Thursday, March 18, 2010

CATO is unusual in its consistent libertarianism

Highly recommended article Will the Right Find Libertarianism? that raises some interesting questions and points. One of which is what I find most interesting about some on the right and the whole tea party mantra being still labeled as being Libertarian when that aspect of the influence appears to have been diminished by those who are not the accepted definition of mainstream Libertarianism, "fiscally conservative and socially liberal."

The religious aspect to some of the tea party movement is not remotely aligned with Libertarianism. One part from the recommended piece by Wendy Kaminer:
Libertarians are labile voters, "torn between their aversion to the Republican's social conservatism and the Democrat's fiscal irresponsibility," CATO asserts; they shifted away from George Bush in 2004 and toward John McCain in '08. McCain was an odd choice for libertarians considering his abysmal record on civil liberty. "Straight talk for me but not for thee," might have been his motto (to paraphrase Nat Hentoff); he was no friend of the First Amendment, supporting a constitutional amendment banning flag burning, restrictions on indecency as well as political speech, and declaring America a Christian nation. That libertarians preferred him to Obama suggests that fiscal conservativism (or at least the image of it) was more important to them than social liberalism, or civil liberty. Before assuming the presidency and adopting key Bush-Cheney national security policies, Obama looked like a civil libertarian; indeed his claim to civil libertarianism was a lot stronger than the claims of Bush-era Republicans to fiscal conservatism.

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