My Kinda Party
This is a great opinion piece by Ron Hart about the current position of us small "L" libertarians in the Republican Party. Hart is for pushing the party back to the 1994, Contract With America, small government party that it should be. I agree whole heartedly. We should, as Hart urges, reduce government regulation, spending, and taxes. There are huge problems in the GOP, but they are fixable. If it takes some losses in the midterm elections to let the leadership see that, then so be it.
Libertarianism is a weird thing. Ignoring the Libertarian Party (the big "L" libertarians), libertarianism itself is a philosophy. Basically, it advocates the right of individuals to be free to do whatever they wish with themselves and their property as long as they let others have the same liberty, by not initiating physical force, the threat of it, or fraud against others. As a philosophy, it has many interpretations. Take a look at these controversies. You can have two libertarians who disagree on everything from the death penalty, abortion, foreign intervention, immigration, gay rights, and a hundred other issues. Same philosophy, different results when applied. Weird, I know.
That being said, there are libertarians that ally themselves with the Libertarian Party (duh), the Republican Party, and the Democratic Party. They choose their alliance for many different reasons. There are many (a lot of them on Hit and Run) who are the "I'm more pure than you" libertarians. Basically, they vote for nobody and just bitch all day. Not surprisingly, they don't get much done. I reject their view. I think you need to work within a party to get things done. Otherwise, you're just some blowhard with a blog. I end up in the Republican camp because the resultant views of my applied libertarianism are close to most of their platform. Note that "most". Also, there are many Republicans that I can't stand (hi, Ted Stevens), but hell, I have family members that I don't like too. You just have to deal with it. I'm also in the Republican camp because there isn't a current major Democrat that I would trust with the Supreme Court.
Looking back at Hart's column, he makes a call for libertarian minded folk to stay in the Republican Party and push it in the proper direction. I can hear some of you sputtering now... "But, but what about domestic spying and civil liberties?!" A commenter on Hit and Run said the following about why those issues aren't enough to push right leaning libertarians out of the party. They have prioritized their issues...
My impression was that when it comes down to it, many see a bigger threat from taxes, public schools and any type of gun regulation than from illegal spying and expanded government police powers.Pass the fork.
Also it seems that many would rather eat shit than vote for a nanny-state big spender democrat.