Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Should the Republicans Have a Libertarian Litmus Test?

Well, the libertarians think so. Concerns concerning terrorism have masked the extent to which Republicans have been losing support among voters who see themselves as both economic conservatives and social liberals. Clearly the libertarian vote is in play now. It is arguably THE "swing vote." Should Republicans now look for candidates who combine "the fiscal conservatism of Reagan and the social tolerance of Goldwater?" Or should they think, instead, that the sophisticated combination of the Sixties’ "Do you own thing" (personal and cultural) and the Eighties’ "Do you own thing" (economic) is really a recipe for bourgeois bohemian self-indulgence that stands in ugly opposition to what we really know about our common responsibilities? Because the Democrats really have become more libertarian in the sense defined in the article, it’s true enough that today’s libertarians are less marginalized than blessed with an expanded political menu of choice.

Discussions - 6 Comments

Speaking only as a marginal libertarian at best--but one who very much wants Republicans to win--I think a lot of libertarians could be kept in the fold if Republicans seemed marginally interested reducing the size of government. It was certainly possible to keep the conservative movement together in the 1980s under a president who simultaneously favored a hawkish foreign policy, traditional morality, and limited government. In recent years we’ve only really heard Republicans talking about the first two in any substantive way. What are we to make of conservatives such as Rick Santorum, who is now combining his denunciations of gay marriage with calls for an increase in the minimum wage?

The idea that libertarians can find a home in the Democratic party is one of delusion.
Certainly the GOP offers little to nothing for a libertarian bet the Democrats are just as bad, if not worse.
Josh Trevino explains it better than I can so give this a read.

The Left and Libertarians by Josh Trevino

Santorum is pretty darn unlibertarian. Is there a future for Republicans like him?

I supported Santorum during his first campaign, back in 1994, when I was living in Pennsylvania. I was far more libertarian back then, but I still liked him (maybe because, like me, he’s a Pittsburgher). I think his time in office has made him a lot more tolerant of Big Government--he certainly wouldn’t be the first.

I classify myself as a libertarian, and I (via absentee ballot) just voted mostly for Democrats out of sheer frustration with Republicans (although I did for Libertarian for Ohio Governor, independent for Secretary of State, and Republicans for a few positions). Pretty much, Republicans are pushing attempting to federally regulate my morality too much lately-- I am tired of constant arguments over stem cell research, gay marriage, freedom of the internet, etc. I don’t mind the arguments about abortion, as I treat it as an issue over civil liberties (unborn child vs. mother) and not morality from a government perspective.
Furthermore, in my opinion, Republicans are more and more like Democrats. Insteading of taxing and spending our money, they merely spend it constantly, particularly on messy foreign entanglements.
Another reason I decided to vote Democrat congressionally is that I don’t like one party controlling pretty much all three parts of the government; the more split the government is in my mind, the less likely they’ll be able to do. I’d love more showdowns and stalemates between the White House and Congress,

Economists Are Destroying America

Economists, politicians, and executives from both parties have promised American families that “free” trade policies like NAFTA, CAFTA, and WTO/CHINA would accomplish three things:

• Increase wages
• Create trade surpluses (for the US)
• Reduce illegal immigration

Well, their trade policies have been in effect for about 15 years. Let’s review the results:

• Declining real wages for 80% of working Americans (while healthcare, education, and childcare costs skyrocket)
• A record-high 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance (due in part to declining wages and benefits)
• Illegal immigration out of control
• Soaring trade deficits, much with countries that use slave and child labor
• Personal and national debt both out-of-control
• Global environments threatened by lax trade deal enforcement

Economists Keep Advocating Policies That Aren’t Working

Upon seeing incontrovertible evidence of these negative trade agreement results, economists continue with Pollyannish blather. Some say, “Cheer up! GDP is up and the stock market’s doing fine.” Others say, “Be patient. Stay the course. Free trade will raise all ships.”

Even those economists who acknowledge problems with trade agreements offer us only half-measures—adjusting exchange rates, improving safety nets, and providing better job retraining. None of these will close the wage gap in America—and economists know it.

Why Aren’t American Economists Shouting From Street Corners?

America needs trade deals that support American families and businesses in terms of wage, environmental, and intellectual property abuses. Why aren’t economists demanding renegotiation of our trade deals? There are three primary reasons:

• Economists are too beholden to corporations and special interests that provide them with research grants.
• Economists believe—but refuse to admit—that sacrificing the American middle class is necessary and appropriate to generate gains in third world economies.
• Economists refuse to admit they make mistakes.

Economic Ambulance Chasers

Now more than ever, Americans need their economists to speak truth and stand up to their big business clients. Instead, economists sound like lawyers caught chasing ambulances: they claim they’re “doing it for our benefit”.

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