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There Must Be Some Misunderstanding…

Here is a letter to The Miami Herald:

Accusing the GOP of being “consumed by a libertarian wing of reactionaries” and associating libertarians with the Tea Party movement misunderstands political philosophy (A jobs plan that can work, 8-27-11).  While libertarians seek to advance a free society and empower individual choice, reactionaries long to increase the power of the state over its citizens.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the average Tea Party caucus member received more than $25,000 from the oil and gas industry, compared to about $13,000 for the average House member.  Contrary to misinformation, libertarians don’t favor “sweetheart deals for Big Oil,” or any other industry.  In fact, libertarians aim to eliminate all advantages to politically well-connected individuals, corporations, and interest groups.  Some tea partiers may be libertarian, but libertarians are no tea partiers.

Moreover, current House Tea Party Caucus Chairwomen, Michele Bachmann, voted to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and extend the Patriot Act, while opposing the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell – hardly libertarian positions.  And when the new Congress convened earlier this year, freshman Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a budget modeled after that of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.  Paul was unable to find one co-sponsor and his proposal never received an up or down vote.

Given the reality, it’s quite a stretch to claim libertarians consume the GOP or are one in the same as the Tea Party.

Craig D. Schlesinger


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