These are pretty good days to be a libertarian - all of a sudden, our ideas are popular again. They are not really our ideas, of course; we learned them in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and understood them through the works of Friedman, Hayak, Mises, Rand, and Paul.
For as long as I can remember, us libertarians have been dismissed by the political class as cranks and wing-nuts; the tin-foil hat guys on the margins who like guns, gold, gambling, pot, prostitutes, and pre-emptive surrender.
That is so unfair – I don’t even know any prostitutes. The boring truth is that libertarians don’t advocate any specific choice; we just object to throwing people in jail for making choices we don’t like. As Milton Friedman said, the only real freedom is the freedom to choose. Those who read Moment Of Clarity regularly have heard me say this many times:
If you need help with the tyranny reference, just picture Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich sitting on the couch together telling you why government should make your energy choices for you. The staunchest Democrat ever fabricated and the most partisan Republican ever hatched cooing and purring and smiling at each other like prom dates while they fit you for the yoke. Or RomneyCare; you pick ‘em.
It is heartwarming to see so many Americans getting in touch with their inner crank and wing-nut. The libertarian belief that we can not just live with less government, but live better with less government has been rekindled by the grass-roots tea party movement and legitimized by the abject failure of the Obama presidency, the last great hope of socialists, Keynesians, and unionists.
My jaw dropped when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently responded to a reporters question about his belief in evolution with, “it’s none of your business”. Not so long ago, Republicans were laughing at us; now they are talking like us. Or if they prefer, talking like Barry Goldwater, who was one of us before it was necessary to give ourselves a name.
Freedom is popular, as our beloved Ron Paul says. Who would have thought we would ever see him breaking Ben Bernanke’s stones from the Chairman’s seat in committee? Or Congress locked in a showdown over how much to government to cut? Or the
legislature haggling over whether carry should be permitted or constitutional?
Be honest - did you think the union stranglehold on government would ever be broken? That school choice would be expanded? That a public university endowment would buy over $1 billion in physical gold? That ObamaCare and McCain/Feingold would be found unconstitutional by a modern-day court? That someone would make a movie out of “Atlas Shrugged”? And that it would be good?
The revolution is on.
It is thankfully not being fought with bullets and blood; rather with ballots and blogs. Our liberty is being reclaimed, one battle at a time. There is much territory to recapture and the privileged are not giving up ground without a fight. But who can deny that liberty’s opponents are everywhere in retreat? We must press on with diligence until our rights have been reclaimed, our liberty restored, our nation saved.
Libertarians are to conservatives what socialists are to liberals. We embody the extreme form of the principles that define a common worldview - free trade, limited government, individual liberty, private property. If conservatives are Dagny Taggert, then libertarians are John Galt.
And liberals will have no clue what that even means; the movie was not subtitled in drum.
“Moment Of Clarity” is a weekly commentary by Libertarian writer and speaker
Tim Nerenz, Ph.D. Visit Tim’s website www.timnerenz.com to find your moment and
watch for the upcoming release of his new book, “Capitalista!”