Friday, October 17, 2008

Issues Designed to Divide

In California there is a proposition on the ballot of very little importance. It is the one receiving the most media attention and has passions running the highest. Proposition 8 is about gay marriage.

There are two aspects to the gay marriage debate. The first is whether or not homosexual couples should have the same legal rights in their unions as heterosexual couples do in their unions. The second is whether or not these unions can be called "marriages." The first touches on libertarian issues, in an oblique way. The second is utterly irrelevant.

The libertarian take on the first question is that government should not be in the marriage business in the first place. The debate in the public arena is whether the government’s involvement should be to recognize or not recognize with government approval and government licensing the gay union. Libertarians who take a stand on this question will often come down on "if the have to be involved, they should at least treat everyone equally" which is a fair position.

There is absolutely no libertarian take on the second question. It is designed to keep the public debating a completely irrelevant point. It doesn't matter if congress just is busy incrementally voting in a police state if everyone is debating whether or not homosexual unions can be called "marriage". It doesn’t matter which direction the question is settled, the fact that everyone is debating the question is sufficient to keep people from questioning other issues.

If everyone is debating whether or not McCain looked Obama directly in the eyes during the debate, nobody is noticing that they didn't disagree on any basic issues.

If everyone is debating whether or not ACORN submitted phony voter registrations (or had infiltrators submit them) they do not see the bigger voter fraud picture of Ballot Access Laws, Campaign Finance Laws, and Safe Districts.

Distractions are the method of modern politics. Many are distracted by the tabloids. For those who actually think politics is important, there are distraction issues to deal with them.

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