Wednesday, August 27, 2003

The GOP/Libertarian split: I still see myself as a conservative, but recent events, particluarly the recent Supreme Court rulings, have raised a more Libertarian streak in me. It seems this division between the two camps who, supposedly, are the champions of smaller government is getting wider. James Antle, in Tech Central Station, examines the split.
The end result of all this is that many libertarians see no compelling reason to support the Republican right they identify with John Ashcroft and Sen. Rick Santorum. By default this means that they often end up working with the left. They've joined with the ACLU and other traditionally liberal civil libertarian organizations to oppose Patriot Act-style legislation (although some prominent conservatives joined them in opposition). Antiwar libertarian bloggers and Internet columnists often link to left-of-center websites like Indymedia, Common Dreams, and CounterPunch in making their arguments.
I think a lot of the hype over the Patriot Act is unwarranted (I'm not alone in this), and I supported, and still do support, the administrations strategy, if not tactics, in Iraq. But I do agree that the GOP has seriously lost touch with its small government raison d' etre. The GOP is all in favor of a large, intrusive govvernment, as long as it intrudes into the right place, bedrooms instead of boardrooms. This is philosphically inconsistent and leaves would be supporters (like me) scratching their heads in wonder. I don't think, as Antle points out, that Howard Dean is the answer. Sadly, I don't see a legitimate candidate who could carry the small government banner in the next few election cycles from either party. Any ideas?

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