The Politics of Aspiration


The Orange County Register's Steven Greenhut has a really sharp col about possible revitalization of libertarian ideas in American politics. Snippets:

Those of us who believe in free markets, small government, peace, capitalism, civil liberties and the Constitution will lose, no matter who wins in November. The gloom already is setting in. But there's reason to be optimistic. Our ideas are the right ones. Freedom and capitalism work, while command-and-control policies do not. The question is how to get to the point where those in power begin to loosen rather than tighten their grip over the economy and our lives….

Republicans need to revive what I call the Politics of Aspiration. Instead of promoting an agenda that a) echoes what Democrats offer, only not so much; or b) is based on negativity and fear (of illegal immigration, terrorists, Godless liberals, etc.), they need to tap into the entrepreneurial feelings and desire to get ahead that lies deep within us all—rich, middle class and poor. Winning parties offer hopeful messages and sound ideas.

Greenhut then lays out key areas—ranging from corporate welfare and regulation to economic growth and defense to immigration and trade—where the emphasis should be on providing a basic framework for success and opportunity rather than particular outcomes. It's a good piece and well worth reading in full.

Check it out here.