Libertarian History/Philosophy

Mark Sanford on Libertarianism: "I wear it as a badge of honor"

|

The libertarian battle of the South Carolina Republicans continues! Yesterday, for the opposition, there was Lindsey Graham. Today, for the home team, Gov. Mark Sanford:

Reason on Sanford here.

NEXT: Even Gov. Arnold Won't Defend His Record/Ballot Initiatives in Today's Special Election in California!

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. I know he’s a politician, and in the words of Obi-Wan they are not to be trusted, but damn if that made me morning better!

  2. Kyle Jordan-

    Now, if he were to call for an end to the income tax and the abolition of the IRS, DHS, HHS and the WoD, what would that do for the rest of your day?

  3. Boy, what the Republicans really need to regain viability is more candidates like Lindsey Graham, wouldn’t that be great?

  4. On one hand, it would make me even happier. However, it would probably sadden me because the flat-liners will never get the concept of doing away with all you mentioned, thus making it a pipe dream.

  5. So, when is Mark Sanford, “libertarian” extraordinaire, planning to advocate an end to the war on drugs? Or the legalization of gambling? Or the legalization of any behavior that might run counter to his sense of Christian morality? Oh, yeah he’s not. Welcome to the bandwagon, Mark. And enjoy the badge, you’ve earned it.

  6. Damn the isms.

    Lil’ more action, lil’ less self proclamation.

  7. You cynics are ridiculous. I supported Ron Paul, but this man is the closest thing we’ve had to a viable libertarian candidate since Goldwater. Then, I say “we” as if I was there. I’m twenty-three. I’d like to see a man whose convictions I can stand behind take office before I die.

    Full disclosure: I may have a slight crush on Mark Sanford.

  8. Paleface speaks with split tongue.

  9. Sanford is libertarian enough to be way ahead of the people we’re going to see in office if we don’t support him or someone like him. And he might even have a shot at the nomination in 2012.

    A self-proclaimed libertarian would beat someone who wants to, well, beat libertarians. And, before anyone says it, we don’t have a brand to dilute.

  10. I’ve had about all I can take of Republican politicians proclaiming the party has to stand for individual freedom and then telling me, privately, about, say, the war on drugs that they can’t advocate individual liberty for that issue because the people aren’t ready for it and “do you want to see us all voted out of office for being consistent?” If you won’t so advocate, then start proclaiming you are for “limited freedom” and leave room for Libertarians to try to build a consensus of those who don’t qualify their love of liberty.

  11. Brand or not, judging politicians on their words instead of on their actions is what got us here. Need I remind anyone how much George W. Bush loves the free market?

    Besides making a show of rejecting stimulus money (before taking it) and paying lip service to liberty, what concrete stand has Mark Sanford taken that would distinguish him from all the other Republicans who profess a deep and abiding love for liberty (as long as it looks, talks, and acts like they want it to)?

  12. Stanford seems like a decent guy. I don’t know enough about him to say that I would vote for him for President. But he seems decent enough. He is still religious and from the South. That means the cosmotarians will hate his guts and write him off as an idiot.

  13. That means the cosmotarians will hate his guts and write him off as an idiot.

    That’s the great thing about Sanford. While he may be a libertarian, he’s sure no cosmotarian!

  14. I am agnostic on Sanford, but I would point out that a southern Christian Republican would probably have an easier time of liberalizing drug laws than, say, a silver-tounged African-American liberal (for instance). Nixon, China, etc…

    Whether he would or not is another matter entirely, of course.

  15. Graham is a schmuck for demonizing the only faction of political thought that matters.

  16. …a southern Christian Republican would probably have an easier time of liberalizing drug laws than, say, a silver-tounged African-American liberal (for instance). Nixon, China, etc…

    This is true. However, other than RP, I haven’t heard too many Southern Christian pols speak out against the WoD.

    Also, Tancredo proposed an end to the War on Drugs (if only reluctantly). His was a federalist / constitutionalist position, rather than a moral argument or utilitarian argument.

  17. Sanford’s position on various issues

    When he was in the house he voted against allowing needle exchange and medical marijuana in DC, seemingly his only drug related vote. Some other positions on there I found disappointing.

  18. I like Sanford solely based on looks. Zombies are very popular right now, and we’d do good to ride that wave by running one as a national candidate.

    And I also like the fact he is the last creature in the known universe still using Brill Cream.

    (Excepting, of course, the hapless denizens of Greaseron 7 in the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, who have no choice for medical reasons.)

  19. Libertarianism. A little dab ‘l do ya.

  20. what concrete stand has Mark Sanford taken that would distinguish him from all the other Republicans who profess a deep and abiding love for liberty (as long as it looks, talks, and acts like they want it to)?

    Well, the Reason Foundation likes some of his actions.

    Here he is on CATO opposing REAL ID. Here he is at CATO opposing the Cuban embargo.

    He’s of course consistently a highest scoring governor on CATO’s fiscal report card.

  21. Sanford also sponsored bills to remove the travel restriction to Cuba while in the House.

    He of course is good on school choice.

    His 2006 budget had both a Sunset Commission and a TABOR.

  22. Regarding drugs, he at least called the Michael Phelps investigation ridiculous.

    Voted against banning physician-assisted suicide.

    Pro-trade and pro-immigation.

    Voted against Kosovo; voted against Medicare drug benefit.

    Not perfect, but certainly along with Gary Johnson (no longer in office) one of the best elected officials from a libertarian perspective.

  23. Are there any possible VP candidates for Sanford named Sun, Son, San, Shan, Sean, Shaun, Shawn, or Lamont?

  24. ProL-Just one: ‘Lizbeth Dole.

  25. Are you kidding me! these guys are neck-deep in the shit that is Republican Fascism!

  26. “He is still religious and from the South. That means the cosmotarians will hate his guts and write him off as an idiot.”

