UPDATE: Learned that my friend David Boaz of the Cato Institute (mentioned in this post) will be on Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch on the Fox Business Network tonight at 8 PM EST to talk about Rick Santorum. Make sure to tune in.
Rick Santorum, David Harsanyi writes,
. . . grumbles about too many conservatives believing in unbridled “personal autonomy” and subscribing to the “idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do … that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom (and) we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues.”
Perhaps Santorum confuses libertinism with libertarianism, but for him “cultural issues” go way beyond defending the life of the unborn or opposing gay marriage. Santorum believes that conservatives should recognize “that individuals can’t go it alone,” which sounds a lot like the straw-man justification for nearly every state expansion in memory. Why does Santorum, a conservative, believe that getting government out of our lives means a person must “go it alone,” anyway? Maybe it means that person can go to his local church or his family or his community or his local bar to seek help — or maybe he can figure things out himself.
Emphasis added. Via Instapundit. Well, thanks, Rick for reminding me why I’m a conservative. (I’m part of the “too many”.) And for echoing the Obama administration rap on the right. Last month in Osawatomie, Kansas, President Obama contended that the “Republican philosophy is simple[:] We are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.”
Harsanyi’s question (that I emphasized above) is perhaps one of the most important ones to ask of any critic of free market capitalism. It is one that my friend David Boaz addresses in the seventh chapter, “Civil Society,” of his first-rate book, Libertarianism. Harsanyi’s suggestive sentence (beginning with “Maybe”) is, in some ways, a succinct summary of that chapter.
I have many concerns about Rick Santorum, not just regarding his statements about homosexuality. In his piece, Harsanyi gets at the heart of my philosophical concerns about the former Senator. Like George W. Bush, he really doesn’t get Reagan conservatism.