The Republican Party is sick, filled with a cancerous disease that is eating away at its life force, and the only cure for what is ailing the party is a strong dose of libertarianism. Some may not believe that there is something deeply wrong with the party, or may disagree that the sickness is eating away at the core of what Republicanism stands for, but the evidence clearly indicates things are not well. The diagnosis is that the Republican Party has been infiltrated by leftist Progressives who want to expand the scope and power of the federal government to achieve their own ends. While this may seem like a paranoid rehashing of the plot from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the proof is in the pudding so to speak. All one has to do is look at the platform upheld by the majority of Republicans, and it becomes harder and harder to tell them apart from the Democrats.
One symptom of this infection that has presented itself over the years is the support Republicans have thrown behind big government solutions to bail out corporations who were on the brink of bankruptcy. Any time there is interference in the free market, it limits freedom and only exacerbates the problem. If a corporation is so poorly run that it goes out of business, then the natural course of events needs to take place so that the resources used by the company can be reallocated to businesses who will use them more wisely. Sen. John McCain was a supporter of bailouts, and is one of the most popular Progressives who has successfully entrenched himself into the establishment portion of the Republican Party. McCain also supports the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which collect data on private individuals using a blanket warrant, rather than a specific one issued by a local judge.
Many members of the Republican Party fall in line with McCain, having supported the Patriot Act, which inflated the size of government and paved the way for the current NSA surveillance program that is violating the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans by the millions. Newt Gingrich, a noted Republican, has completely abandoned the principles that the party once stood for by putting support behind the idea that Americans should trade their freedom for safety, an idea that Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, found repulsive.
The biggest symptom that indicates the ailing Republican Party is in need of a strong dose of libertarianism is its take on civil liberties. Conservative members of the party are more concerned about stripping away a person’s right to choose whether or not to consume drugs, than preserving the natural right of self-ownership. To force someone to make a choice about what they can or cannot do with their own body using the federal government is the heart of Progressive thought, not small-government ideology. Conservatives also want to expand the federal government into regulating marriage, something that should be either a cultural issue or a state issue. Throw in the Republican Party’s love affair with the industrial military complex and its desire to forge a world empire through interventionist foreign policy, and it would seem that the country no longer has two parties, but one.
The disease of Progressivism is killing the Republican Party, and unless it returns to its libertarian roots, it will not survive, but will morph itself into the Democratic Lite Party, leaving little hope for liberty in America to thrive. Fortunately, there is still time to administer the cure.
Libertarianism is founded on two simple, interconnected principles that line up with the ideology of the Founding Fathers and of almost every major religious and non-religious philosophy. Do not hurt others, and do not take their stuff. That is the crux of libertarian thought, summed up in one sentence. If the actions performed by people are not hurting one another or depriving them of their property, the federal government should mind its business. This is what the Republican Party used to stand for.
Libertarian philosophy strips the power from a central government and places it in the hands of individuals. Libertarians believe that the federal government should be confined to its constitutional limits, and any powers that are not granted to it by the Constitution are reserved for the states. This means that states ultimately have the power to self-govern, which was the idea behind federalism in the first place. Issues like marriage and abortion could be handled on a state-by-state basis, and social conservatives would actually have a much easier time getting these matters dealt with at the state level than at the federal level.
Rather than look to government for solutions to problems like health care, libertarians turn their gaze to the free market, which when left alone, is capable of doing miraculous things. The free market encourages competition, which lowers prices for consumers, while creating jobs for citizens. The same market, free from government interference, would enable individuals to buy health insurance out of state, increasing the available supply of policies, forcing companies to provide higher quality products at affordable rates.
All in all, the Republican Party is in real trouble, and the American people are fed up with establishment politicians on both sides of the aisle. People are waking up more and more to the negative effects of government intrusion into their private lives. Citizens are becoming aware that there is not much of a difference between the two parties, and they are fed up with the hilariously insulting choices they are being offered at the ballot boxes. The ailing Republican Party needs to inject a strong dose of libertarianism into its blood stream so they can get healthy, take advantage of this awakening, and restore liberty to a nation of people who are thirsting for freedom more than ever.
Opinion by Michael Cantrell