9.24.2009

Liberty, Libertarianism, Fiscal Conservatism, and Conservative Revolutions-Past and Present

Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) have been taking the UW Campus by storm. People are intrigued by them. Many campus liberals think they're a joke. Conservatives are confused on where they came from, and where they really stand on the political spectrum while at the same time wonder if their fresh message of strict adherence to the constitution and small government should warrant them to join?

Being a little more partisan than center-right and having certain libertarian leanings on issues like gay marriage and freedom of speech, I almost joined Young Americans for Liberty, and then I figured out that YAL is linked to Ron Paul, and in fact, YAL is the continuation of Students for Ron Paul.

After quickly closing the YAL site repulsed by the fact that YAL is the brainchild of a man who doesn't support the War in Afghanistan despite the 9/11 attacks, and if he had his way would make sure that people like me could never get a college education because he doesn't support federal student aid programs, I meditated on how nice it would be if government stayed within its constitutional boundaries as Ron Paul envisions.

When the wealthy OB-GYN started spouting off about how his daughters never took federal student loans, I knew that he took libertarianism to irresponsible and incompassionate levels, and yet I belong to a party that thinks Mitt Romney should be the next president of the United States if you follow various straw polls, and that doesn't sit right with me either. Romney may know how to pass business friendly policy, but he also knows how to almost bankrupt a state with socialized medicine. A little too center right for my taste. A little too reminiscent of George W. Bush big government republican politics for my comfort.

Most young republicans feel no proclivity towards Mitt Romney from what I have discerned. What has really motivated young republicans over the last eight months since Obama's election if it is not the next round of moderate republicans being vetted by the RNC? How do Ron Paul supporters, libertarian leaning republicans, and the republican party at large deviate as well as intersect? How does social conservatism, libertarianism, small government republican politics, and Ronald Reagan's legacy mesh into the zeitgeist that will drive American youth as we swell up in what many including myself envision will be a conservative revolution similar to 1980 and 1994?

I have grappled with these issues, but thankfully, Eric Schmidt, the Badger Herald editorial page editor, offers valuable insight on the matter. Not only does he open my eyes, but he presents one of the best editorials I have ever read.

Read this column:

http://badgerherald.com/oped/2009/09/23/realignment_coming_w.php

It is worth the time regardless of your political persuasion.