Lindsey Graham is dead wrong on libertarianism; should be primaried
Lindsey Graham stands for big government
As Mark Levin calls him, the “Arlen Specter of South Carolina” is running his mouth against libertarians again. Associating them with anti-war liberals…oh wait, where have they gone?
Anyhow, you might remember one of his previous attacks, in which he claimed libertarians have no place in the Republican party. Needless to say he got booed by the audience, and was subsequently smacked down by Governor Mark Sanford:
Instead of making up his own definition of libertarianism, Graham should look to a 1975 interview with Ronald Reagan for an explanation of it:
REASON: Governor Reagan, you have been quoted in the press as saying that you’re doing a lot of speaking now on behalf of the philosophy of conservatism and libertarianism. Is there a difference between the two?
REAGAN: If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are traveling the same path.
It is also necessary to make an important distinction when speaking of the term libertarian. There is the Libertarian Party, and the libertarian ideology. One does not necessitate the other, in fact there are probably, if not definitely, more libertarians who are independents or in the Republican party than in the actual Libertarian party.
While it is helpful to get definitions correct, they mean little if you cannot properly visualize a working paradigm of the political spectrum. The one currently used by most is broken beyond repair. It goes like this:
Does anyone see a problem with this? On both ends are statism, the idea of overwhelming government. Isn’t this simply two sides of the same coin? What is the real fight over?
Many, including myself, prefer the following paradigm:
This way, we have on the left the pro-government crowd, and on the right the pro-freedom crowd. It also shows that libertarianism is not a pro-drug, anti-war effort, it is an all encompassing political doctrine. Also, libertarians believe in limited government. It is not the same as anarchy.
What philosophy is consistent with this nation’s history? The Constitution? It is libertarianism.
Libertarianism is not compatible with Obama’s European social welfare state. It is also not compatible with Graham’s pro-war police state.
Many people associate libertarianism with Ron Paul, both his opponents and supporters, and he certainly is a part of the libertarian movement. However, everything that comes out of his mouth should not be considered libertarian doctrine.
Like every other group, libertarians have disagreements. Most notably things like abortion, foreign policy, and intellectual property. Let’s run through these real quick.
Libertarians believe in self-defense against aggression. The question is what constitutes legitimate aggression. People like Ron Paul would say that what Iran is doing with nuclear weapons does not constitute aggression, others like the Ayn Rand institute would say that it does constitute aggression and considers them an imminent threat. But neither wants to go to war to spread democracy or police the world. Libertarians range from what Walter Russell Mead would classify as the Jacksonians and the Jeffersonians in his foreign policy spectrum, which I recommend looking over and visualizing as your foreign policy paradigm.
On abortion, libertarians are almost evenly split. And it is as simple as when you believe the fetus is a human being. You can most certainly be libertarian and a pro-life Christian. I need to emphasize that: libertarianism is the most welcoming ideology towards religion in the world. It allows you the freedom to practice it, while also not making you believe in the religion of the government’s choice.
I won’t go into IP that deeply, because like the other two issues the hangup is what constitutes the definition. Is your idea property or not? Again, some say yes and some say no. But in all issues the main goal on both sides is to preserve liberty and your rights.
I hope this helps clear up some misconceptions about libertarianism. In my view, the conservative should be conserving libertarianism and the Constitution because it is a fundamentally libertarian document. I am a conservative AND a libertarian AND a Christian. Lots of people are libertarian and they simply do not know it.
Even if you do not agree with the majority of libertarians on many issues, you should support them because they want to debate and decide most issues on a state level, as our Constitution mandates. I agree with Jim DeMint that the Republican party must embrace libertarianism and libertarians. That is what will bring in young people, minorities, and independents, not Democrat copy-catting!
With that out of the way, let’s get back to Lindsey Graham. He is the quintessential enemy of liberty. On economic matters, on civil liberties, on foreign policy, on our Constitution. He is also a self-absorbed, arrogant, establishment politician. He has never seen a war he didn’t like, a government regulation he didn’t see reasonable, and has preferred dining with Barack Obama instead of joining fellow conservatives fighting against the President on the Senate floor.
It is time for him to leave South Carolina. He sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest of the politicians in the state. It is akin to Utah letting Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett stay in office so long; the state is ripe red and should represent its constituents as such.
Two names are popping up to replace Graham. States Senators Tom Davis and Lee Bright. They are conservative libertarians who also happen to be very influential in state politics. Davis was Mark Sanford’s former chief of staff. Bright is closely aligned to Nikki Haley. They can definitely win. I will support either of them fully to defeat Graham and join the conservative libertarian caucus of Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz in the Senate.
Both have voiced strong indications of running. They will not oppose each other. Here are their current websites:
I’ll close out this diary with a beautiful picture of Lindsey Graham:
Feel free to discuss libertarianism and Lindsey Graham below.