Steve Hochstadt: Libertarians, Watch OutRoundup: Historians' Take
Steve Hochstadt of Jacksonville is a professor of history at Illinois College. His column appears every Tuesday in the Journal-Courier and is available and on his blog at stevehochstadt.blogspot.com.
Libertarianism is mainstream. It seems as if the libertarian moment has finally arrived, when Americans grasp the significance of the national Libertarian Party motto: “Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom.”
The level of anti-government sentiment in the U.S. is startling. Liberals think the Democratic president and his Democratic Congressional colleagues have failed miserably to promote liberal policies, and talk about taking their disapproval to the streets. Republicans have been preaching an anti-government line since Ronald Reagan was president, and have shown more than once their willingness to thwart the normal working of the federal government.
Self-promoting ideologues, like Glenn Beck, adopt a Libertarian cover to hide fascist ranting. Congressman Ron Paul, who talks like a Libertarian, is making a respectable run for the presidency.
But the Libertarians can’t win. The two big parties have so entrenched themselves behind a wall of laws and practices, that the rise of a popular third party is nearly impossible. Among 7,300 state legislators across the country, less than one-third of 1 percent are from other parties. Only in Vermont has a third party had any success: Three percent of state representatives belong to the Vermont Progressive Party, which was founded to support U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders....
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Transcribed Document: Soviet Politburo Discussed CIA Billion Dollar Spy Adolf Tolkachev
- Pentagon withholds Iraq War photos showing detainee abuse
- These Rebels Have Amassed A Library From Syria’s Ruins
- Was 1916 fire at Canadian Parliament set by German saboteur?
- United Nations Calls On U.S. To Pay African Americans Reparations For Slavery
- Juan Cole says America’s inclination to turn to the military started with Manifest Destiny
- History Jobs Drop
- Paul Krugman gives credence to Robert J. Gordon's pessimism about American economic growth
- Harvard President Drew Faust Condemns Free Tuition Proposal from Outsider Overseers Ticket
- Andrew Roberts says Trump is the Mussolini of America with double the vulgarity