Responding to Russia

The Obama administration has orchestrated sanctions against Russia for taking over the Crimea from Ukraine.  What we’ll do is target 11 individuals, freezing their assets and not letting them travel in the West.  That’ll  show ‘em!  These Russian officials won’t be able to come to Disneyland, and we know how much that means to them! [Read more...]

Two kinds of libertarianism

A writer who goes by the nom de plume “Hamilton” says that both Republican and Democratic intellectuals and policy makers are essentially libertarians.  (He says that there are few old-school socialists or New Dealers left in the Democratic party.)  But there are two different kinds of libertarians:  the school of John C. Calhoun and the school of Robert Heinlein.

Calhoun was the 19th century statesman from South Carolina who was a major spokesman for state’s rights, limited government, and individual rights.  Heinlein was the 20th century science fiction writer who championed individual liberty empowered by technology.   Calhounian libertarians are socially conservative, religious, and inhabit the Republican party.  Heinleinian libertarians are the socially liberal, tend to be involved in the new information technology, and are usually Democrats.

But Hamilton thinks that Calhoun and Heinlein could form an alliance.  I would  question the authenticity of a libertarianism that defends slavery, as Calhoun did, and that supports the power of one person over another that we see in abortion, as Democratic  libertarians tend to do.  But still. . . .What do you think of Hamilton’s analysis, given after the jump? [Read more...]

The Left-Right coalition

The same Congressional coalition of Tea Party conservatives and far-left liberals that blocked an attack on Syria also came close to reining in the NSA surveillance program.  Washington Post political columnist Greg Sargent sees an on-going alliance coming together. [Read more...]

Colorado throws out anti-gun lawmakers

Citizens of Colorado voted for the right to smoke marijuana, but they have also voted or the right to own firearms.  In a recall election, this blue state ousted two state legislators who pushed anti-gun laws.  Might this be another example of a leftwing/rightwing alliance for civil liberties? [Read more...]

Wikileaks, Rand Paul, and abortion

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is championing Edward Snowden and his NSA revelations, says that Republican libertarianism–and specifically Rand Paul along with his father Ron–are the “only hope” for American politics.  He praised their principled stands against drone assassinations and (wait for it) abortion!

I’m astonished that the seemingly leftist Assange who is accused of being a sexual predator might be pro-life.   (Do any of you know more about this or about his comment?)   Bringing the pro-life cause into the civil liberties crusade and the libertarian movement would be huge and perfectly fitting.  Unborn children have no civil liberties. [Read more...]

The Chris Christie path vs. the Rand Paul path

Washington Post political columnist Chris Cillizza has written an interesting column saying that the Republican Party must choose between two different paths, as represented by two likely presidential candidates:  the moderate pragmatism of New Jersey governor Chris Christie; or the purist small-government principles of  Kentucky senator Rand Paul.

Mr. Cillizza casts the Rand option in terms of being more conservative.  In doing so, I think he completely misses what Rand Paul represents.  He is a libertarian, appealing strongly to young people and the politically-disaffected.  But he is also pro-life.  He is also the peace candidate, stealing that issue from the left.

Someone who can attract the internet crowd and pro-lifers and free market business types and evangelicals and peaceniks and the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Streeters has the makings of a paradigm-breaking and very formidable candidate. [Read more...]


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