I am sympathetic to Libertarian views, though I don’t consider myself to be one. Many of the issues that animate the Paul campaign, for example — fealty to the Constitution, limited government, return to fiscal fundamentals, states rights — all appeal to me greatly. I believe in the ideals of America as a place where individual liberty is God given, and that the government’s power exists only by virtue of the consent of the people. It’s a vitally important concept that is being undermined by a steady onslaught of left-wing statism, and it must be preserved at all costs.
And how is that best preserved? At its core, individual liberty is one of economic self-determination. It is being able to act as an individual in the marketplace of ideas and commerce. It is being free to make decisions — for good or for ill — on the basis of one’s God-given abilities. This is the core of liberty: freedom of choice, freedom of action. Freedom to fail.
Which is why the spurious attacks on Mitt Romney and his tenure at Bain Capital are so damning in my eyes — and which only serve to reinforce how far much of the GOP has strayed from true conservative ideals. The notion that Paul, Gingrich, Perry and Huntsman would skewer Romney for his work at Bain — where he created wealth for millions of employees and shareholders alike — is something out of the Nancy Pelosi playbook. How can anyone who claims he is a conservative be critical of the marketplace working as it is designed? Because people lost their jobs? Capitalism is a creatively destructive process. That’s what gives us progress. If that were not so, we’d all be typing on IBM Selectric typewriters today and not Apple iPads.
I admit to being a fan of Mitt Romney. Not because he is the most conservative candidate in the field — he is certainly not. But because he is someone who has taken real risks in life and seen the fruit of his labors lead to phenomenal success. Is that not a great role model for the value of democratic free markets? A self-made success? What could be better?
Our way of life is under attack — and it is a very basic struggle. Are we going to continue to be a nation of liberty? Or will we all become wards of the state like in Europe, where liberty is secondary to the collective good? How can we choose anyone who will attack free market capitalism as our next leader?
Besides, we already have one of those — his name is Barack Obama and he lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.