In 2008 Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch hailed a libertarian moment, encompassing everything from the Internet to the collapse of legacy industries and legacy entitlement programs. Ive used the same term here, when NPR talked about Ron Pauland when polls showed rising support for smaller government, gay marriage, and drug legalization.
But suddenly, today, everyone seems to see a libertarian moment. Driving in to work, I got so tired of the smug self-satisfaction on public radios pledge drive, I switched to the vigorously right-wing Chris Plante Show just in time to hear Plante say, This is a great day for libertarianism in regard to the abuse-of-power stories dominating the mainstream media.
And then, mirabile dictu, I got to the office, opened the Washington Post, and found todays column by Michael Gerson. Now, as he says in todays column, Gerson is conspicuously not a libertarian. Indeed, he is the most vociferously anti-libertarian columnist in contemporary punditry. And yet his column today is titled (in the print paper):
Making libertarians of us all
Man, youve got to abuse power something awful to make Michael Gerson start thinking libertarian. So thanks, IRS and Justice Department!
And now that the Obama administrations abuse of power has got our attention,can we broaden our focus to take in health care mandates, recess appointments, campus speech regulations, the anti-constitutional Independent Payment Advisory Board, similar extra-legislative bodies in Dodd-Frank, the expropriation of Chrysler creditors, and illegal wars?
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Is This the Libertarian Moment?