Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.”     Frederick Bastiat

February 19, 2010

LP’s Wes Benedict on ‘Limited Government’ Conservatives

by Stephen Littau

Those of us who truly believe in limited government* tend to be simultaneously amused and irritated hearing the folks at CPAC speak of limited government as though it’s a principle they truly support. Yesterday, the Libertarian Party’s Executive Director Wes Benedict, monitoring the CPAC festivities from afar, said some of the things that many of us have been thinking:

Unlike libertarians, most conservatives simply don’t want small government. They want their own version of big government. Of course, they have done a pretty good job of fooling American voters for decades by repeating the phrases “limited government” and “small government” like a hypnotic chant.

It’s interesting that conservatives only notice “big government” when it’s something their political enemies want. When conservatives want it, apparently it doesn’t count.

- If a conservative wants a trillion-dollar foreign war, that doesn’t count.

- If a conservative wants a 700-billion-dollar bank bailout, that doesn’t count.

- If a conservative wants to spend billions fighting a needless and destructive War on Drugs, that doesn’t count.

- If a conservative wants to spend billions building border fences, that doesn’t count.

- If a conservative wants to “protect” the huge, unjust, and terribly inefficient Social Security and Medicare programs, that doesn’t count.

- If a conservative wants billions in farm subsidies, that doesn’t count.

It’s truly amazing how many things “don’t count.”

Benedict went on to point out the lack of concern these same people had with the government expansion of President Bush and the health care mandates of another CPAC favorite – Mitt Romney.

While I’m by no means a supporter of the Obama Administration, the idea that many Conservatives seem to have that all the problems we are faced with started on January 20, 2009 is completely ludicrous**.

These are the same people who would gladly support Sarah ‘the Quitter’ Palin, ‘Mandate’ Mitt Romney, or ‘Tax Hike Mike’ Huckabee – none are what I would call ‘limited government’ by any stretch of the imagination.


*And even the anarchists among us who oppose all government regardless of size

**Ditto for those Bush haters of the left who believes every problem we face now began 8 years prior. If we are honest, the problems we face today go back at least as far back as Woodrow Wilson (and probably even before him)

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1 Comment

  1. Why is Ron Paul not realistic for the Republican nomination? Somebody please help the loan libertarians. Why didn’t you guys get into power before all the structures of liberalism and the foolish left end of the republican partyallowed such thing to be established?

    You’re a bunch of Johnny come lately libertarians.
    There aren’t enough of you to make an electoral difference. But there are enough of you to help get liberals into office. I like republicans with a chance to get elected, with great administrative skills rather than simply a message. Ron Paul is a voice and a rallying position. But not a skilled administrator, he’s an ineffective legislator.

    Mitt Romney has a lot of libertarian views. So do others. Why don’t you libertarians sift through what each Repulican believes in and has positions on that are nearest your pure and theorectical libertarianisms and start challenging Republican candidates on their issues. Then in an organized way support the best of the top 2 or 3 republicans. If you stay seperate from republicans you’ll just be an adversary that helps to get Democrates elected–a counter productive result to your priciples. You could sellect your “best republican choice” on the Wednesday before the election. Do it uniformly each election after evaluating each candidate. Over time you’d get some appreciation, more likeminded attention, respect, and increase your numbers. In a few decades, you might be a stronger third party who is regularly courted by candidates. Eventually the wackiness that is part of your image would vanish.

    Right now, I’m for a guy with real talent and abilities at fixing messes. That’s Mitt Romney, head and shoulders over any combination of 3 individuals running or not running for POTUS. He even has creativity in a Newt G way too.

    Comment by JonH — February 23, 2010 @ 10:44 am

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