Republicans and libertarians

James Joyner has some thoughts on what libertarian-leaning Republicans, like myself, can do about the GOP’s drift away from limited government. His answer: not much, really.

I suppose the way to go is to continue to vote Republican. Voting Libertarian amounts to a wasted vote; besides, the Libertarian Party is mostly filled with utopians who have incredibly unrealistic expectations and who seem to live in an alternative universe. Anyone who disagrees with them – even on a single issue – must be purged from their ranks for the crime of “impurity of philosophy.” Although I agree with libertarian philosophy most of the time, issues like abortion and foreign policy would get me kicked out of the party pronto.

Voting Democrat is no better. Even on the few social issues where I’m inclined to support them, Democrats are basically just Republican-lites.

So I suppose I should just hold my nose and vote for the GOP. Sure, they spend way too much time generating outrage over illegal immigrants and gays, but this is just a symptom of populism. Boring speeches about fiscal policy just don’t rile the masses as much as fiery rhetoric about gays destroying marriage or millions of brown people (8-30 million, depending on who you ask) taking America away from us. They know neither of these charges is true, but what’s the truth when votes are at stake?

The solution, obviously, is to convince the Republican base, and Americans in general, that liberty is completely linked to limited government, and that liberty is far more important than any of the other issues politicians think they can exploit.

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