Re: Liberaltarianism, Again


Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Bob says:

    “Libertarians are already largely on the same page as liberals on economic…issues.”

    “…if libertarians hope to forge an alliance with the left, they are nonetheless facing a much steeper climb on matters of economics….”

    Your two statements seem contradictory. I suspect your second statement more accurately reflects the differences between Libertarians and liberals/left.Report

  2. Avatar Bob says:

    A very interesting discussion at Reason. I like the Brink Lindsey essay, a lot, but I don’t see it as in anyway foreshadowing a political realignment.

    • Avatar Koz in reply to Bob says:

      In particular, at that link Jonah Goldberg states something I’ve been trying to get at:

      “And yet, as a matter of practical politics, Lindsey would have libertarian spokesmen and advocates alienate conservatives in the hope that this would earn credibility with liberals. It seems far more likely that liberals would pocket libertarian attacks on the right—of the sort found in Lindsey’s essay—while continuing to ignore libertarian arguments on economics and other key areas of public policy. Left-wing environmentalists will not suddenly embrace property rights because libertarians vilify the Christian Right. But the Christian Right may well stop listening to libertarians if they all started talking the way Lindsey does here.”Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    For me, much of the problem has very much to do with the Republican response to the Bush years.

    Note: This isn’t exactly blaming Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and the like. This is explicitly blaming their most ardent supporters… so none of that “he didn’t run as a Fiscal Conservative” crap.

    When Bush signed the Farm Bill and supported the Steel Tariffs, I did a great deal of complaining about it… and every single defense took the form of “oh, well, you must be complaining about this from the left!” and went from there. After a few moments hammering out “no, I care about these things because I support such things as Fiscal Responsibility and Free Trade”, the responses got all confused. The most conservative guy won, after all… the alternatives would be worse… why would you complain about that?

    Politics is the art of the possible, after all.

    Then 9/11 happened and everybody went apeshit. You couldn’t complain about Fiscal Conservative issues when people were trying to kill our spouses, our The Children. Why, even *QUESTIONING* Bush is giving AID AND COMFORT TO THE ENEMY. We need to present a united front. For The Children.

    After the 2004 elections, the phrase “PERMANENT REPUBLICAN MAJORITY!” got bandied about and, at least at Redstate, fiscal conservatives were treated as extraneous. Great to have you in the tent and all but, really, the Hawks care about our spouses and our The Children that our enemies are trying to kill RIGHT NOW AS WE TYPE and the Social Conservatives care about Deeply Moral Issues and you fiscal conservatives only seem to care about filthy lucre and the cares of this world so… thanks for being in the tent but be quiet because Real Conservatives are talking. (Full disclosure: I have been banned from Redstate.)

    Where the L/libertarians overlap most with C/conservatives is with the Fiscal Conservatives.

    The Republican Party and their mouthpieces (and their grass roots) may, in theory, provide a decent home for libertarians.

    2002-2006 provides an “in practice” reason for why “liberaltarianism” is a pleasant enough mirage to chase for a few election cycles.

    Libertarians have no reason to believe that “the right” has found Jesus (or whatever the equivalent might be called for that godless group of cosmotarians).

    At this point, it seems to me that there are only two reasons that a libertarian might have to vote Republican rather than third party:
    1) Throwing a bum out
    2) Hoping for gridlock

    Ideological compatibility has been pretty much demonstrated to not exist. In practice, anyway.Report

  4. Avatar Koz says:

    “When Bush signed the Farm Bill and supported the Steel Tariffs,…..”

    I don’t know anybody on the Right unaffiliated with the Bush Administration who supported those things.Report