LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2013 ― You might not see much of a difference between a traditional Republican and a Libertarian Republican. Both believe in the three Republican pillars of lower taxes, smaller government, and more personal responsibility. They share beliefs in the free market, property rights, school choice, repealing affirmative action, protecting gun rights, and securing the borders.
The difference is in the scope of application. The Libertarian Republican would say that the Republican bridge only goes halfway across the river; they seek to take it all the way to the other riverbank.
Libertarian Republicans believe that working outside of the two-party system has little effect, and therefore seek to work within the system to advance liberty and small government. Some go so far as to refer to themselves as “small ‘l’ libertarians,” or even “Republications.” Many of them work within the Republican Liberty Caucus—the wing of the Republican party that represents that particular interest.
The roots of this combination of conservatism and libertarianism go back to Senators Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater, but it is primarily due to the influence of Ron Paul and his son Rand that the Libertarian Republican section of the party is growing so rapidly, especially in California. Politicians there have been publicly claiming that the party must embrace the Liberty wing of the GOP if they ever want to win. Libertarian Republicanism is being adopted eagerly by the youth, who feel the stodginess of the GOP is not for them, yet who still want to remain within the two-party system.
Some of the most critical differences between the traditional GOP and the LRs is in the area of civil unions. Like their counterparts in the Libertarian Party, the LRs are very big on the personal responsibility of the individual—not on the limitations set by a nanny state government. Therefore, they would have much more liberal views on same-sex marriage, decriminalization of marijuana, euthanasia, and sex workers. While LRs favor a strong military and a strong border patrol, they would not share the neoconservative view of America using its military to promote its values around the world, and would strongly object to military incursions in other nations.
In short, the LRs are more fiscally conservative than the rest of the GOP, while being much more socially libertarian—if not liberal.
Fiscal conservatism is perhaps the most serious and most powerful tenet of Libertarian Republicanism—and perhaps the one where LRs would find the most common ground with traditional Republicans. LRs are big on free-market capitalism and are much more critical of limits placed upon it. These limits include minimum wage laws, federal regulation, and limitations on private ownership of industries. Crony capitalism and rules that favor big corporations come in for particular scorn. LRs seek to drastically lower taxes across the board. They are adamant about reducing federal spending, and they push hard to reform entitlements and cut welfare.
In California, Republican Libertarians have voices that speak out for them. Judd Weiss, a member of the Urban Game Changer organization, will be a poster child for the 2016 GOP Libertarian movement. In truly irreverent fashion, he states on his blog, “I believe we should strive to be politically correct. So to those of you who know me personally, for my public blog I’m going to tone things down and sanitize my writing so I that I don’t offend people, like retards, fatties, religious sheep, born again virgins, nerds, bums, white boy rappers, gold diggers, and supporters of Universal Health Care. They deserve to be treated with respect too. In a further effort to be more family friendly, I will refrain from saying any (expletive) that most (bleeps) and other (beep-beep) might take exception to.”
While his humor may sound harsh and crass at first blush, Judd is insightful and deep, and more than 100 thousand people read his blog at www.hustlebear.com every month.
And therein lies the LR movement: serious enough to challenge the platform of the traditional GOP, laid back enough to poke fun at politics and itself. These are serious times and the Libertarian Republicans are serious. They are not so serious, however that they can’t talk it over with you over some good medicinal green.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.