Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Libertarian Moment

I've read on many political websites, including this piece in The Atlantic about a so-called Libertarian Moment.  While this piece in the Atlantic is quite good, most articles are generally filled with grave concern, whether it's a policy analysis essay from National Review or Mother Jones.  When I'm done with the article I'm filled with concern also.  My concern is that the article views Libertarians as simply naive, low rent tea party types that should simply move to Somalia if they wanted to see what life would be like if they got their way.  In other words, the comic book version.

If there is a Libertarian Moment in this country, I don't want it to be wasted.  A wasted moment would look like a series of prolong battles over government spending.  I see the moment vaporizing in exaggerated scares about meager budget cuts on the spectrum of school lunch programs, to so-called essential weapons programs. There is no appetite in this country to cut spending.  Everybody on both sides of the aisle love all kinds welfare and warfare.

I think there needs to be great progress made  in some key areas to roll back the excess of government overreach.  But while beltway articles are warning that your roads, clean water and schools will be at risk, I see this 'moment' as having the most amount of impact on our civil liberties.

Yes, the boring civil liberties.  The need for overreach into so many areas would deteriorate if the laws of this country protected the most vulnerable minority in the nation:  The individual.

This Libertarian Moment could occur easily through a coalition of both parties and could see actual legislation on the desk of the next president within a few years.  We could see the lives of citizens all over the country transformed by the ability to more freely choose things like who to marry, where to go to school, where to peacefully live, how to spend your recreational time no matter what color your skin is, who to enter into contracts with, and what firearms you can own and carry.

The effort to restore civil liberties to ALL individuals in this country would go much further to addressing the overreach of government in this country than chopping away at NPR or reducing the amount of increases afforded to your favorite rent seeking lobbyist group.

Maybe it should be called the 'Civil Libertarian Moment'.  As a nation, we may end up broke, but at least we'd have the dignity of human rights to help us pick up the pieces again.