January 5, 2016

BECAUSE WE AREN'T ALL 15 YEAR OLD WHITE BOYS?

Why the libertarian moment fizzled (Damon Linker, January 5, 2016, The Week)

Let your mind drift back to a distant, barely remembered past -- to the days before Donald Trump seemed capable of wrecking the conservative movement and breaking apart the GOP, before Jeb Bush proved himself to be the Little Candidate Who Couldn't, before Ted Cruz stopped being hated by just about every member of his party. Yes, there was a time, not quite a year-and-a-half ago, when journalists seriously suggested that the country was entering a "libertarian moment" and wondered whether Rand Paul's presidential campaign would serve as its vanguard and herald. [...]

Yeah, not so much.

The 2016 election cycle is certainly shaping up to be a transformational one for Republicans, just not in a libertarian direction. If anything, Trump's astonishing polling strength (combined with Paul's consistent weakness) has revealed how soft support is for the more libertarian positions favored by the party's elite and its leading donors. In place of open borders, Trump promises mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. In place of cuts in taxes and spending, Trump promises to protect Social Security and Medicare while jacking up taxes on the rich. In place of strategic retrenchment on foreign policy, Trump promises, well, very little beyond a shift to a hard-nosed calculation of national interest backed up by boasts about his personal brilliance and unwavering toughness.

So much for a libertarian moment. A quasi-authoritarian moment might be more like it.

Posted by at January 5, 2016 5:22 PM

  

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