Our friends over at Reason.com have published a nice piece by Terry Michael entitled “In Defense of Libertarianisms — An open letter to left-liberals.” I suspect that most readers here don’t exactly fall into the left-liberal camp, but probably have many friends who do; this might be a nice link to forward on to them. There has been a lot of libertarian-bashing out there of late, mostly prompted by what Michale calls Rand Paul’s “ridiculous questioning [of] four-decade-old settled law that recognized slavery and segregation as conditions justifying the coercive power of the state to prohibit discrimination,” and Michael’s short essay is a nice response to some of that:
To my left-liberal Democrat friends:
As you engage in intellectual dishonesty using Rand Paul’s silly comments on the 1964 Civil Rights Act to misrepresent libertarianism, perhaps you might want to consider a little history of the political philosophy of the founder of our party, Thomas Jefferson, the original libertarian. Let me help you escape your ignorance about libertarianism without a capital L, a political philosophy far from conservatism. . . .
If you want a short explanation of a what a libertarian really is, here’s one from a self-described “libertarian Democrat” who used to be one of you: Get the government out of my bank account, out of my bedroom, away from my body, and out of the backyards of the rest of the world (we should lead by example, not military force.)
[There’s also a slightly terrifying piece about the staggering dimensions of the public pension crisis in California, but I’ll leave comments about that for another time]