whenever parents or other guardians are unable or unwilling to care for their children, those guardians have the right to seek other persons who are willing to assume guardianship, and children have the right to seek other guardians who place a higher value on their lives."
The bottom line is: if you find a position too embarrassing, don't endorse a candidate who holds it.  Every candidate  has positions I find embarrassing, but I'm not going to call it a "smear" or "red herring" every time one of those positions is accurately characterized.