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« Rasmussen: Santorum Well Out Front of Romney, Nationally | Main | Obama Campaign Theme: Hey, Weren't We All Better Off Four Years Ago, When I Was Campaigning For The First Time? »
February 15, 2012

Reagan on Libertarianism:

In a 1975 interview:

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path.

Santorum of course strongly disagrees and every time Libertarianism is brought up he mocks it and states he's always fought against this pernicious idea that the government should provide freedom to the maximum extent possible.

, "One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea."

And:

, "I am not a libertarian, and I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

Conservatives complain that Romney cannot explain conservatism. He speaks it as a second language. If that.

That's true.

On the other hand, Santorum not only can't speak in terms of a Freedom Agenda, but he expressly repudiates the very concept every single time he's asked about it.

I thought Freedom was a pretty compelling campaign theme.

Time was, most of you thought so too.

But we'll try it your way. We'll see how we do on an avowedly opposite platform.



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posted by Ace at 04:53 PM

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