Friday, September 2, 2011

Libertarians and Democrats

I saw this Will Wilkinson piece earlier and read it all: "A Libertarian’s Lament: Why Ron Paul Is an Embarrassment to the Creed." I didn't bother commenting on it because Wilkinson's not worth it. He's a drug-addled leftist, IMHO, and a pretty much typical libertarian. So, what do you know, but American Glob has picked up the slack, "In Which I Respectfully Disagree With Will Wilkinson" (via Glenn Reynolds):
I don’t know Will Wilkinson personally but I know he’s a Libertarian writer who has worked for the highly regarded Cato Institute.

Wilkinson wrote an article for The New Republic today in which he calls Ron Paul an “embarrassment” to the creed of Libertarianism.

I like many of Ron Paul’s ideas and disagree with others, specifically his approach to foreign policy but my objection to Wilkinson’s article has nothing to do with Ron Paul.

It’s based on the first half of his second sentence…
In 2006, I tossed a few dollars at the Democrat running for Senate against the loathsome Rick Santorum. It could have been a three-headed goat, for all I cared, but Wikipedia says it was Bob Casey.
Before you jump to conclusions, let me state for the record that I am not now, nor have I ever been a supporter of Rick Santorum. I don’t believe he is a “loathsome” person as Wilkinson characterized him, I think he is probably a decent man despite our political differences.

My problem with Wilkinson’s article is simply this:

I don’t believe it’s possible to be a Libertarian and support Democrats. Ever.
Keep reading.

Actually, I doubt it would take long, but you could probably find lots of libertarians who supported Democrats in California last year, when Proposition 19 was on the ballot. Both Democrats and Libertarians endorsed the measure, which placed them in a de facto political alliance. Indeed, there's also a "progressive-libertarian coalition" that joined forces on the initiative. So, while in theory it may be impossible to be a libertarian and support Democrats, in fact those two ideologies generally have just as much in common as do libertarians and conservatives on support for free markets. Indeed, if you look at criminal justice and civil liberties you're more likely to see Democrats (progressives) allied with libertarians. Frankly, when it comes to a robust foreign policy and a defense of social conservatism, I make little distinction between leftists and libertarians. Throw in gay marriage (libertarians back it), and really, what's left for libertarians to be associated with that is generally referred to as right wing? Ron Paul is loathsome to me on foreign policy, but even more we learn over and over again that's he's anti-Semitic, and even Will Wilkinson attacks him as racist. I just can't stand people like that. A foreign policy that excoriates U.S. support for Israel turns quickly into a crude copy of neo-communist Jew-bashing eliminationism. So with all due respect, I'd think American Glob might want to rethink his partiality to Ron Paul in a hypothetical match up between Paul and Obama. They're both disasters, and a pox on both of their houses.


RightKlik said...

That so many libertarians find it fairly easy to vote for and side with Democrats suggests to me that a great number of libertarians are indeed libertine, but they are not quite committed to liberty.

Their stance on foreign policy and criminal justice seems to indicate that they do not understand the price or cost of liberty.

Their stance on issues such as the legalization of heroin seems to suggest that they don't understand the practical limitations of liberty.

On social issues, as with homosexual marriage, they've yet to help me understand how expanding the role of government in interpersonal relationships is compatible with libertarian ideals.

On immigration, I can generally see their point, but I'm not sure they've fully considered the implications of permanently adding millions of people to lavish government-run programs of redistribution of wealth.

There are a few fiscal hawks in the libertarian camp, but that doesn't seem to be where most libertarians are coming from.

AmPowerBlog said...

Thanks RK!

Dennis said...

Very well stated "RightKlil."

The reasons you state are among the reasons I do not take "Libertarians" seriously. It does seem that they, in many ways, are not conversant with the Liberty part of the term or how one maintains even a semblance of Liberty.
If you can vote for any of today's Democrats then you cannot be a Libertarian. How is increasing the size of government and its attendant lessening of freedoms Libertarian? If I can have all the drugs I want, but cannot keep enough money to buy it , how is that Libertarian?
It seems at every point so called Libertarians are trading license for liberty.

Anonymous said...


I didn't bother commenting on it because Wilkinson's not worth it. He's a drug-addled leftist, IMHO, and a pretty much typical libertarian.

Dude. That's low, even for you.

No damned wonder there are people who trying to get you to lose your freaking job. I hope he sues your ass for a libel.

I helped you once. I now think that was a mistake.


Further more, he's been blogging much longer than you and I'd trust him, before I would you.

Just sayin'

AmPowerBlog said...

Patrick: What was that rant all about? I've never said a bad word about you, despite all the other stuff going around online. I appreciate you hooking me up with Blogads. If you're blowing me off because of my opinions on libertarians, well, that's kinda petty.

Anonymous said...

So is making comments like that, but you did. Neo-Con boy.

Oh and...:

"from a neoconservative perspective! - Keeping an eye on the communist-left so you don't have to!"

Aren't true-blue Neo-Cons former Trotsky-ites?? I know a roomful of Paleo-cons would call YOU a Commie sir.

Petty? I can do that.

See ya 'round Douglas...


AmPowerBlog said...

Patrick, seriously, you're not worth the time.

That said, someone else did take the time: 'Did Somebody Mention That Charles Patrick Adkins Is An Asshat?'.

Maggie Thornton said...

Linked, and what a shame to waste this on a holiday weekend, especially the last of summer when EVERYONE is outside somewhere.