In early 2018, I chose to join the Libertarian Party (LP) and to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Maryland 3rd Congressional District. I did so because…
A balanced budget amendment (BBA) is the blunt-force instrument we need in order to get Congress and the President to do that which they will never do themselves: Confront, debate, and decide our priorities, our resources, and our limits.
Just because the fiscally hypocritical Republicans in the House voted for the BBA this week after passing a disgraceful spending bill last month does not make the BBA a bad idea. And just because the fiscally irresponsible Democrats predictably voted against the BBA likewise does not make the BBA a bad idea.
The BBA is a good and necessary idea. It is a check-and-balance that we must add to the Constitution to protect the dispersed public against the entrenched politicians; to protect ourselves against the growing risk of a debt crisis and financial reckoning; to protect future generations of Americans from the current.
Our politicians are too keen to fight. Our political activists, whether from the Left or the Right, whether in the streets or in the media, are too quick to vilify and demonize those with whom they disagree. The rest of us are stuck in the withering, wearying cross-fire, wondering where this all goes; wondering when and how it might cease.
In the movie, Fight Club (which I recently watched anew), we can see where it might all conceivably lead: General alienation from civil society; general attacks upon civil society; and eventual implosion of civil society. We are not, however, beholden to the Fight Club path; we are not doomed to a Fight Club future. We can go a different way, if we recognize and seize our opportunities.
“Our American society is far from perfect. Yet it is a society that works, and which ensures a tolerable measure of order and justice and freedom to men and women; as human societies go, it is a very high achievement.” — Russell Kirk
Devised explicitly and shamelessly to protect established parties and politicians from competition, the gerrymander disenfranchises regular voters and polarizes national politics. The Maryland 3rd Congressional district, with a contorted and splayed shape drawn to keep Rep. John Sarbanes safe from competition, may be the worst gerrymander in the entire country. The district proves from its sprawl, its intent, and its effect that the gerrymander has become a scourge. As such, it must be slain. Only a constitutional amendment will do. No excuses, no delay.
“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” — P.J. O’Rourke
In Why I Left the Left, Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report explains his abandonment of the modern Progressive left due to its regressive agenda and its oppressive behavior. Rubin does not describe himself as a libertarian; he describes himself a classical liberal and free thinker. But he expresses the libertarian case…
“Do you believe in free speech? Do you believe that people should be judged by their character, not their skin color? Do you believe in freedom of religion? If you believe these things, you’re probably not a progressive…
“A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.” — Friedrich August von Hayek
In Fight of the Century Keynes and Hayek address questions of economic recovery and growth. Do we need more government spending or less? What’s the evidence that government spending promotes prosperity in troubled times? Can war or natural disasters paradoxically be good for an economy in a slump? Should more spending come from the top down or from the bottom up? What are the ultimate sources of prosperity?
In Fear the Boom and Bust, John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek, two of the great economists of the 20th century, come back to life to attend an economics conference on the economic crisis. Before the conference begins, and at the insistence of Lord Keynes, they go out for a night on the town and sing about why there’s a “boom and bust” cycle in modern economies and good reason to fear it.