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Longtime drug reformer Eric Sterling (a guy I generally admire), for example, said at the conference that his first step toward a post-prohibition America would be “universal health care,” accompanied by comprehensive treatment that addicts could obtain rather easily — in Sterling’s words, free treatment should be “as easy as ordering a pizza.”br> Lindsey believes that “an honest survey of the past half-century shows a much better match between libertarian means and progressive ends” than between libertarian means and traditionalist ends, the core of Meyer’s fusionism. It’s true that many traditionalists hew, implicitly or explicitly, to their own version of positive liberty, what in 17th Century Puritan writings was referred to as liberty from sin. But when government itself becomes an engine for cultural upheaval — that is, when traditionalists are on the defensive — they join libertarians in pursuit of negative liberty. The Hyde Amendment, which strictly limits federal funding of abortion, is an example of traditionalists meeting their ends by libertarian means.
Terrific. If there’s one surefire way to make sure America never reforms its drug laws, it’s telling the public that step one in “drug reform” would be to have taxpayers foot the bill for morphine clinics, needles, and the local addict’s relapses.
This would all still be quite a bit better than today’s approach… But it’s a far cry from treating American citizens as actual adults, capable not only of making their own decisions about what they put into their bodies, but also of assuming full responsibility for those decisions.
It is not obvious to me that recent history shows that traditionalists have deployed the heavy hand of government more often than liberals have. But even if they have, the results of the November election should put traditionalists on the defensive once again, making them better allies for libertarians than they have been. And as the new Democratic Congress rolls out the more awful bits of its agenda, it’s a safe bet that the strongest pushback will come from conservatives. That makes this a peculiar time to declare the conservative-libertarian fusion a dead letter.
LINDSEY, WHO SUPPORTED THE Iraq War before the invasion and later changed his mind, doesn’t mention foreign policy in his essay. It’s an odd omission, since it’s clear that many dovish libertarians have lately been attracted to the Democrats primarily in reaction to the Bush administration’s war-making. Foreign policy divides libertarians amongst ourselves; some libertarians still base their politics entirely on the non-aggression axiom, and a larger group of libertarians are by default skeptical of any use of force (since the Cato Institute’s founding in 1977, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan is the only U.S. military action that its foreign policy experts have supported). Others — like me — believe that a robust foreign policy is both acceptable and prudent. If foreign policy remains the primary fault line in American politics, dovish libertarians may be bound to the left for the foreseeable future. But they will be bound to the left by their dovishness, not by their libertarianism per se. Of course, the same may be true for libertarian hawks; if both parties remain as enthralled with big government as they have been in the Bush era, every libertarian may be forced to become more or less a one-issue voter. But if we do avoid that unhappy fate, our conservative friends are likely to remain our most promising allies.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?