I am one of those eternal optimists who think we are on the brink of this American Spring. Another, whether he knows it or not, is ironically Joe Trippi, once the campaign manager for Howard Dean, a statist of the first order. (See Trippi’s interview with Reason magazine in which he foresees a libertarian-oriented president in the near future.) Possible allies can be found in more quarters than we know.
But in order to achieve this American Spring, those who favor a diminished state must exercise discipline and kindness as never before. They should avoid internal rectification campaigns (shooting their own, looking for ideological perfection that doesn’t exist). We are not communists. That’s what they do.
Those already convinced of our cause — small-government conservatives, Tea Partiers, libertarians — should put aside their squabbles for now, join together and seek to be as inclusive as possible. Ideological purity, indeed ideological terminology itself, is inherently exclusionary and often obfuscating. Gloating of any sort is also counter-productive, possibly terminally. Instead, we must patiently explain, even to our most intractable adversaries, why our proposals for limited government are for their benefit as well as our own. We must do this in the face of a troglodytic and reactionary media and entrenched bureaucracies and interest groups from over a century of statism. We cannot stop or give up.
And we must always point out that what people were and are fighting for on the streets of the Ukraine and Venezuela is human freedom. They are not fighting for more government programs. It’s even farcical to think so.