Posts Tagged libertarianism
David Boaz at the Cato Institute considers the rhetoric being put forth by the left that conservatives and libertarians are “anti-government,” and asks whether that is true:
The term “anti-government” is getting tossed around a lot these days, and used rather indiscriminately to describe libertarians, libertarian-ish Tea Partiers, hate groups, and violent individuals (not to mention opponents of specific leaders and regimes in countries around the world). That’s a pretty wide spectrum, and journalists and politicians ought to be more careful with their language. In the meantime, I’m republishing here a Cato Policy Report editorial that I published in 1998: Read the rest of this entry »
John Stossel hosts a panel on how libertarians approach social issues.
Reason.tv interviews John Avalon, author of the book Wingnuts: How The Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America.
Hyper-partisans and rhetorical extremists on the left and the right—characters such as Reps. Alan Grayson and Michele Bachmann, commentators such as Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck—are not simply polarizing the debate, argues Avlon, who is a regular presence on CNN and a columnist for The Daily Beast.
Far more importantly (and destructively), they are obscuring the fact that the U.S. electorate is, in the main, proto-libertarian. Independents are the fastest-growing group of voters, says Avlon and, “They tend to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal to libertarian.” Avlon is also the author of Independent Nation: How Centrism Can Change American Politics.
I’m trying to figure out just how the libertarian Beck is part of the far-right fringe, and there are plenty of libertarian lunatics as well (a lot of the truthers are left-leaning libertarians). But he makes an interesting argument anyway, I suppose.
John Stossel at Townhall writes about prohibitions for things relating to your use of your own body and victimless crimes. No matter what it is you want to do, it seems someone in power will tell you that you can’t, because it’s for your own good. I can determine my own good without your elite and expert opinion, thank you very much.
The prohibitionists say their rules are necessary for either the public’s or the particular individual’s own good. I’m skeptical. I think of what Albert Camus said: “The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants.” Prohibition is force. I prefer persuasion. Government force has nasty unintended consequences.
I would think that our experience with alcohol prohibition would have taught America a lesson. Nearly everyone agrees it was a disaster. It didn’t stop people from drinking, but it created new and vicious strains of organized crime. Drug prohibition does that now.
But last year, as noted in the SPLC’s August report, “The Second Wave: Return of the Militias,” a dramatic resurgence in the Patriot movement and its paramilitary wing, the militias, began. Now, the latest SPLC count finds that an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) — a 244% jump.
Ooh, doesn’t that sound scary? The SPLC report ties these Patriot groups and militias together with neo-nazi and other “extreme right-wing” hate groups, spouting hate, racism, and “anti-immigrant” rhetoric. Left-wing sources such as the Huffington Post have latched on to this story, going on to blame figures like Glenn Beck for fanning the flames of conspiracy theories which draw people to these groups. Read the rest of this entry »
Apparently Mike Huckabee was not very happy with the libertarian tone of CPAC. Or, he was happy because he didn’t win the straw poll. Or because he wasn’t invited to speak. Or play his guitar. Or whatever.
Others cover Huckabee’s hissy fit:
I’m very pleased with the CPAC’s libertarian tone. It shows that conservatism is a political position, and not a religious one. Perhaps Huchabee isn’t cut out for a 2012 presidential run?