Libertarians: don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good

Veronique de Rugy writes at the Corner today, “Libertarians aren’t fickle. In fact, we are consistent. What we want is more freedom in our personal and economic lives.” She goes on to bemoan both major parties. She’s right, but also quite wrong.

Here’s what I wrote to her:

You wrote “As long as politicians fail to defend our freedom consistently, it is likely that libertarian-leaning voters will likely fail to commit to either group…” Meaning, of course, Democrats or Republicans.

I don’t know that you are wrong, but I hope and suspect you are. Libertarians ought not let the search for a perfect political party doom joining one that is clearly, head and shoulders, more libertarian-friendly: Republicans.

Republicans have certainly strayed from the straight and narrow path of limited government, and, one might argue, they’ve gotten us involved in wars that seem to have no end. But if libertarians forget their history, they will never be happy. And that history has Democrats as the war-makers in the past 100 years, starting with Woodrow Wilson. And, around Wilson’s time, so-called progressives were busily going about planning our genetic future and sticking their noses into every nook and cranny of our society. The political descendants of those progressives? Today’s Democrats.

Today’s Democrats are marked by their tendency to want to control every single aspect of our lives. The recent health care imbroglio is a fine case in point. And who supported this abomination? All Democrats; no Republicans. Democrats appear to act on the assumption that we citizens are too stupid to fend for ourselves.

My advice to the libertarian-minded: vote Republican; if necessary, hold your nose, and hold those elected accountable. Don’t waste your votes on third-party candidates. You may feel good about doing so, but you can’t get much done if your people can’t get elected.

In simplest terms, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.


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