Midnight Rantings

Tired rantings in a tired world.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Reagan, the Libertarian?

As a child of the 1980s, I never fully appreciated Ronald Reagan and his ideals. He was portrayed in the media as a doddering fool. Therefore, the image was of a buffoon about to start another world war. Now that I am older(and hopefully wiser), I see a different side of the 40th president. With his passing and the attention his presidency has gathered, I have re-evaluated my take on Reagan. After reading this article in Reason, I see him in a different light.

The interview shows a very thoughtful, lucid man grappling with the conflict of libertarianism and conservatism. Reagan was very much about personal responsibility, but rejected the libertarian notion of total non-governmental interference. He does see positive aspects of government, such as firefighters, police, etc. However, like a libertarian, he notes that governments become too big and too intrusive into lives. Government tends to gobble up wealth and not create it.

As I stroll along my philosophical political path, I totally relate to his quandary. Although libertarianism sounds great, I think that in the long run it would go the way of communism. Nowadays, people have shirked their personal responsibility and given it to the government. I cannot agree with libertarians in saying that all governmental programs must be abolished. We have the highest standard of living, ever. Our standard of living continues upward despite governmental inroads into our lives. Therefore, I must agree with conservatives that a limited government that does not get in the way is the best government. Unfortunately, of all of the two major political parties, none are truly conservative.

Update Just like I said there are no truly conservative Republicans.