LISTEN TO TLR’S LATEST PODCAST:
By Paul Meekin
I feel like a 10 year old kid the Monday morning after Christmas break. I don’t want to wake up, I don’t want to go to school, and I don’t want to make tough choices. I want to stay home and play with my toys.
This is a silly way of saying I want to keep PBS. I want to keep PBS and NPR and the National Endowment for the Arts. Yes. I understand it is the opinion of the Libertarian party and readers of this very website these things are wasteful and useless and have no place being provided for by the Federal Government.
Yes. I understand Taxation is theft and the government is not paying for these programs – we, the citizenry, are. And yes, I understand there are tough choices to be made regarding our budget and deficit and debt.
But please mom, Can’t I play hooky today? I wanna watch “Sesame Street,” Mr. Rogers, “321 Contact,” “Arthur,” “NOVA,” and “Downton Abbey” all day. I want to feel secure in the knowledge that despite the insanity, bloat and overspending of the government, that at least a tiny little bit of that bloat does some fundamental good.
From a libertarian perspective I am of the mind that an all-or-nothing mentality is going to doom the party to closed Facebook groups and twitter wars and limit our appeal to only the most fiscally conservative.
You want to win an election? A meaningful, national election? You gotta compromise, and maybe, just maybe, getting our foot off the big long yellow neck of Big Bird is a decent place to start.
If push comes to shove and we REALLY need the 445 million dollars PBS gets, then fine, cut it, but we’re not there yet.
If Democrats refuse to compromise and Republicans refuse to compromise, and one half hates the other half, perhaps Libertarians become the party that does. Perhaps Libertarians agree that PBS is wasteful spending, but understand it’s small potatoes at this time.
In much the same way Barack Obama directed the Feds to not focus on Marijuana law violations, maybe we can direct ourselves to fry some fish bigger than the porcelain one on “Antiques Roadshow?”
If this sounds like the pleas of a lefty liberal who grew up with this station and its programming, it’s only because I am. They’ve covered Kevin Smith and Tarantino and gave us “Baseball” and “Prohibition” and “The Civil War”. They provided long-form, commercial free, informative content in a “world” dominated by the profit motive and advertising and giving the people what they want. PBS gives you what you need.
And yeah, this is thanks to the Federal Government (and viewers like you).I want nothing more than to sit on my butt at a smoking bar and light up a joint and watch a privately funded PBS without commercials and the same quality content I’ve come to expect.
But don’t take my word for it:
I very badly want a Libertarian utopia of freedom and liberty and people actively financially supporting the media they choose to digest – not being forced to do so.
But we’re not there yet. Cutting funding to PBS is like cutting life vests from a boat because you’d get hypothermia in the water anyway. Even if we don’t need it, even if it is, technically, useless ballast, there’s a boatload of people who take comfort and solace in the fact there’s something designed to protect them from the cold harsh realities of life – and that’s worth the 1.35 a year it costs the Citizenry if you ask me.