Saturday, September 18

The libertarian’s dilemma

Richard A. Epstein writing in The Libertarian’s Dilemma at Defining Ideas:

Which statist candidate should lovers of freedom vote for this Tuesday?

In the final countdown to what promises to be a close election, the libertarian finds himself without a comfortable home in either political party. Political parties and their presidential candidates offer market baskets of policy prescriptions on a large array of different issues. We do not have the option of picking out from each basket the policies that we like and rejecting the rest. Politics do not come served a la carte in our two-party system. …

A typical Republican or Democrat believes in most of the policies that his candidate puts forth. For a libertarian, voting for either candidate causes internal philosophical dissonance. …

Though no libertarian can take comfort in the blurry Romney campaign, the scorecard does tip in his balance. The state of play nationwide on social issues is decidedly mixed, with too much intolerance on both sides. But on economic issues, the one confident point is that in an age of bloated government, the correct vote goes to the party, when the campaigning is mercifully done, that is more likely to limit the rate of government growth, if not shrink the size of government altogether. This election cycle, that party is the GOP. It is time for a change from Blue to Red, from Obama to Romney.