Sunday, February 5, 2017

Trump era is libertarians' opportunity

Donald Trump and the Libertarian Future - Hit & Run : - Nick Gillespie & Veronique de Rugy:

January 20, 2017 - "Donald Trump is nobody's idea of a libertarian but his presidency provides a tremendous opportunity to advance libertarian policies, outcomes, and aspirations in our politics and broader culture. Those of us who believe in reducing the size, scope, and spending of the federal government and expanding the autonomy, opportunities, and ability of people to live however they choose should welcome the Trump era. That's not because of the new president's agenda but because he enters office as the man who will inevitably close out a failing 20th-century model of governance....

"Trump enters the White House with historically low approval ratings. This is not merely his fault by any stretch. His Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, was similarly distrusted, a reflection of broad loss of faith not in this or that candidate but the entire political system and especially the two major parties, Congress, and most parts of the federal government. Our declining faith and confidence in government are direct results of failures in government to deliver what it promises and, as a majority has long believed, a belief that it is trying to do too much. Trump is coming after not just eight years of an imperial presidency but 16 years of such behavior. For the entirety of the 21st century, the White House has been occupied by men who consistently arrogated more and more power to themselves, often only advancing their complex and self-serving legal arguments in secret or amongst their own advisers.

"Trump's bullying personality, seemingly boundless egotism, and personal vindictiveness simply pour gasoline on the fire that is already lit. Serious conservatives and, at least temporarily, many conventional liberals have a heightened appreciation of limiting government power, especially in the executive branch. From secret kill lists to limitless surveillance to an endless list of presidential orders on everything from workplace rules to immigration, Obama 'leaves a loaded gun in the Oval Office' for his successor....

"Washington is broke, unpopular, and dysfunctional. The only important question is what will come next. Clearly, we need a government that spends less and does less but also appeals to most Americans of whatever ideological persuasion. We know what sort of operating system has improved our commercial, cultural, and personal lives: It's one that flows directly from libertarian ideas about maximizing options for individuals and the groups they form.... The trick, of course, is to translate that live-and-let live ethos, the cornucopia model into politics and government, which by definition precludes exit. Here, Trump's brashness and divisiveness is forcing all of us to realize government isn't and can't be all things to all people without endless conflict....

"By a two-to-one margin (60 percent to 30 percent), Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, a dread that was energized by the two main choices for president offered us in 2016.... A future in which government is disrupted and diminished — and individuals are empowered and enlivened — is possible, but only if we make it happen." "

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