Final Divorce Papers

|

Is Reason strongman Nick Gillespie really the Fonzie of Free Markets? I've always thought his real avatar was Laverne and Shirley's Carmine Ragusa, and if you've ever seen Gillespie turn one of The Big Ragoo's signature pirouettes, you know why his nickname was "Twinkle Toes" back in his fraternity days.*

These questions and others are being considered as reviews of the America's Future Foundation's recent roundtable forum "Conservatives and Libertarians: Can This Marriage Be Saved?" continue to wash ashore. LewRockwell.com's Daniel McCarthy gives his thoughts here. And from the American Conservative Union Foundation, Donald Devine opines here.

And don't just take their word for it. Listen to the audio of the forum right here.

* This is a joke. Gillespie is a lifelong frat-hater. He is, however, a huge Eddie Mekka fan.

NEXT: Cover Charge

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Can we just put a link up to the old comments sections for this debate?

  2. “Heeeeyyyyyyy!”

  3. Donald Devine wrote:
    The problem with Toryism is, there just are not enough people in modern times that will blindly defer to authorities.

    Um, has he been paying attention for the past few years? A lot of conservatives seem to blindly trust the President. A lot of people don’t see too upset about the new powers granted to the government in the War on Terror.

    However merited or unmerited that trust might be, the trust seems to be there when the President is a Republican.

  4. thoreau,

    Are you implying that liberals don’t follow their leaders blindly?

    All ideoloques are basically the same; only their ideologies differ.

  5. Bill-

    You are correct. The only reason why I didn’t castigate liberals as well for their authoritarian tendencies is that the subject at hand was conservatives.

    In general, when I criticize conservatives you shouldn’t assume that I’m pardoning liberals.

  6. Conservatives & Libertarians, again–Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Get over your ’80s nostalgia and stop beating this dead, a-moldering, nearly pertified horse. Reagan’s dead, too, in every sense. It’s over–we’re on our own now. Time to walk like big boys and girls.

    Etc.

  7. PS:

    Check out Lew Rockwell’s just posted column for March 29:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/which-way.html

    Like I said, it’s over baby.

  8. thoreau wrote:

    Donald Devine wrote:
    The problem with Toryism is, there just are not enough people in modern times that will blindly defer to authorities.

    Um, has he been paying attention for the past few years? A lot of conservatives seem to blindly trust the President. A lot of people don’t see too upset about the new powers granted to the government in the War on Terror.

    I think Devine was referring to Americans in general. Not all Americans are conservatives, or liberals, or even necessarily interested in politics. If you’ve been following the polls, Bush’s approval ratings have been consistently lower than any sitting president that I can recall since Jimmy Carter.

    But I was likewise disappointed by Devine’s article, and his conception of libertarianism. He’s usually an intelligent and insightful writer. In fact, he always impressed me as something of a closet libertarian himself. His article “A Tocquevillian Response To Globalization and Community Decay” stops just short of advocating a return to city-states I’ve heard some of the more radical libertarians advocate for.

    This article seemed like a bit of a half-assed effort. Devine asks:

    For example, capital-L Libertarians want the state to define marriage to include single-sex unions when it was the state in relatively modern times that usurped the churches from what was their private control of their own marriage contracts. Why would a real means-libertarian not favor re-privatizing the marriage contract, respecting the church’s copyright on defining it as between one man and one woman, and only supporting private civil unions as another private alternative?

    As far as I know, that’s exactly what most libertarians advocate, and if Devine doesn’t know it, I’d be surprised.

    I’d be interested in hearing Nick’s response to McCarthy’s description to his brand of libertarianism as essentially “low-tax liberalism”. His comments at the roundtable did leave that impression, which both McCarthy and Devine picked up on. While Devine’s characterization of it as “Statist Libertarianism” was a bit of cheap shot (which he acknowledged), Nick appears to have handed him a fair amount of ammunition to take it with.

  9. It has all been said before, but I’ll reiterate that until we have a different electoral system, the choice not to be in bed with one of the two coalitions is the choice to be irrelevant. Being a devout Reasonista, I respect Choice as much as the next guy, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that all choices are equally helpful.

  10. Jason,

    Exactly how relevant are libertarians in their great “coalition” with conservatives? When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose….

