Libertarian, Social Liberal, Or Constitutionally Indifferent?

Will Anderson
The World According to Will
The Will Anderson Show M-F 6pm-8pm on 800 and 1230AM and 106.5FM WBHP

I’ve figured it out! Some people who call themselves (or actually think that they are) libertarians are really not—they’re social liberals, hoping that small government will succeed where Washington has failed.

Will AndersonAgain, the operative word there is SOME. If you identify yourself as a libertarian, don’t instantly take offense. I’m referring to the people who think that our most important task is insuring the legality, nationwide, of pot and gay marriage. The real (by that I mean the Ron Paul) libertarian stance is that since the two aren’t mentioned in the Constitution, the proper level of government on which to legislate is the state level.

Social conservatives who champion the Constitution agree, as do social liberals who genuinely believe in the Constitution. The point here has nothing to do with whether marijuana should be legalized, but WHERE it should or shouldn’t. Pot legalization, in other words, is not an “issue,” in the sense that, say, national defense is.

There is a difference between liberals and conservatives, philosophically, as to whether or not diplomacy works better than “peace through strength.” There’s no argument, though, that national security is a Constitutional concern of the federal government. Legal marijuana, on the other hand, is philosophically liked and hated by conservatives and liberals alike. There should be no debate, however, about whether or not it’s Washington’s concern. It shouldn’t be.

The problem that conservatives faced this year is that liberals tried to co-opt small government in order to advance social issues that Washington has refused to advance.

Colorado’s law legalizing marijuana could lead to a Constitutional showdown. Real libertarians will say that Colorado’s law should stand, and Washington’s overreach on the issue should go away. Those same libertarians would argue, for instance, that when the Supreme Court declared Texas’ law against sodomy unconstitutional in 2003, the Court was overreaching.

And there’s the crucible: if you can say that Colorado’s law legalizing pot was right, as was Texas’ law against sodomy, and THEN have the philosophical debate about the two issues, you may be a libertarian. Many “libertarians” these days, though, don’t care which level of government decides the issue, as long as it gets decided their way. Their proper appellation is “socially liberal and Constitutionally indifferent,” not “libertarian.”

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