    It’s not that someone is from the South, or that they are religious per se, but that they have a fucked up culture in the South and among many religious folks, that doesn’t give two doodles about liberty. Religion and the South to some degree are about authority and tradition, which I guess can be mixed with liberty but takes some pretty heavy blending to get there. Both also tend to have very strong ideas about personal morality and the government’s role in that which make it a hard marriage.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I don’t pretend to be a libertarian, but if you guys think a state wide elected official from a Southern state like South Carolina (Gov. Sanford) would be more libertarian than a state wide elected official from the a South-Western state (Gary Johnson), you are smoking something awful good, something the former would throw you in jail for smoking…

  27. Lindsay Graham is a punk — that’s my intellectual contribution on this issue.

  28. “Not perfect, but certainly along with Gary Johnson (no longer in office) one of the best elected officials from a libertarian perspective.”

    Yeah, John I’ve heard this “I swear I’m for small government” song from the Republicans before. I’m pretty sure Newt Gingrich was singing it way back in 1994. That worked out real well, didn’t it?

    I’m not denying that Sanford might have some inclinations toward liberty, and I hate to sound like a broken record, but any pol who claims to be principled yet denies the FUNDAMENTAL way that the war on consenting adults has undermined our Constitution, is one who should be regarded with distrust and overt suspicion.

    Here’s an idea: Show me a politician who demonstrates their principles through consistency rather than rhetoric, and I’ll support him/her/it.

  29. It’s not that someone is from the South, or that they are religious per se, but that they have a fucked up culture in the South and among many religious folks, that doesn’t give two doodles about liberty.

    So sayeth the hillbilly form Pennsylvanian mining country.

    The coastal South tends to have a libertarian bent, from Charleston to New Orleans, but I would not expect you to know that.

  30. Our culture is fucked up. Why, I was just enslaving some blacks who came down to visit Florida last week, right after I slept with my sister and voted Republican.

  31. “So sayeth the hillbilly form Pennsylvanian mining country.”

    Gotta love joe’s law.

  32. Actually, Newt is that strangest of Republicans – a guy who actually fought for smaller government while in office, and only betrayed it while out of office.

    Usually it’s the reverse.

  33. Religion and the South to some degree are about authority and tradition, which I guess can be mixed with liberty but takes some pretty heavy blending to get there.

    MNG, are you from a Catholic area? As former Reason editor Virginia Postrel has noted, there’s a big difference between the impressions of authority among religion between Catholicism and, say, Baptism. Baptists may have some pretty crazy ideas, but they also don’t believe in a strong church hierarchy. They found new churches, split conventions, etc. all the time over even obscure doctrines. Yeah, they tend to believe the same things, but Baptist congregations are the sort that can fire their preacher if they don’t like what he’s saying. Lots of strong beliefs, but they have a difficult time even agreeing with each other.

    The association of control and authority with religion is pretty different in different types of churches.

  34. John
    I was raised Baptist. I know all about “soul liberty” and “independent” congregations. I applaud all of that.

    What I meant is the the Southern Religious, while not placing much stock in large church hiearchy I grant you, tend to have an inordinate amount of deference to traditional sources of authority: preachers/ministers, the military, the Chamber of Commerce, law enforcement, etc.

  35. “Fluffy | May 19, 2009, 12:29pm | #

    Actually, Newt is that strangest of Republicans – a guy who actually fought for smaller government while in office, and only betrayed it while out of office.”

    Little known fact about the resident House Liberal, I really liked Gingrich. Newt’s a PhD and a very smart man who, when he was House Leader, was not afraid to actually talk and act smart. Of course people started to hate him for it so GOPers have learned to drop their “g’s” and appeal to the plaid shirt crowd with the mindless repetition of slogans and catchphrases (Maverick! Joe the Plumber!) and many Dems have followed suit…

    Of course, most people are fools…

  36. Sanford is hardly perfect and he’s also not an absolutist. No executive can be. So far he’s the best potential presidential candidate for liberty running in the two major parties.

    If he, Gary Johnson and Ron Paul all ran in 2012 that would make the Republican primaries 3 times as great as least year with 3 times as many candidates I could actually vote for.

    If Sanford was the GOP’s choice I’d enthusiastically support him in the general election. I can’t say that about candidates like Jindal, Huckabee or Romney. I hope the GOP is paying attention.

  37. What I meant is the the Southern Religious, while not placing much stock in large church hiearchy I grant you, tend to have an inordinate amount of deference to traditional sources of authority: preachers/ministers, the military, the Chamber of Commerce, law enforcement, etc.

    This is certainly true. Though I’d rather have people with deference to a wide variety of sources than just one, I suppose.

  38. I’d like to see some evidence that Sanford is a fundie. The website of the governors’ cartel says he’s an Episcopalian. Of course, there are Anglicans and there are Anglicans.

    Kevin

  39. Putting aside the hypocrisy of opposing big government except when it comes to keeping brown people out of the country, any pro-liberty coalition that is associated with xenophobia will be overcome due to demographics.

  40. Newt and the Republicans caved when Clinton called their bluff.

    They should have said ‘fine, keep the government shut down.’ They should have stuck to their principles instead of trying to be the popular cheerleader; let the Democrats wear the skirts.

    Republicans stand no chance when they try to be Democrat-lite.

  41. Newt and the Republicans caved when Clinton called their bluff.

    They should have said ‘fine, keep the government shut down.’

    Exactly. Pussies.

    Thatcher had the balls to do it in the coal miners strike and she won.

    The trouble is most of the quasi-libertarian leaders we have out there are wimps who cave as soon as someone waves some socialist rhetoric in their face.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.