Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Occupy and the Libertarians

Hard-core Libertarians tended to hate President Bush. This is not surprising since he was a big-government Republican. He waged two wars, increased the rate of spending, passed a Medicare drug benefit, and the Patriot Act. Many Libertarians saw McCain as worse than Bush and decided that Obama was the lesser of two evils. They hoped that Obama was a pragmatic centrist who only talked liberal while winning the nomination. They figured that they could make common cause with the Democrats over social issues. They even came up with a name for this fusion: Liberaltarians.

 That didn't work out so well. Obama continued Bush's war strategies, increased spending beyond Bush's records, passed his own expansion of health care, and renewed the Patriot Act. It turned out that the Democrats looked down their noses at Libertarians, even when they had issues in common.

These Libertarians are at it again. Now they are suggesting making common cause with the Occupy movement. They reason that both groups are against bail-outs and crony capitalism. The disconnect is the proposed solutions. Libertarians see this as an example of a government grown too powerful and would try to cut it back. The Occupiers want an expanded government and an end to capitalism. Trying to reconcile the two movements is impossible. They may start at the same place but they are diametrically opposed on what to o about it.

The real issue here is Libertarians who want to be cool. In 2008, it was cool to support Obama so they invented reasons to do so. Now the Occupiers seem cool so they want to hang out with them. It appears that just being a Libertarian isn't enough. At the same time, the Tea Party isn't cool enough for them. The same people who want to embrace an anti-capitalism movement sneer at a grass-roots, limited government movement.

Enough is enough. It is ok to stop being a Libertarian. Go ahead and convert. But don't try to convince us that you are still a Libertarian. Any Libertarian who hangs out with the Occupiers is a Libertarian In Name Only.

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