Monday, August 20, 2012


"Somebody has to keep us honest and call some of our fellows out on their paleo-statist tendencies."

Libertarians are essentially fiscal conservatives and social liberals. They are the political gathering closest to the ideals of founders like Thomas Jefferson, seeing liberty first in all aspects of public life. And if an article by Jeff Sadow at The Hayride is accurate, they may displace Democrats in Louisiana as Republican rivals:
Subtract the results of the Second Congressional District, and it is possible that the votes for Libertarian and no party candidates in all of the other U.S. House contests will exceed those cast for Democrats across the rest of Louisiana, belying the notion that state Democrats are anywhere near a sustained and successful rebuilding effort.

The final qualifying statistics registered Republicans having one or more candidates in all six districts, in five of which they are favored overwhelmingly, Libertarians contesting all but the First, and Democrats competing in just three, and in the Second their Rep. Cedric Richmond is the heavy reelection favorite. Besides those dismal statistics for the state’s former majority party, some others compound recognition of its plight.
In other words, if the trend continues, the two big parties in Louisiana would be Libertarians and Republicans, leaving Democrats on the outside. For a long time now people like me have looked at big cities and poorly run states like Louisiana or South Carolina and wondered why on earth the Democrats keep winning. The big national media story of Hurricane Katrina was all "Bush failed" but locals in Louisiana knew that it was the Democrats in office locally and at the state level that failed so horribly.

City after city, state after state dominated by Democrats for generations have turned into miserable failures. California and Michigan are two major examples, but every big city has a core of blight, misery, crime, and failure and they've all been run by Democrats for sometimes more than a century.

And we've wondered why people there keep supporting and electing Democrats. They're clearly doing a horrible job, and all their promises are failures, so why keep putting them in power? Obviously part of the reason is a machine: a structure that makes it very difficult for someone other than the favored replacement in any office or the incumbent to win. And the local news tends to strongly support Democrats, which means they get favorable coverage and bad news for the party gets downplayed or ignored. But in the end, people vote for these guys over and over.

Its possible that we're finally seeing the breaking point of this old system, that finally some of these areas are coming to the realization that one-party rule for all this time really just doesn't work, that their promises are lies, that their polices are failures, and that they have become so entrenched and corrupt nothing beneficial for the people is going to come from government.

Because this isn't so much a problem with Democrats as Democrats, its a problem with one political party holding so much power for so long. Corruption and incompetence is inevitable. Without fear of losing power, nothing becomes unthinkable and there's no motivation to do anything useful. In fact, doing useful things and enacting good policy tends to disrupt the power and money flow of entrenched politicians and bureaucrats, so the system discourages any such effort.

Which means any political party would eventually be worthless in time, and end up causing more damage than good. However, since Democratic Party policies are problematic and cause damage to begin with, it gets bad in an awful hurry.

Personally, I'd love to see the party divide be Libertarian/Republican, if both parties can live up to what they should. That would give America two fiscally cautious small government parties with one socially liberal and one socially conservative. Then the battle would be about the soul of the country and the worldview rather than a constant fight to just survive financially.

Ultimately, fiscal restraint comes from social conservatism, without that sense of personal virtue and responsibility, that drive to do right and to take the hard choice for the future that comes from within, eventually you slant left financially. So in time, libertarian politicians would end up just plain old leftist politicians, but at least the party would at its core be formed on the principles of small government in theory.

1 comment:

Philip said...

It would rather help if the Libertarians came up with more ideas that are grounded in reality, as opposed to academic or philosophical in exercise.