The following article was written by one of our new conservative ladies, Linda Devore, of Fayetteville, North Carolina.   Linda and I were roommates in Tampa at the RNC Convention where I learned that  she writes a regular column for the Fayobserver.  Think you are going to enjoy reading her latest column about Libertarians and the Republican party  (A very hot topic at the convention !) .  Nancy
Sep 13, 2012
 Common good? Attitudes vary widely
By Linda Devore   Fayetteville resident Linda Devore is a community activist and member of the Observer’s Community Advisory Board. She can be reached at


Some say that the Me Generation began with the free love of the ’60s, self-absorption of the ’70s, and matured into the material greed of the ’80s. Whatever the genesis, it is still around.

It is disturbing to watch as affinities for self-indulgence and greed have found rampant voice in political ideologies and public policies. Public policy should be, after all, about the common good – not the common greed. About us – not me.

The other view

Not everyone agrees. A recent conversation with a young, former military man who claims libertarian views, is a case in point. He was a member of the North Carolina Republican delegation in Tampa. He got there because Ron Paul followers have gained some considerable influence in the county Republican Party, and claim to have a high level of financial support from military members here and throughout the country.

We spent nearly two hours exploring his views, especially his claim that “greed is good.” We disagreed. Greed is not good. Ambition is good, as long as it is not overtaken by greed, I argued. We managed civil tones, but he remained convinced of the righteousness of absolute individual liberty.

The same libertarian voice claims that government should not define marriage, marijuana possession laws should be abolished, military interventions ended, and the Federal Reserve shut down, along with the federal departments of energy, education, and … what was that third one?

If those don’t all sound like conservative views, that is because libertarians are not all – or not at all – conservative, depending on who you ask. Few may know that in other countries, libertarians are seen as anarchists for their bent toward little or no government.

Many Americans agree that individuals should rely less on government – and take more personal responsibility. Government is necessary, but it can also be addictive.

For every 60 cents that Americans send to Washington, Congress generously spends a dollar on us. That’s right, we send in 60 cents, and get a dollar of largesse. It is no wonder we re-elect members of Congress at a 90 percent rate. Where else can you get that kind of return?

The only thing most folks seem to worry over is getting a fair share of the dollar, or whether they are sending in more than their fair shares of the 60 cents.

The self-indulgent “me first” ideology is not all about money, however. Far from it. Liberal ideologues have their own libertarian views on social issues.


Legalized abortion was the first major liberal libertarian victory to come out of the ’60s. The public debate that surrounded the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision started out about avoiding back-alley abortions – the life and health of the mother. That was nearly 56 million abortions ago, while the discussion has evolved to become all about a woman’s right to choose.

The debate over whether the greater good requires that the life of a child be sacrificed for the wellbeing of its mother has never ended. In fact, with advances in medicine that argue more strongly for earlier viability of life, and sonograms showing tiny babies acting like babies at very early periods of gestation, public opinion has begun a slow turn against the pro-choice ideology of the mother as final arbiter.


Then there is no-fault divorce. Does anyone under 50 even recognize the term, or remember that before the 1970s marriage was recognized as forever – unless specific grounds for divorce were alleged and proven before a court? We invented “irreconcilable differences” and marriages became at-will – at the choice of either party.

And then we come to the definition of marriage – which is where far-left and far-right libertarians meet today.

We are asked to consider whether the basic structure of western civilized society should accommodate the idea that whoever loves someone else should be able to choose to marry that person. Children of divorce, and those 40 percent of children born outside of marriage in this country, seem especially amenable to the idea. Sadly, we have a generation of childhood victims of liberal libertarian social policy, who have lost faith in traditional marriage.

Alarming justifications

Just this week, I read of a well-known Hollywood director who asked, what is wrong with incest? Since we no longer associate sex with marriage and children, he reasons, what should it matter?

I can’t help but think of the definition of hedonism – a lifestyle oriented toward selfish momentary pleasures – and wonder whether this is where excesses of libertarian thought have taken us.

Those local Democrats who do not accept same-sex marriage or abortion should be asking whether leaders holding such libertarian views, in a county which rejected same-sex marriage 69-31, adequately represent their interests.

Local Republicans need to consider whether allowing Ron Paul or Gary Johnson libertarians into party leadership best serves their interests. Though addressing $16 trillion in debt is imperative, there is more at stake for our society than just tax rates and entitlements.

Fayetteville resident Linda Devore is a community activist and member of the Observer’s Community Advisory Board. She can be reached at




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