Libertarians for Authoritarianism?


It seems like it should be a no-brainer, but for some reason some “libertarians” need continual reminding that a Rudy Giuliani presidency would be bad, to put it mildly, for freedom. David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, does his part to slap some sense into our erstwhile allies with an excellent op-ed in yesterday’s Daily News.

I really don’t get why this is even an issue. Yet some otherwise sensible folks in the libertarian community have jumped on the Rudy bandwagon. This weekend I even received an email — from a reliable source — claiming that the Republican Liberty Caucus would not be endorsing Ron Paul, and that some New York RLC leaders were actually campaigning for Giuliani! What in the world is the point of even having a Republican Liberty Caucus if it won’t endorse a Ron Paul candidacy automatically?

My theory is that this is the inevitable blowback from too many years of using the pithy but woefully inadequate “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” as shorthand to explain libertarianism to newbies. Giuliani is a poster-child for why this slogan is meaningless. He’s socially liberal and fiscally conservative on a lot of important issues, yet he is about as far from a libertarian as any politician I can think of.

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