September 02, 2008
Putting the Constitution ahead of Culture War
Whether you're a card-carrying Libertarian, a small-l libertarian, a libertarianish political non-conformist, or I suppose even if you're from the other side and hate libertarians, you don't want to miss David Harsanyi's The Libertarian Case for Palin.
The potential political consequences of Sarah Palin have been chewed over from every imaginable angle.I think he's right. (And I suspect M. Simon would agree; see his related post.)
Not that Palin will please all in the libertarian camp. Her social conservatism gives pause to many, although Harsanyi recognizes (as I did in another post) that she places the Constitution ahead of her personal beliefs. And of course, her Second Amendment position ought to delight any libertarian:
....unlike Obama, Palin seems to believe that the Second Amendment means the exact same thing in rural Alaska as it does in the streets of Chicago.Yes, it is.
And this was music to my ears:
On the counterproductive War on Drugs, Palin is no warrior.Whatever her personal beliefs are, Sarah Palin strikes me as a principled person who departs from the decades-old Culture War script that "the personal is political." I have long harbored the hope that someone might come along who'd be able to make a stab at uniting libertarians and religious conservatives....
Maybe "unite" is the wrong word, because they don't really need to be united. Brought together in a rational way, maybe. Because, the Culture War arises from instinctive, gut-level personal dislikes more than from a desire to have the government enact these dislikes into law. Religious conservatives and libertarians both know that any unconstitutional scheme that might allow, say, fundamentalists to take charge of "the culture" could be used against them, as it would also allow Islamists or Communists to do the same. And both libertarians and religious conservatives have now been holding their noses for a long time -- not just at each other, but at the Republican Party. Perhaps learning to hold your nose is a good thing if you learn that something you don't like (homosexuality or creationism, say) is not going to break your legs or pick your pocket. I have long thought that religious conservatives and libertarians have more in common than they realize, but are driven apart simply by constitutionally irrelevant feelings of mutual repugnance. Larger forces want them battling, though.
Anyway, I liked Harsanyi's piece so much that if I keep quoting it my enthusiasm will violate the DMCA, so just go read it all.
posted by Eric on 09.02.08 at 08:15 AM
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