The Case for the Libertarian Democrat

Looks like Kos has joined my bandwagon calling for the democrats to go down, not left. Actually, he goes further and says that the dems are already there.

For too long, Republicans promised smaller government and less intrusion in people’s lives. Yet with a government dominated top to bottom by Republicans, we’ve seen the exact opposite. No one will ever mistake a Democrat of just about any stripe for a doctrinaire libertarian. But we’ve seen that one party is now committed to subverting individual freedoms, while the other is growing increasingly comfortable with moving in a new direction, one in which restrained government, fiscal responsibility, and—most important of all—individual freedoms are paramount.

It’s a fantastic essay and if you haven’t read it, you should.

It’s not all libertarian red meat though. There is one passage in the middle that makes the case for government intervention in spheres where it can make a difference.

But there are other reasons why this outpost of libertarianism works. The government has put in an infrastructure to support the region including, among many other things, roads, the Internet, government research grants, and the most important ingredient of all: education, from the lowliest kindergarten to the highest post-doc program. Such spending, while requiring a government bureaucracy that makes a traditional libertarian shudder, actually provides the tools that individuals need to succeed in today’s world. If our goal is to promote and champion individual liberty and the free market, we need government to help provide those tools to all Americans, not just a privileged few. This isn’t a question of equality, it’s one of opportunity. Some people will take advantage of those opportunities, and others will not. That will be up to each individual. But without opportunity, there is no freedom.

Well said, Kos. Well said.

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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