I don’t like my brother. Not because he’s gay, but because he’s a lapdog “progressive” who likes to rationalize why the government needs to pick my pocket to pay for his health insurance. He’s also a small business owner − a CEO by function if not by name − who refuses to pay for the health insurance of his employees. He doesn’t see the connection, the selfish bastard.
That’s not the only reason I don’t like him. He also went out of his way to explain how his feels took precedence over my data as he was boorishly commanding me to alter how I did my job as a DoD data analyst during Dubya’s regime-change war but not − ironically − during Cuckold Bill’s regime-change wars. There are other reasons besides. He is every bit the soft-skulled dink that most idiot progressives are, and which I remind them of as often as possible.
In any event, I do feel bad for him. Back in the mid nineties he was shacking up with his boyfriend when a Navy buddy of his asked a favor of him; both the Navy buddy and his wife knew my brother was gay and shacking up.
It seems that this Navy buddy’s oldest child, a mid-teen hellion, was uncontrollable in their home and wreaking havoc upon his younger siblings. The Navy buddy and his wife decided it would be best for the entire family if the hellion stayed someplace else for a while. So my brother, not merely a soft-skulled dink, but also a soft-hearted schmuck, went for it. The teen moved into my brother’s home.
Some time in the next few days, ostensibly to watch television, the hellion got up in the middle of the night, walked to my brother’s bedroom door, opened it, and watched − apparently for quite a while − as my brother and his boyfriend did what two homosexuals do when they are in bed together.
The next day, the hellion called his mother and said, “Guess what?”
The police arrived and arrested my brother. The hellion’s mother, as so many mothers do when seeking to explain the behavior of their children away from themselves or their child’s innate personality flaws, insisted that the live sex show was the reason for the long history of the teen hellion’s sociopathy. She pressed criminal charges.
On advice of counsel, my brother pleaded hoping that the judge would see that, first, what the kid saw was his own doing, and second, that it had no bearing on the kid’s long history of being a pain in everyone else’s ass, and third, people need to have some sort of expectation of privacy when a “victim” goes out of his way to be a victim.
Not so. My brother was sentenced to what was, at the time and location, the upper end of punishment for performing lewd acts in front of a minor, even though the minor’s presence was unknown until well after the arrest, and brought on by the minor himself. My brother served some amount of time in prison − I forget how much exactly − in the cell block devoted to homosexuals and sex offenders. He can’t vote or own a gun.
It was roughly a decade later, maybe more, in the spate of sniffling piety surrounding “sex offenders”, that my brother − like all “sex offenders” in state after state after state − was required to register as a sex offender. Naturally, this was so everyone else could be aware that he was spied on by a bratty kid. Or, wait, the “spied on by a bratty kid” thing isn’t mentioned. All that’s mentioned is “sex offender”.
Libertarians should have several problems with this. Libertarians recognize that the power of the government to punish people for what is defined as a crime is limited by a number of factors. First, of course: does the government have the authority in the first place to define a specific action as criminal. Lewd conduct, i.e., having sex, is not criminal in and of itself. To the degree it might be, it entirely depends on circumstances.
…which is the next limitation on the government: circumstantial: did the person accused of the lewd act knowingly and deliberately have sex in front of the minor? There has to be a distinction made between a couple whose kids walk in on them in flagrante delicto, and the couple which says, “Hey kids! Wanna see where you came from?” If there isn’t a distinction, then the government is called tyranny, or, in modern parlance: fascism.
The next limitation on government power is Due Process. Does the law criminalizing specific circumstances contain the specific punishments that were meted out, at the time they were meted? If not, then it violates Due Process and the government is not permitted to do it.
Are additional punishments added onto the pile years or decades after original sentencing? If so, that violates the prohibition on ex post facto laws.
Are the penalties for the specific crime disproportionate to the offense? Then it violates the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
As libertarians, we know these things − or we’re supposed to. There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of people across the country accused of, and convicted of, “sex crimes” where there was no sex, and the act was not particularly criminal … especially in a society which was defined to be free. In some cases there is no conviction, but a person is punished just the same. They are subjected to administrative barriers, and the lifelong attendant consequences of them, erected by unelected bureaucrats − the Deep State swamp we hear so much of today.
Who of the following are considered “sex offenders” in the United States today − multiple answers are allowed:
a] the girl in kindergarten who hugged a classmate
b] the pimply 19 year old dungeon master who raped his 3 year old neighbor
c] the 8 year old fourth grader who noted that his teacher has a nice ass and lusciously jiggly tits
d] the creepy uncle who felt up his pre-pubescent nieces on both sides of the family
e] the frat brother who had too much beer and was seen relieving himself behind the bushes
f] the couple who were seen copulating in their own home by neighborhood kids looking in their windows
g] the 19 year old guy who knocked up his 16 year old girlfriend
h] the 15 year old girl who sexted her 17 year old boyfriend a nude selfie
i] the 17 year old boyfriend who saw that nude selfie
This was a trick question; the answer is “yes”. All of these people, and many many many more, are considered “sex offenders” in the United States. Depending on circumstances, all of these are also considered “child sex offenders” − a sex offender who victimizes a child − as well.
The 4th grader who develops a crush on his teacher and says so, is not necessarily a child sex offender … unless he makes his confession to other children in graphic-enough detail.
The frat brother who whizzes behind the bushes isn’t necessarily a child sex offender, either, unless one of those who sees him is a 17 year old sorority pledge. Then he is.
And the kindergarten girl who hugs her classmate will, as we’ve seen multiple times under the modern Zero Tolerance insanity, be arrested for it but there will be no trial. Her punishment may, though, include expulsion. When her parents attempt to enroll her in another public school, her prior expulsion is forwarded to her new school, and that − under Zero Tolerance psychosis − is enough to deny enrollment. The government has effectively fucked this girl for life, but just try arresting the government for a child sex crime.
Libertarians are opposed, by philosophical temperament, to all of these conditions carrying criminal credentials with the exception of b and d − raping little girls and molesting others.
Libertarians are opposed, by philosophical temperament, to [e.g.,]the penalties for being seen whizzing in the bushes − by anyone − being identical to the penalties for raping little girls.
Libertarians are opposed, by philosophical temperament, to additional penalties being added onto an already-adjudicated criminal case, years or decades after the fact.
Libertarians are opposed, by philosophical temperament, to the government using raging non-differentiation between individual actions, and to the government’s anti-Due Process and pro-ex post facto proceduralism, and to the sentimentalist foppery of popular feels to add yet another punishment upon those who should never have been punished at all.
And libertarians are opposed, by philosophical temperament, to the academic conceit required to rationalize why dragging along hundreds of thousands of non-sex offenders is perfectly fine when a few actual sex offenders are caught.
If you can’t insist that the government recognize the difference between boyhood crushes, innocent affection, consensual teen-aged lust, invasion of privacy at the most private times, public urination, and techno-stupidity on the one hand … and child rape on the other, then you are not even marginally a libertarian.
That is the answer. The government’s power is severely limited for a reason. I shouldn’t have to be the only one who can remember that.