I’ve written previously about the opportunity that the Democratic Party seemed to have in recent years to woo libertarians into their camp. Even right-leaning libertarians were frustrated by the Bush administration’s spending and some of the national security infrastructure put in place after September 11. In addition, the surging support on the left for gay marriage and other social issues seemed to present an opening if the Democrats nominated in 2008 an even modestly pro-market candidate.
They didn’t, and instead nominated Barack Obama, who promised to increase the federal government’s reach into private life, enact a top-town government-run health care system (he was a vocal supporter of the single-payer system), and spread the wealth around. So it was strange to watch libertarians vote for Obama in reasonably large numbers. Reason magazine’s 2008 list of their editors and contributors’ vote preferences makes for sobering reading to any libertarian-leaning voter. And so does part of President Obama’s Rolling Stone interview with historian Douglas Brinkley.
Liberals who object to conservatives offering faith-based justifications for public policy proposals often do so under the guise of saving the country from a “theocracy.” It’s become increasingly clear, however, that many of these liberals object to a certain kind of religious governance, but in fact have their own version in mind.
The latest such example comes from Time’s Erika Christakis, who suggests that Paul Ryan’s budget—get ready to hear more of this—is “un-Christian” because “Jesus would advocate a tax rate somewhere between 50% (in the vein of ‘if you have two coats, give one to the man who has none’) and 100%.” Does this mean Christakis supports using Christian teachings as the basis for legislation? No, of course not. Here’s Christakis from February on the contraception controversy (emphasis mine):
People who cry moral indignation about government-mandated contraception coverage appear unwilling to concede that the exercise of their deeply held convictions might infringe on the rights of millions of people who are burdened by unplanned pregnancy or want to reduce abortion or would like to see their tax dollars committed to a different purpose.