Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I stumbled on an interesting portmanteau today: "Liberaltarian." As in a "liberal libertarian." In researching the origins of the term and what it's supposed to mean I found this interesting article* from 2006. It's an interesting read in light of the time in which it was written, when the Democrats took control of Congress from the GOP.

It suggests a possible fusion of libertarianism and liberalism with some very interesting ideas--compromises really--but, obviously, that didn't happen, not then anyway. Instead, libertarians floundered--as they have for decades--until we got the tea party which was subsequently hijacked by the GOP. What remains to be seen is if there will be a split within the GOP between neocons and libertarians or if there will be a fusion between the two.

Dare one speculate that in the long term a fusion between liberalism/progressivism and libertarianism would be more practical than a fusion between libertarianism and neoconservatism? Such a fusion would provide an appealing alternative to whatever comes out of the GOP/Tea Party amalgamation over the next two to four years.

The Democratic party is just as rudderless as the GOP and could lose control of both the Senate and the White House in 2012 because of their lack of leadership. Might the Democrats, when they are once again the underdogs, take a page from the tea party playbook? Might we see a spate of "Liberaltarians" running on Democratic tickets?

Ultimately, I think a fusion (or fusions) of some sort will be the only way libertarians will get anything that they want--compromise is built into our system of government after all. I seriously doubt they have the political chutzpah to pull it off on their own.

*There is one sentence in this article that stands out to me because it is patently false: "...most Americans are fully capable of saving for their own retirement needs." This was delusional even in 2006 before the recession hit since wages for working people have been flat for the past 30 years unable to keep up with inflation causing people to save less and go into debt with credit cards and home equity loans. 401Ks have also proved to be volatile.