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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Sunday, July 06, 2003


A Libertarian for Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, July 06, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Johnny Bardine has a lengthy analysis of Dean's candidacy from the pragmatic libertarian perspective (note: not to be confused with the ideological libertarian perspective). It's exactly independent people like Johhny to whom we need to make the case for Dean. If the message is sound, it will draw support.

Johnny has a number of points but the one I want to excerpt is probably the biggest barrier to drawing in libertarian support, and I think his reasoning is one of profoundly enlightened self-interest:

Universal Healthcare
I am a libertarian, and have been for as long as I can remember. But I now firmly reside on planet Earth, and I think that is a fairly new occurrence. In the realm of governance, there is Democratic turf; there is Republican turf. There is not, however, Libertarian turf, so then the libertarian -- when he is not off stockpiling beenie-weenies and starting militias -- must choose which turf makes the most sense. I do not believe that people have the right to health care. But an inescapable fact of reality is that we have a welfare state. America has a government that provides various social programs; they fund these programs through taxation. It is time for reasonable libertarians to give up the fight for a taxless society. Instead, we should work toward spending what we must pay in a cost-effective fashion. That's exactly what Governor Dean's health care plan accomplishes. Health care may not be a right, but it certainly is a desirable thing. And if we can do it in a reasonable way, we should. Dean's does that, which is a far cry from the unworkable monstrosity that is Gephardt's plan. Dean's idea is much less complicated and has actually been implemented on the state level. As he writes, "This plan is affordable and simple, relying on three existing systems -- one for children, one for seniors, and one for those in between -- which all Americans can understand." There are many flavors of libertarianism, but I think this plan sits well with most in the Jeffersonian vein.

He summarizes, "Libertarians wondering who to support should ask themselves: Which candidate will be devoted to fiscal responsibility, peace and security, and the protection of our fundamental rights? The answer is Howard Dean". Do you know any libertarians? People who hate big government? Or who are just reflexively against any kind of taxation? Try out these arguments and let us know how you fared!


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.