LIBERTARIAN -- JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR NUTHIN' LEFT TO LOSE? That was my thought when reading this post by Patrick Hynes, who suggests that libertarians and small-government conservatives should be worried about a "crackup" as they might lose their influence with the Republicans if that happened. I guess I'd feel better if I saw, you know, some evidence of that influence lately . . . .
But I think this is more whistling in the dark. It's certainly true that the Libertarian Party is trivial. But libertarian-leaning Republicans and independents are far more numerous, and have less reason to stick around given that their agendas aren't getting much attention. What's more, if libertarian-leaning conservatives line up against the Republican agenda, it's likely to worry swing voters far more than if criticisms come only from the usual suspects of the left.
Hey, I think I'm offering good advice to the Republicans, but they should ignore it if they want -- just like the Democrats have ignored all the good advice I've given them. And they're doing fine! Right?
And to all those who are snarling at libertarians for daring to raise these issues, I'll just quote James Taranto: "By contrast, fewer people have come to call themselves liberal in part because liberals are eager to cast out heretics. . . . Developing a political majority is a matter of addition, not subtraction, and the GOP's openness to a variety of viewpoints is a strength, not a weakness."
Let's just hope that's not a past-tense statement now.