The Only Libertarian Thing About Me
I am a hardcore liberal Democrat. I am a capitalist, but I think there should be government regulation—a hell of a lot of it—on industry and technological development. I think there should be federally-funded programs for everything, including public art and psychologists for everybody and ways to make poor people not poor anymore.
However, I do have one belief that is Ron Swansonian in its isolationist fervor.
This is my house. If I didn’t invite you here, YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE.
It’s like this: on Saturdays, my neighborhood is positively crawling with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Get me straight here. I don’t hate religion, and I absolutely do not want to deny anybody the right to practice religion however they want to (so long as they are not hurting others or drafting legislation to which I will be subject, but that’s another issue). I don’t practice any particular religion myself, and I’m certainly not going to start based on somebody handing me a pamphlet while I’m in my pajamas.
Here’s what happens on Saturdays when these evangelists are walking around. Skylar sees them out the window. She barks like she’s being tortured by hot needles. This goes on for as long as she can see them. While they traipse up to the house next door, linger on their porch. While they traipse up to the house across the street. So on. So on. They move slowly, OK? A lot of them are old. And this means that I may be subjected to 20 straight minutes of insane barking which is not only disturbing my neighbors, I am sure, but which is jangling my nerves like corn kernels popping on a stovetop. This is a really upsetting state for me to be in, especially during a time when I should be free to relax. Thus, this feels like an aggressive violation of my right to privacy. Of my right to be unmolested in my own house!
This fall, I signed up to be a volunteer for the Obama campaign in Cleveland, but I signed up too late. All the public registration drives and things had happened already. They told me all that was left to do was call people (at home) and canvass neighborhoods spreading the word. I said thanks but no thanks. Even when I share the belief—when I have a personal stake in wanting other people to share the belief!—I still don’t think it’s OK to bother people at home.
I was exceptionally mean to the Witnesses this morning because I was so stressed. I literally said “Go away.” I’m sure they are good people by anybody’s estimation. I wish they would quit making me be mean to them.
If I want to learn about your savior, I will go to your church and learn about it. Set up at the library or in the grocery store or in a tent in front of City Hall and I will nod respectfully as I pass. But with all due respect, get off my porch.