Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, two libertarians, engage in some self-congratulation about the improbable attractiveness of Ron Paul, who, for them, is intellectual heir of Barry Goldwater via Ronald Reagan. This is evidence, they contend, that "[m]ore than at any other time over the past two decades, Americans are hungering for the politics and freewheeling fun of libertarianism."
I think they have the "fun" part of it right, and perhaps even the "freewheeling." But I wonder where the responsibility is. Gillespie and Welch characterize the libertarian combination of fiscal conservatism and social liberalism as loving one’s countrymen and mistrusting one’s government. I don’t see the love, unless it’s based on the unconservative assumption that human beings are naturally good and hence can be trusted to do well for themselves and their fellows without much in the way of cultivation, encouragement, or regulation. And I do see a certain selfishness that has little to do with love.