I've meant, for a while, to comment on Stephen Gordon's post from back in May about the GOP needing libertarians more than libertarians needs the GOP.
I think he has some merit to his argument, but I would say that libertarians and conservatives both need the GOP and need each other. They are not always going to agree. There will be fights over the drug war, marriage, etc. But at the end of the day, both conservatives and libertarians are, or at least must be, committed to smaller government.
I bring this up to point out Nikki Haley. She's unapologetically pro-life, but she is first and foremost known as a fiscal conservative. She is the type of candidate conservatives claim they want. She is also the type of candidate libertarians claim to want.
While she won't please everyone — the only candidate who ever tried is now in the White House making everyone mad — she gets checks in all the major boxes: life, tax cutting, government cutting, honesty, and uncompromising on the need to reform.
She has said about her own candidacy,
I am going to stand as an example of a minority female who understands what it means to be pro-business, who understands that government should be small, who understands we don’t need government intrusion, that you need to be able to make strong, smart decisions for yourself
All the candidates at the RedState Gathering talked about the need for the GOP to re-embrace fiscal conservatism as a path back to the majority. Nikki Haley went so far as to say that without losing, the GOP would have never learned. The GOP needs to "learn through the burn" of defeat what it takes to govern, she told us.
She is not afraid, even as an elected official, to criticize her own party for losing its way. That's the type of candidate the Republicans need.
And Nikki Haley puts her votes where her mouth is. Republicans in South Carolina punished her for daring to push for fiscal restraint and transparency in the state legislature by yanking a prime committee position in the State House, but she kept on pushing till she won. She got her start in state politics by challenging and beating the longest serving state representative in South Carolina — and she did it in a Republican primary.
Nikki Haley is not afraid to challenge the establishment Republican Party. She is not afraid to set standards for the party and expect those around her, and herself, to live up to them.
Let me be blunt: if conservatives and libertarians cannot unite behind Nikki Haley and get her onto the national stage as a fresh face for both Republicans and small government, we might as well call it day.
The GOP needs Nikki Haley in the South Carolina Governor's Mansion. The grand coalition that last put the GOP in power needs someone of Nikki Haley's integrity and spine to get us back both on the path of small government and back into a position to lead the nation.Nikki Haley
Join me in supporting Nikki Haley for South Carolina Governor. Besides, unlike some of her GOP primary opponents, Nikki Haley has never supported nor would she ever support reckless fiscal legislation that would cause her to be deservedly booed at tea party.