Because Jackson is weird. And yet, even despite his being so weird, despite his living a lifestyle that could cause some to raise eyebrows, he was acquitted of all ten charges against him today.

That says something about the United States justice system which should stand in its favor with libertarians, and it is this: America as a society has been shown today to be able to tolerate strange, weird or bizarre behaviour or lifestyles without assuming guilt of a crime where there is no guilt, without leaning unfavorably toward the executor of that behaviour or showing bias before hearing whether or not an actual crime was committed. It shows that America can distinguish between a variety of different lifestyles and intentional harm to another human being. It demonstrates that America does not seek to eliminate our liberty to behave as we like or to live in whichever way we choose. It is a libertarian verdict!

It is clear to me that Michael Jackson has, his entire life, attempted to hold onto the concept of youthfulness and childhood as long as possible; most likely to compensate for his lost childhood. His having sleepovers with ten year-olds is an example of an activity which causes people who do not understand this desire to raise eyebrows. It is also inevitable, in a person who has known fame and fortune his entire life, that his general lifestyle will not resonate with the ordinary Joe – it will be percieved as excessive and strange and out of control. Both of these factors are key in understanding his weirdness and in understanding why he is a target of litigation. It may also explain why he seems to be totally incapable of preventing himself getting into these kinds of situations.

But the jury in the Michael Jackson trial today, after a complicated, fair, painstaking, tried and tested, long process involving a system of checks and balances, have confirmed with this verdict the rights of people to engage in whatever activities they choose, so long as they do not infringe on the equal rights of another – a purely libertarian principal. Its good to know that Americans still value the liberties of individuals, even in those cases where those individuals are weird.

And that’s why libertarians everywhere should welcome the Jackson verdict.

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John Wright

johnwright@softhome.net