Thunderous applause roared today, and, ironically, it couldn’t have been further from all the way over here in San Francisco. When Maine State Senator Dennis Damon voiced his public approval for the legalization of same-sex marriage in his state, it was greeted with a standing ovation, and 60 co-sponsors now back his proposal.
A couple weeks ago, Iowa’s State Supreme Court, headed by a conservative justice, ruled to legalize gay-marriage, eviscerating every opposing argument that came his way. Iowa’s constitution also does not allow amendments to be added by a simple majority vote, since both legislative houses have to approve it as well (a very republican form of de-centralized government, something California should pay attention to).
This is incredibly encouraging news to those who believe in individual liberty free from government intrusion and the power of localism. It also, however, must come as bittersweet to many in California, and especially in San Francisco, as many millions of citizens spent many millions of dollars in order to keep allowing the government to have its monopoly, and with it control, of marriage.
California, supposedly the liberalist of states, is now behind Iowa and Maine on civil liberties, and I’m not surprised. Iowa and Maine are small, rural, and spread out states, and it a very common myth that rural areas are conservative, and urban ones liberal. California’s big-government, sin-taxing, pro-war Senator-having “liberalism” has given us a $438 million dollar deficit and the embarrassing sight of Governor Schwarzenegger begging and pleading the U.S. government for help. Iowa and Maine, on the other hand (as well as Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire, Alaska, and a few other states), are the real liberal states in America.
And by “liberal,” I mean it in its old and beautiful Jeffersoniam form, before it was trampled on by FD(ictator)R and the entire modern Democratic Party. This classical liberalism is what the U.S. was founded upon; a doctrine of individual liberty and small, locally acountable government, where “conservatives” don’t ban drugs and gambling and “liberals” don’t ban guns and cigarettes. Classical liberalism is pesky though, and it lives on in these independent and mind-your-own-business types of states, only now under a different name: libertarianism, the real liberalism.
Because what’s personal liberty without economic liberty? Or vice-versa? Modern-day liberals (correctly) argue against the loss of civil liberties and privacy, but are asking this same government to manage and centrally-plan the economy. The Lefts’ inconsistency, however, is no better than the Right, who preach the values of low taxes and regulations but get giddy when the government punishes sinners, immigrants, and foreigners.
Classical liberalism opposes government intervention into any affairs, civil or economic, because it is this intervention, no matter how noble the cause, that is the antithesis of liberty. The State is, as Nietzsche said, a cold, cruel monster that exploits our freedoms, property, and paychecks, and robs taxes us for the favor.
The Left Coast has been left behind because it views gay marriage through the lenses of “fairness,” “anti-discrimination,” and “equality.” Gay marriage is all of these things, but it is fundamentally about individual liberty, free from governmental intrusion, where the institution of marriage is completely privatized. Yes, privatized. That may be a sinful word and concept to California liberals, but it’s a poetic and just one to Iowa and Maine’s.