Shoot The Haranguers

24 June 2004

Shooting liberals and loons
By Craig J. Cantoni
June 24, 2004

I recently shot a liberal who had been haranguing me for the last two years over my weekly opinion column in the Arizona Republic. I’ll never hear from him again. If you want to know how to shoot liberals and other loons without getting arrested, read on.

I’ll start with how I shot the haranguer.

I shot him with a rhetorical bullet by asking him the following: ”Since you dislike my libertarian views, could you please describe your political philosophy? To make it easy for you, pick a point on a 10-point scale, in which ’0’ represents totalitarianism, ’5’ represents contemporary liberalism, ’6’ represents neoconservatism and ’10’ represents the full array of liberty, including civil liberties, economic freedom, property rights, and the rights of self-defense and free association.”

The haranguer wrote back and said that he was too busy to answer my question. Yeah, right. He is not too busy to send me long, haranguing e-mails, but he’s too busy to pick a point on a 10-point scale. In reality, the question flummoxed him, because like most people, he had spent his adult life thinking in terms of the traditional left-right scale, or liberal-conservative scale, and not a liberty scale. Like a shot in the forehead, the question undoubtedly made him realize that his political philosophy was not about complete freedom, and he was not about to admit it.

Here are six other bullets that I have found effective in shooting liberals and loons:

Bullet One:

When a liberal or loon says that taxes should be increased in general or for some utopian purpose, shoot back with this loaded question: ”Given that government spending has increased 300% in inflation-adjusted dollars over the last 100 years, given that the cost of government is $24,000 per household, given that a clerk earning $64 a day at a convenience store has almost $10 taken for the Social Security and Medicare of well-off retirees, and given that I pay more than 40% of my income in taxes, what do you think is a fair percentage of income for people to pay in taxes?”

I have asked at least 50 liberals and loons this question. None has ever answered the question with a specific percentage. Most answer with platitudes and generalities about fairness and justice. A few have actually said that no one should pay more than 25% of income in taxes.

Bullet Two:

When a liberal or loon says that schools are underfunded and need more money, fire the following question: ”How much do you pay per year and over a lifetime in school taxes?” If the person doesn’t know (and few people do), fire a follow-up question: ”Then how do you know that schools deserve more of your money and whether you are getting your money’s worth?”

Bullet Three:

When a liberal or loon says that health care should be provided by the government, squeeze off this round: ”Do you also believe that everyone should get free food, shelter, clothing and transportation from the government, and wasn’t that tried by the Soviet Union?”

Bullet Four:

When a liberal or loon says that health care is right, pop ’em with this: ”Aren’t you really saying that people have a right to take other people’s money for their health care? If so, where is that right written?” If he responds with claptrap about the profit motive not working in health care, ask him the following: ”Are you aware that the government critically wounded a consumer market in health care 60 years ago, when misguided policies resulted in employees getting their medical insurance from their employers instead of buying it on their own, and that the government delivered the coup de grace with Medicare in 1965? Why do you blame the market when there is no consumer market in medical insurance?”

Bullet Five:

When a liberal or loon says that higher gas prices are due to price-fixing by Big Oil, blast back with this bullet: ”Then why does Big Oil allow prices to fall?”

Bullet Six:

When the first five bullets mortally wound a liberal or loon, and in his dying breath he calls you mean-spirited and selfish, finish him off as follows: ”Gee, if you care so much about other people, why don’t you give them your money instead of mine?”

Lock and load. Happy shooting—rhetorically speaking.

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Mr. Cantoni is an author, columnist and founder of Honest Americans Against Legal Theft (HAALT). He can be reached at

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