For all of you libertarians who are hearing new calls from Democrats saying that they, not the Republicans, are now the party of smaller, less intrusive government, I say to you, do not believe it.
Especially do not believe Markos Moulitsas, who, despite getting some undue attention for his fatally flawed “Libertarian Democrat” idea, is still, by his own admission, a socialist authoritarian at heart.
The Cato Institute has published an essay from Moulitsas in this month’s Cato Unbound, a monthly series of essays by invited guests on various topics. This month, the topic is, Should Libertarians Vote Democrat? I say the answer is a resounding no — unless, of course, you want to compromise your libertarian principles.
Moulitsas, in his lead essay, The Case for the Libertarian Democrat, proves that he still isn’t a libertarian, and fails to show any substantive difference between a so-called Libertarian Democrat and the garden-variety socialist authoritarian Democrat with which we’re all familiar.
The problem is that Moulitsas sees “government as a good, not an evil,” while all libertarians know that government is always an evil, most seeing it as a necessary evil which must be tightly restrained, and some seeing it as an unnecessary evil which, once humans are more civilized, we can eventually dispense with altogether.
Moulitsas still cites corporate power over people as a problem, and still fails to recognize that corporations gain their undue power from government. Government is the enabler, empowering corporations to step on individuals and small businesses through both regulations and subsidies. It’s only by restraining government that corporations can be held in check, and it’s unfortuate that Moulitsas hasn’t figured this out yet.
He also says that some government programs are good things, such as “the most important ingredient of all: education, from the lowliest kindergarten to the highest post-doc program.” Those of you who have been following education closely should be quite afraid of what has happened to it under federal control. And if you aren’t, go peruse the Education category at Homeland Stupidity and you’ll quickly find out why government control of education is counterproductive at best and destructive to society at worst.
“This isn’t a question of equality, it’s one of opportunity,” he writes. “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.” And he thinks that opportunity should be created by government, apparently not realizing that where government “creates” an opportunity for someone, it must destroy it for others. Libertarians know that everyone already has the opportunity who wants it, except those to whom it’s been foreclosed by government programs to “create opportunity,” “level the playing field” and other such blatant lies.
Finally, Moulitsas cites several Democratic campaigns where the politician in question is running on a smaller-government platform, and posing a serious threat to the Republican incumbents. This is not surprising, nor is it some indication that Democrats have suddenly become the new libertarians. What it really means is that Democrats have gotten their act together since 2004 and learned what words to say which will play well to those districts. It doesn’t mean that the Democrats, like most politicians before them in both of the parties at issue here, will actually keep any of their promises.
If you want libertarians in office, vote for libertarians, not Democrats pretending — poorly — to be libertarians.
This essay was originally posted at Homeland Stupidity.