This evening, I received a rather interesting email from the folks at Campaign for Liberty. Embedded within were two video links from South Carolina politicians. One is Senator Lindsey Graham and the other is Governor Mark Sanford. The comments that they make really strike at the conflict over the future of the Republican Party. Before I continue, you should watch both…
The first point I’ll make concerns Lindsey Graham. Notice that when a member of the crowd calls him a hypocrite, he doesn’t deny the claim, only pointing out that “I’m a winner pal.” Now perhaps he touches on the subject during the obvious gaps in footage, but don’t you think it strange that he immediately counters with such a line? Is he saying, “I may be a hypocrite, but as long as I keep getting reelected, it doesn’t matter”? Is that the kind of politician you want representing your interests in Washington? Then he goes on to bash Libertarian ideas and calls himself a Republican. Note that he doesn’t say he is a conservative, but simply a Republican. He then touts the merits of winning. Now, perhaps you might think from my earlier article, The Minority, that I hold winning in high esteem and that I dislike Libertarian ideas too. It is true that winning is important. If you are unable to achieve victory in an election then you will find it difficult, if not downright impossible to promote your philosophy and agenda. However, one should never sell out one’s constituents or principles for the mere sake of victory. If you do, then you seek to serve only yourself and your own ambitions. As for our Libertarian friends, I would argue that I have more Libertarian leanings than your run-of-the-mill Republican. You all have points with which I agree as well as ideas to which I am opposed. Regardless of your own personal feelings about Libertarians, how many administrations, either Republican or Democrat, have actually successfully reduced the size and scope of the federal government? As far as I can tell, these days it is all about advancing one facet of the government over another. As either a Conservative or a Libertarian, doesn’t such a realization deeply disturb you?
Then, we have the response by Mark Sanford. Unlike Graham, he embraces overarching Libertarian principles and is proud of the supposed slur.
Now, I’m not suggesting for a moment that the Libertarians and the Republicans merge, because there are a number of issues of great distinction between the two, especially when it comes to some important social issues. But, I do think that the Republican Party must reclaim the mantle of fiscal responsibly and uphold the distinct rights of states and individuals made subservient to the federal government. People like Governor Sanford display this conviction in both word and deed. On the other hand, politicians like Senator Graham seem to concern themselves with maintaining their own power and advancing the federal government to suit their own designs. Given a choice, I know which of the two I’d prefer leading both the Republican Party and the nation.