The Dual Threat To Libertyby Doug Mataconis
Columnist Ron Hart explains why libertarians have such a hard time finding a home in either party:
Democrats realize that they are a utopian theoretical party that is more about making people feel good – most importantly, themselves. They tax and vilify the most productive members of society and go through the motions of redistributing wealth. They are beholden to an odd collection of interests that most Americans do not like.
The bad news for us is that liberal Democrats take money from the most productive part of society and, after they take their cut, distribute a fraction of it to its least productive members. By doing so, they validate this part of societys’ lethargy and allows them to continue to further wallow in their victimhood. The more they convince folks they are victims, the better voting bloc the Democrats have. Clearly, Democrats do not want people to succeed, because they then become Republicans.
But that doesn’t mean the Republicans are any better:
After their third bourbon, Republicans will tell you that George Bush has set the party back 20 years. He did so by going against the very fundamental beliefs of the GOP: limited government, less spending, privacy and individual rights. Bush has blurred the line between church and state, folding to the religious right faster than a British soldier in Iran. He has us in what can only be viewed as a religious war and it is increasingly apparent that he spun intelligence to get us in this mess. He also signed into law a non-market-driven prescription drug bill that is the second largest entitlement in history.
The traditional minimal government conservatives such as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan have been replaced by a new breed of big government “conservatives,” entrenched Republicans who seek to use their power to reshape citizens thinking toward their own religious and world views. They do not heed Goldwater’s maxim that legislators should consider before any decision is made whether they are “maximizing freedom.”
The only Republican in office that I’m aware of that does that on a consistent basis is Ron Paul. And he is far from being the mainstream of his party.
The truth is that, in both parties, politicians say what they think they need to say to appease their supporters. In the Democratic Party, those supporters are typically union leaders and other activists of a decidedly socialist bent. Thus you get the disaster that is Democratic economic policy. In the Republicans case, politicians pander to the social conservatives and thus pending more time worrying about who’s sleeping with who than about taking control of the out-of-control ship that is the Government of the United States.
It’s possible things will change, but I don’t see it happening soon.
H/T: Hit & Run