Election day was fun for a lot of frustrated-but-hopeful Americans — but the era of Obama’s political dominance has gone on quite long enough, and it’s time to get down to the serious business of banding together and stopping him — all of us who prefer markets to command-economy nonsense and individual freedom of action to regulatory behavioral guides (whether your conception of freedom is shaped by tradition, anarchic individualism, moderate common sense, or communal voluntarism). It’s too soon to call for impeachment — that should wait at least until after the swearing-in in January, but battles of that sort may lie ahead, and it is important to steel ourselves for them, not get lost in the Obama-supporters’ giddy hero-worship.
I’ve said before that libertarians are smarter on average than other political factions — not so much because libertarianism is true and other philosophies aren’t but because most political philosophies have both intellectuals and masses of ordinary supporters, while libertarianism basically has nothing but a tiny handful of intellectuals. That being the case, we will indeed need to think coalitionally — my strict adherence to principle has never caused me to lose sight of that.
At this point, rather than think in terms of whether to form electoral coalitions with left, right, or center, though, I’d suggest aiming higher and thinking in terms of recruiting every beneficiary of capitalism to our banner — and getting humanity to realize there are some 7 billion such beneficiaries. Too often, in a world where most people — especially politicians and political activists — are eager to avoid the painful chore of economic reasoning, libertarians have shown themselves willing to play along, getting bogged down in tangential issues outside our area of expertise (such as gay marriage, to take an example from the comments thread to yesterday’s entry) and which may be politically-charged but affect only relatively small numbers of people.
I say keep our eyes on the prize: no matter what narrative right and left want to fight over in the (difficult) years ahead, just keeping pointing out what capitalism gives us and what government takes away. It’s not such a strange or alien message for this glorious nation of producers and property owners.