    You make yourself relevant by being in play, by not allowing yourself to be taken for granted, over and over, and by considering how to break out of the political box to which you have been confined. Conservatives have told this to African-Americans time and again–maybe Libertarians should listen to them one last time, on our way out the door.

  11. Maybe we should get Nick a Queer-eye makeover. I bet that would be hilarious!

  12. “You make yourself relevant by being in play, by not allowing yourself to be taken for granted, over and over, and by considering how to break out of the political box to which you have been confined.”

    We differ on this because you perceive that libertarians are somehow ‘courtable’ as a group. Being very proud of their principles and ideological rigor, libertarians who are ‘in play’ are really demanding that one of the two coalitions swallow their platform whole. If a coalition has elements that are unappealing to libertarians, we say things like ‘the marriage is over’.

    Problem is, the coalitions are not ideologies, they are collections of policies, each being advanced by member groups. To accept all of libertarianism is impossible without losing much larger voting blocs. Ergo, each coalition can only offer certain issues. It is up to each libertarian to decide which issues they would prefer to push, always remembering that if you fail to back a winner, you get nothing. Issues can be conquered through our electoral process, but ideology is too insignificant to most people to matter when there are only two flavors to choose from.

    As I’ve said before, the left coalition has very little that is appealing to me except the ACLU wing, and the issues they choose to fight range from annoying to inane.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is a cost to participating in a coalition in the hopes of advancing a few issues at the expense of others. All I’m saying is that the alternative is irrelevance.

  13. Jason-

    I guess it depends on just how steep your demands are. Libertarians who demand the whole kit and kaboodle lest they bolt to the LP are indeed irrelevant. But those who demand something less than the total LP platform (but more than the parties are currently offering) can be relevant. They could, for instance, say that they’ll vote for any GOP candidate who cuts taxes and vote LP if the GOP breaks that pledge. Or they could vote for the more socially tolerant GOP candidates but vote LP when the GOP nominates a theocrat.

    I’m not saying these are necessarily the best strategies, I’m just saying that it’s possible to make them work for our votes. Now, whether they’ll actually do that is another matter.

  14. “You know I go from rags to riches…”

  15. Now here’s a good example of what I’m talking about:

    “They could, for instance, say that they’ll vote for any GOP candidate who cuts taxes and vote LP if the GOP breaks that pledge.”

    What the hell is the point of focusing on the tax policies of the GOP if it is not coupled to a goddamn sincere effort to reduce the size of government? All it does is foster massive deficit spending. I think I’d rather have a pay-as-you-go-system where taxes genuinely reflect spending, so people would have some sense of just how much of their money the government, thoroughly in GOP hands, wastes.

    And that’s the key point–in GOP hands. When the GOP was the “opposition party” they battled for reduced government. Now, having tasted power, they as money mad as the Demoncrats ever were, just less intellectually honest about the requirement to pay the bills. Simply voting for the liars who promise you the lowest taxes–all other fiscal considerations aside–is no basis for a “coalition”.

    If and when the GOP gets tossed out on its ass, loses its hubris, and rediscovers the expediency of principles (as odd as that sounds), then come talk to me. Until then, these power-crazed frauds can drop dead as far as I am concerned.

  16. The enemy is not either of the coalitions. It is the AARP. No one can give us anything we want without losing the massive old people vote.

  17. Henry-

    I agree. My only point is that it’s a false dichotomy to assume that the only options are uncritical support for one of the coalitions vs. refusing to support anybody who flunks the purity test. One can adopt a strategy of voting for a major party when it passes some test (that still falls short of the Libertarian Purity Test) and voting LP otherwise.

    In keeping with the spirit of your post, one could vote for GOP candidates based on how much they spend rather than how much they tax, and vote LP when a candidate doesn’t pass muster.

    Other variations on this strategy, based on other issues, are certainly possible.

  18. The enemy is not either of the coalitions. It is the AARP. No one can give us anything we want without losing the massive old people vote.

    Looks to me like W is tackling the AARP. Isn’t that what his SS reform plan is about? Granted, libertarian purists seem to prefer the New Deal, to Bush’s privitized version. But you have to start somewhere, and Bush is making headway with this.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.