The “Ground Zero Mosque” and the Prospects for Liberty

The furor over the “Ground Zero Mosque” (which is neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero) doesn’t make me very optimistic about the prospects for liberty.

As a libertarian and just a live-and-let-live kind of guy, I can’t imagine caring much about, let alone vocally protesting, what someone is building two blocks away from me.

Yet apparently many of my fellow Americans are such busybodies that they’ll whine for weeks about something being built hundreds or thousands of miles away from them, in a city where they don’t live and probably won’t even visit. And many of the complainers are among the Tea Party set whom we are occasionally told are “libertarian,” even though they seem to hate Muslims and Mexicans and love war at least as much as they hate the federal government and love liberty.

Jonah Goldberg claims that the conservatives who object “mostly” recognize that the Muslims have a legal right to build their center. But what I hear on talk radio makes me doubt this. A common argument there seems to be that since “liberals” don’t care about the constitution or property rights in general, they aren’t entitled to invoke them now — as though liberals somehow have the power to waive Muslims’ rights.

In any event, even if Goldberg is correct, it’s hard to imagine that the spirit of liberty resides in the sort of people who get so worked up over this sort of thing. The ease with which they’ve been distracted by this issue suggests that reducing government isn’t going to be their top priority once their team is back in control in Washington.

(Cross-posted on my blog.)

8 comments… add one

  • Agreed. Just when Republicans have a chance to exploit the current mood and push for what they give lip service to–they get bogged down in this complete nonsense. To hell with the right–and the left. It’s almost like we need a political philosophy that is neither left nor right. Say—I know. Libertarianism! And to hell with “left-” and “right-” libertarianism. We are not left or right; we are better than both variants of socialism, and anyway we reject the coherence of this stupid left-right spectrum. Who cares how the French Assembly centuries ago was arranged. Jesus.

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  • The author is wrong on three counts:

    Firstly, the Groud Zero Mosque is most certainly located at Ground Zero. It is indeed one block away, not two blocks as the leftist spin from the liberal media would have one believe. It is two blocks from the WTC complex, and only one block from the area of destruction. Actually, it is part of Ground Zero, in that a piece of the landing gear from the 1st plane flown by Muhammed Attah slammed through the roof of the building.

    The USS Arizona sunk just outside of Pearl Harbor. You would not say that it’s not part of Pearl Harbor, cause technically it’s not inside the Harbor itself. Ditto for the Burling Coat Factory which is not in the WTC complex itself .

    Secondly, the author claims that it is incorrect to call it a Mosque. On this, he does have it half-right. It would be much more appropriate to call it an Al Qaeda, Hamas linked Terrorist Training Center, given the extensive links of the developers to Islamic extremists and terrorists. However, a Mosque will indeed be part of the development. So, while it is better to call it an Islamic Terrorist Training Center, Ground Zero Mosque is still descriptive.

    Thirdly, the author makes a gross error in calling himself a “libertarian.” IslamoFascism is completely incompatible with Liberty. It is indeed the polar opposite of Libertarianism. Islamists after all, wish to impose Sharia Law which would outlaw marijuana, jail gays, stone to death prostitutes, ban free speech particularly for cartoonists and comedians, and force all of our wives/girlfriends to wear a black burqa from head to toe. Anyone who aligns themselves in any way with such a belief is in no way a “Libertarian,” in any manner, shape or form. They are indeed a Fascist, or at the very least a Fascist appeasor.

    In the future, the author should refrain from using the term Libertarian so as not to embarrass those of us who truly are Libertarians.

    Eric Dondero, 25+ Year
    Libertarian activist
    Fmr. Libertarian National Comm. member
    Founder, Republican Liberty Caucus
    Fmr. Senior Aide, US Cong. Ron Paul (R-TX) 6 years
    Nation’s #1 Libertarian Political Petitioner
    Publisher, LibertarianRepublican.net

    Reply
    • Note to anyone reading this blog: please do not confuse Dondero with libertarianism, despite his self-label, which is inaccurate. As our blog’s very header indicates, real libertarians are for property, prosperity–and peace. And we are anti-state–so that we do not conflate “country” with “the state” or wrap ourselves up in the flag, patriotism, and nationalism. Mr. Dondero is not really a libertarian; he’s more like a pro-free market neocon.

      Reply
    • Dondero wrote:

      Firstly, the Groud Zero Mosque is most certainly located at Ground Zero. It is indeed one block away, not two blocks as the leftist spin from the liberal media would have one believe. It is two blocks from the WTC complex, and only one block from the area of destruction. Actually, it is part of Ground Zero, in that a piece of the landing gear from the 1st plane flown by Muhammed Attah slammed through the roof of the building.

      Stretching a bit, no?

      Secondly, the author claims that it is incorrect to call it a Mosque. On this, he does have it half-right. It would be much more appropriate to call it an Al Qaeda, Hamas linked Terrorist Training Center, given the extensive links of the developers to Islamic extremists and terrorists.

      Proof?

      What about Fox News’s connection to terrorism?

      However, a Mosque will indeed be part of the development.

      I’m not sure it’s accurate to call the prayer room or whatever it is a mosque. In any event, it is not accurate to call the entire center a mosque because it contains a prayer area or a mosque. This center is more akin to a YMCA or a JCC. The prayer area is like a chapel in a hospital. Do you call a hospital a church because it has a chapel in it? No, you don’t.

      Thirdly, the author makes a gross error in calling himself a “libertarian.” IslamoFascism is completely incompatible with Liberty.

      The author is a libertarian. You are not. Not all Muslims are Islamo-fascists.

      In the future, the author should refrain from using the term Libertarian so as not to embarrass those of us who truly are Libertarians.

      Why do you capitalize ‘libertarian’? The philosophy is not synonymous with the Libertarian Party.

      Reply
    • Dondero posted a different comment on this post on my blog, and I responded to him there.

      Reply
    • Founder, Republican Liberty Caucus

      Republican.

      Fmr. Senior Aide, US Cong. Ron Paul (R-TX) 6 years

      Ron Paul is fairly libertarian, though not perfect, but he has some decidedly conservative/Republican deviations.

      Publisher, LibertarianRepublican.net

      Republican.

      Fmr. Libertarian National Comm. member

      Meh. The Libertarian Party has sold out its principles, often to conservatives/Republicans.

      Nation’s #1 Libertarian Political Petitioner

      What the heck is this? A self-granted title?

      Reply
  • Politics in practice is getting people worked up about things that are none of their business.

    Libertarians say, in effect, mind your own business. But the demagogues say, in effect, that if we mind our own business, some great calamity will befall us. Then we follow them and, lo and behold, a great calamity DOES transpire.

    Reply
  • ?”The US has been building ground zeros near mosques around the world for decades.” –Drew Hjelm [ZING]

    Reply

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