The Itch To Meddle In Others’ Lives: Where The Left And The Right Are Pretty Much Alike
Their only real argument is on the subject matter.
Timothy Noah writes in TNR:
Yet, even as liberals and conservatives profess to hate the idea of government paternalism, both practice it. Liberals support restrictions on harmful things individuals do to their bodies, like smoking, driving without a seat belt, and riding a motorcycle without a helmet. Conservatives support restrictions on actions they deem harmful to the soul, like having abortions, using contraception, and marrying a person of the same sex.
I think this is a little simplistic, because it excludes people who are or lean libertarian. But, if citizens pay the price of their choices and don’t force others’ to pay them (like by driving while high or by forcing others to pay the medical costs for riding a motorcycle without a helmet), they should be free to make them.
And here’s where Tim Noah stands:
I would never want the government to stop discouraging illicit drug use and prostitution.
It is not the government’s business to tell two consenting adults that they cannot exchange money for sex or to tell a person he can’t get high by eating or smoking some plant matter. Tim Noah is free to picket places prostitutes congregate and snarl at potheads, and that should be the extent of it.