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Liberals, Conservatives, and Dogs

Barack Obama got his dog.  It's a spazzy breed for even a dedicated dog owner.  In other words, he picked the wrong breed.

His family's decision was the product of typical liberal/Yuppie/Stuff White People Like self-indulgence.  The dog is so cute!  That's not how you pick a dog.  You need to be more rational than that.

Can you handle a high energy dog?  Even though Obama is a supreme alpha male, he won't have the time to assert his alpha status on the dog.  It will be a regular challenge.  The dog will probably live another 10-12 years.  What will happen to the dog when his kids leave? 

In ten years, Obama and his wife will be old.  If they aren't going to live in the country with a lot of space, then what?  They won't be able to properly exercise their dog.  Tossing a tennis ball down your apartment hallway isn't nearly enough for a high-energy dog. Amicus at Lancaster dog park

Crime & Federalism's First Dog, Amicus, is an Austrailian shephered.  He already took a trip to the dog park.  He'll get a 3-5 mile walk later tonight.  He'll also have a ball playing session in our front sidewalk.  Will Obama have the time for that?

On days when we're out of the house, he gets a dog walker. He also gets something at night - even if it's just a walk to get coffee, or a short ball-playing session.  No matter how tired I am, my day does not end until my dog has been taken care of.

High-energy dogs require a lot of time and effort.  They are thus the wrong choice for most dog owners.

Incidentally, Obama's dog choice reminded me of the difference between conservatives, liberals, and libertarians.

Conservatives just want to put their beloved - but "dumb" - dogs outside in the yard on a chain.  That's a metaphor for conservatism.  Put a heavy chain on everyone's neck.

Liberals just let their dogs run wild.  This is bad new for the dogs and for other people.  Liberals do not give their dogs the guidance dogs require.  At the dog park, dogs running around, jumping out of control.  They don't listen to commands.  Chaos.  Those dogs end up chewing furniture or running out into the street.

Amicus is the product of perfect libertarianism - Aristotelian libertarianism.  Everyone should be given maximum freedom relevant to the nature of the thing.  The "nature of the thing" is an important step that people gloss over.  A dog has a nature.  That nature is generally to run wild and bite people.  That nature works fine in the wild.  Unfortunately, in civilized society, that part of the dog's nature must be addressed - mitigated, but not destroyed.

My dog is given room to grow, and has an extraordinary amount of freedom.  Yet I recognize his inherently self-destructive nature.

People always say, "You dog can do that?"  Yes, my dog is walked off leash in the city.  I toss tennis balls to him outside of my apartment.  When the ball goes into the street, he stops in his tracks, and looks at me.  "Get me the ball, dumb ass!"  He also is allowed to eat cup cakes, frosting, cheddar cheese, chicken, peanut-butter cups, and other non-traditional dog treats.  He is in perfect health.

If left to his own devices, he'd survive 24 hours in modern society.  He'd either run into the street (as a puppy he was hit by a car); get kidnapped by evil people who steal dogs to sell to animal research facilities; or eat himself to death on chocolate bars.  With proper care, he's allowed to eat a Reese's peanut butter cup without any ill effects, and live an otherwise exciting life.

There is a lesson in here, of course, on governance.  Don't chain people up, but don't let them eat themselves to death, either.  It's a balance, but one that works if you're honest in addressing the nature of the thing being governed.