John Fund of The Wall Street Journal reviews the new book Radicals for Capitalism on libertarians. I haven’t read the book yet and therefore can’t comment on the value of this as a review. There is one paragraph which I do find worth commenting on:
Today, pollsters find only 2% of people refer to themselves as libertarians, but some 15% of voters hold broadly libertarian views and can be a swing factor. In the photo-finish presidential race of 2000, some 72% of libertarian-minded voters supported George W. Bush. Last November, many of them abandoned the GOP, disillusioned by its profligate ways, and helped hand control of Congress to Democrats.
I certainly agree with the start of the paragraph. I have often discussed the growing importance of socially liberal and fiscally conservative voters who “hold broadly libertarian views.” The loss of such libertarian minded voters was one factor in Bush’s loss, but I suspect Fund is projecting the viewpoint of the Wall Street Journal in this interpretation. Bush’s spending was a factor, but there were so many other actions from Republicans which should be intolerable to anyone with libertarian leanings. These include the war, his record on civil liberties, increased government secrecy, his erosion of checks and balances on executive power, his erosion of separation of church and state, increased government intrusion in private matters as highlighted in the Terri Schiavo case, use of gay marriage as a wedge issue, and his opposition to abortion rights.
For years many libertarians have concentrated on economic issues ignoring Republican views on other issues, and failing to recognize that Republican corporate welfare is a perversion of capitalism. Many are finally beginning to realize that modern conservativism is an authoritarian movement which has nothing to offer libertarians.
The Delusion of Republican Libertarians
David Friedman on Libertarians vs. Big Government Republicans
James Watson Calls Bush a “Piece of Shit”
Libertarian Ideas and Liberals
Libertarians vs. Liberals on Taxation and Entitlements
Liberaltarians: Liberals and Libertarians Uniting
Reason’s Challenge to “Libertarian Democrats”
The Effect of Libertarian Voters
Libertarians as Swing Voters
Libertarian Democrats or Liberalism Reborn
Republicans and Big Government
Liberals, Classical Liberals, and Libertarians
South Park Republicans Rebelling Against GOP
Victory in Suburbia
Monkey in the Middle