On Conservatives, Libertarians & Tea Partiers:

If you’re interested in American Politics and can spare an hour, you may want to watch an excellent debate about the frictions between libertarians and (social) conservatives as two distinct camps on the American Right.

The participants are Brink Lindsey of The Cato Institute (a libertarian in favor of disentangling from the Right), Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online (representing the more traditional fusionist brand of a libertarian-conservative alliance) and Matt Kibbe of Freedom Works (a partisan expert on the Tea Party Movement).

The debate’s been hosted by Reason Magazine and Reason TV. You’ll find a high quality, full length, downloadable video on their Web site.

[via The Next Right]

2 Kommentare zu „On Conservatives, Libertarians & Tea Partiers:

  1. My impressions of the debate: Aiming for the middle does not quite cut it. Nor does aiming to shoot the right as Lindsey does, nor aiming to shoot the left as Goldberg does, nor aiming at both as Kibbe does.

    From a practical perspective, asking rhetorically „where libertarians belong“ is less important than understanding how they can be politically relevant.

    One key to political relevance is simple – a predictable centrist libertarian swing vote. The rub – for a swing vote to be predictable it has to be organized. And nobody yet has figured out how to herd these cats. This is sometimes referred to as the „Hot Tub Libertarian“ Problem.
    There is an answer. There is a way to herd these cats. Paraphrasing from my post „Curing Libertarian Electile Dysfunction“:

    Libertarian swing vote organization is going to have to look different than traditional political organization. After all, it is something we will have to accomplish while sitting in the hot-tub. What is needed, is an organizing principle. Ideally, a principle that is so obvious, so logical, and so clear-cut, that no leadership is needed, no parties are needed, no candidates are needed, and no infrastructure is needed. Ideally it is this easy: You think about the principle, and you know how to vote.

    That organizing principle exists. It is Divided Government. It is absolutely clear-cut and easy to understand. Divided Government is documented by Niskanen et.al. to work in a practical real-world manner to restrain the growth of the state. As a voting strategy it can be implemented immediately. More importantly, it can collectively be implemented individually as we sit in our hot tubs and ponder the sorry state of the world. Whatever the percentage of the electorate that libertarians represent, whether it is 9% or 20%, if they vote as a block for divided government, they immediately become the brokers of an evenly split partisan electorate. They arguably become the single most most potent voting block in the country, specifically because they are willing to vote either Democratic or Republican as a block. Specifically because they are not fused to one party or the other.

    If the libertarian „divided government vote“ is shown to swing elections for two or three cycles, then libertarians will no longer be inchoate, their message no longer be diffused, and their political clout no longer flaccid. As long as the bulk of the electorate remain polarized and balanced, even a small percentage libertarian swing vote organized around divided government will be enough for libertarians to display the biggest swinging political „hammer“ in town.

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