12/07/2006

Parasitic Liberaltarian Leeches look to "Progressives" as New Host





















Talk about opportunism. In a matter of weeks libertarians priviously praising the glories of George Bush and the GOP now slither away looking for new blood sucking prospects by courting socially liberal fiscally consevative "Progressives".
From the New Republic

"The conservative movement--and, with it, the GOP--is in disarray. Specifically, the movement's "fusionist" alliance between traditionalists and libertarians appears, at long last, to be falling apart. To understand what's happening, look at the Democratic gains made in previously Republican strongholds on Election Day.

Libertarian disaffection should come as no surprise. Despite the GOP's rhetorical commitment to limited government, the actual record of unified Republican rule in Washington has been an unmitigated disaster from a libertarian perspective: runaway federal spending at a clip unmatched since Lyndon Johnson; the creation of a massive new prescription-drug entitlement with hardly any thought as to how to pay for it; expansion of federal control over education through the No Child Left Behind Act; a big run-up in farm subsidies; extremist assertions of executive power under cover of fighting terrorism; and, to top it all off, an atrociously bungled war in Iraq.

To date, Democrats have made inroads with libertarian voters primarily by default. Yes, it's true that Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos fame caused something of a stir by proposing the term "Libertarian Democrat" to describe his favored breed of progressive. And the most prominent examples of his would-be movement--first-term Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana, fellow Montanan Tester, and Virginia Senator-elect Jim Webb--have sounded some libertarian themes by being simultaneously pro-choice and pro-gun rights. At the same time, however, their anti-nafta, Wal-Mart-bashing economic populism is anathema to free-market supporters.

In short, if Democrats hope to continue appealing to libertarian-leaning voters, they are going to have to up their game.

Furthermore, it has become increasingly clear that capitalism's relentless dynamism and wealth-creation--the institutional safeguarding of which lies at the heart of libertarian concerns--have been pushing U.S. society in a decidedly progressive direction. The civil rights movement was made possible by the mechanization of agriculture, which pushed blacks off the farm and out of the South with immense consequences. Likewise, feminism was encouraged by the mechanization of housework. Greater sexual openness, as well as heightened interest in the natural environment, are among the luxury goods that mass affluence has purchased. So, too, are secularization and the general decline in reverence for authority, as rising education levels (prompted by the economy's growing demand for knowledge workers) have promoted increasing independence of mind.

Yet progressives remain stubbornly resistant to embracing capitalism, their great natural ally. In particular, they are unable to make their peace with the more competitive, more entrepreneurial, more globalized U.S. economy that emerged out of the stagflationary mess of the 1970s. Knee-jerk antipathy to markets and the creative destruction they bring continues to be widespread, and bitter denunciations of the unfairness of the system, mixed with nostalgia for the good old days of the Big Government/Big Labor/Big Business triumvirate, too often substitute for clear thinking about realistic policy options.

2 comments:

Cato said...

That is one person's opinion. I read it when it came out along with the Wash. Post editorial on it, and disagreed with major parts of it. The protectionism, socialism and social conservativism of the Democrats are too much against libertarian goals to consider sleeping with them.

For Libertarians, Principles > Power

For Republicrats, Power > Everything and anything

AndyRand said...

CATO:

I relieved. As a Democrat I was afraid
we'd be forced to sleep in the same bed. Looks like we're both safe for now:-)