Tuesday, July 20, 2010

ANNALS OF LIBERTARIANISM, PART 636,888. Judge Andrew Napolitano had libertarian pitchmen John Stossel, Virginia Postrel, and Nick Gillespie on Fox yesterday. There's a tape, but let me save you some agony:

Postrel said that because "you have to have 51 percent to govern," she encourages libertarians to make alliances with the Big Gummit parties (though she makes it clear that the Democrats are not a real option -- "I would even like to see libertarians in the Democratic party if the Democrats will let them in," haw haw) because "I want libertarians to have a seat at the table." She explained the utility of this:
So, for example, during the Clinton Administration, not a libertarian administration to say the least [laughter] but because during that period the internet first became a big public issue, and a lot of the people who were involved with high tech were kind of Democrat leaning but libertarian oriented people, that made a big difference.
She doesn't say how these techies' libertarian orientation made a big difference, especially since such people went on to donate massively to the statist Obama campaign and continue to contribute to Democrats. Maybe Postrel looked into their souls and divined that, the next time something like ARPANET comes along, they'll join her in denouncing the egregious waste of taxpayer dollars.

Gillespie referred to polls "showing that about 60 percent of people say they want a government that provides fewer services but spends less money," thus "the financial crisis is clarifying a lot of things for people, and they're understanding that government is not the limit to what you can do with your life..." The coordinating conjunction seemed weird, so I checked around and this was the closest thing I could find:
Specifically, according to a June 11-13 USA Today/Gallup poll, 60% of Americans say they would favor "additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
Who knows, maybe he meant a poll conducted among citizens with tricorners and Gadsden flags which has been censored by Journolist etc.

Napolitano asked Gillespie why libertarianism is "suddenly in vogue" and -- with a we-so-naughty chuckle --"why is it acceptable to have these conversations on national television." Rather than replying, "Because we're on Fox, duh," the Fonzie of Freedom explained that "politics is a lagging indicator of where American society and American culture is... what we're seeing I think is politics catching up to where America has been going for the past 20, 30 or more years." Unfortunately he did not cite as evidence the growing superstardom of Nick Gillespie, but he did manage this:
A key factor to libertarian ideas is the idea of choice, that you should be allowed to experiment with your own life, with groups, trying to come up with new ways of living. We've seen that massively in most of our lives.
And what relevant example sprang to his mind?
You can go to a Starbucks and get a million different coffee drinks. Everywhere you go you get more individualized service, better service, more responsive service, innovative service. I think what we're seeing is that finally politics, again a lagging indicator, is catching up to where America has been.
Makes ya proud, don't it? From a nation of shopkeepers to a nation of baristas -- serving freedom! And some people say libertarians lack poetry.

Also: John Stossel gives Napolitano and "Glenn Beck" credit for spreading the freedom doctrine.

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