Libertarians for Obama?
If you like smaller government, should you vote for Barack Obama? Alex Tabarrok, a professor of economics at
“War is the antithesis of the libertarian philosophy of consent, voluntarism and trade,” Tabarrok writes. “ With every war in American history Leviathan has grown larger and our liberties have withered. War is the health of the state. And now, fulfilling the dreams of Big Brother, we are in a perpetual war. A country cannot long combine unlimited government abroad and limited government at home. The Republican party has become the party of war and thus the party of unlimited government.” He later adds:
The libertarian voice has not been listened to in Republican politics for a long time. The Republicans take the libertarian wing of the party for granted and with phony rhetoric and empty phrases have bought our support on the cheap. Thus — since voice has failed — it is time for exit. Remember that if a political party can count on you then you cannot count on it.
Exit is the right strategy because if there is any hope for reform it is by casting the Republicans out of power and into the wilderness where they may relearn virtue. Libertarians understand better than anyone that power corrupts. The Republican party illustrates. Lack of power is no guarantee of virtue but Republicans are a far better — more libertarian — party out-of-power than they are in power. When in the wilderness, Republicans turn naturally to a critique of power and they ratchet up libertarian rhetoric about free trade, free enterprise, abuse of government power and even the defense of civil liberties. We can hope that new leaders will arise in this libertarian milieu.