More on Liberaltarians and Barry Goldwater
Thursday, December 07, 2006 :::
In response to Brink Lindsey's piece on a possible libertarian-liberal fusion, Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum says it ain't gonna happen.
Well, so much for dialogue (at least among the true believers).
Meanwhile, Matt Welch uses Barry Goldwater as a springboard to look at the issue from another, but still doubtful, perspective:
1) There's rarely such a thing as a libertarian in local politics (where most politics are practiced), because it's awful hard to grant favors (or jobs) to either labor or business while cutting the size of government.
2) Self-described libertarians over the age of 40 who don't belong to the Libertarian Party (which is to say, most of them) are overwhelmingly likely to consider the GOP their default home, because of taxes, the memory of anti-communism, and hatred of all things McGovern/Carter (even though Carter was arguably the greatest deregulation president ... though that's a rambling essay for another time).
3) Libertarianism just ain't that popular to begin with.
All more or less true (particularly the last point -- and I'd go even farther by saying that most Libertarians aren't that popular, either. Aside from Dave Barry, that is). But here's the real kicker:
But if you think of the real and imagined presidential candidates for both parties -- especially perceived front-runners Hillary Clinton and John McCain -- there is zero evidence that the spirit of Goldwater as a presidential endeavor lives anywhere beyond the hopeful fantasia of opinion journalists and think-tank wage-slaves.
That seems about right. Whatever Goldwater may have represented, it certainly does not appear in the words, deeds or actions of those who would lead either national ticket.
Maybe it's time to become a Whig.
::: posted by Norman Leahy at 12/07/2006