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Should libertarians and conservatives unite?

March 24, 2015

Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. As someone who’s been urging this alliance against the totalitarian left for years, I’m very happy to hear this conversation taking place.

Nick Gillespie of Reason recently interviewed Charles C.W. Cooke of National Review about his new book The Conservatarian Manifesto. The focus of the interview is the search for common ground between libertarians and conservatives.

Check it out…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 26, 2015 11:50 pm

    There’s a serious problem with Federalism as described by Cooke – your rights (to abortion, marijuana, and presumably to firearms, some forms of printed material, etc.) will vary as you travel from one State to another. Should your rights vary simply because you displace yourself from one geographic location to another? What does your location have to do with your rights as a human being and as a citizen? How can you be legally married in one State, and not have your marriage recognized by traveling to another State? How is it you can lose your right to property (whether it’s a stash of MJ or an AR-15) simply by crossing an imaginary and arbitrary line from one place to another? Although this may work when crossing from one country to another (not all countries have our values, and they don’t share our history), how can this occur within a single country, made up of nominally sovereign States that all (presumably) share identical concepts of “rights” and due process (in particular, the need for judicial process, not legislative process, to take rights from an individual, and only then as punishment for a crime – no person can be stripped of a right by legislative fiat, this is why our courts find some statutes unconstitutional)? The idea of a patchwork of rights that vary from State to State violates a principle established by SCOTUS (a principle that makes perfectly logical sense) – a citizen cannot be forced to give up one right in order to exercise another. For example, if you have a right to possess an AR-15 in State A, and you wish to travel to State B (where AR-15s are outlawed), you would be forced to give up your natural right to travel to State B in order to retain your right to your property, or give up your right to your AR in order to exercise your right to travel to State B – both of which are unacceptable.

    When it comes to individual rights, Federalism is a loser. Federalism should permit the States to elect for themselves how they will order and conduct their business (State organization, taxation, business regulation, etc.), but it cannot leave personal rights to the States alone, so long as doing so can permit a patchwork of rights and disabilities to evolve from one State to another. It makes no sense in a land founded upon principles of liberty and individual rights to allow parts of that land to infringe upon those principles. Some process must be devised that will permit individual freedom to spread, while restricting/preventing the federal government from interfering with the internal operation of the States in the daily conduct of their legitimate business as nominally sovereign geo-political entities. In fact, such a mechanism at one time existed – the appointment of Senators to the Federal Congress. That mechanism has been defeated and abolished, and we are in desperate need of having it re-established.

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