One casts far and wide for any ray of hope in current domestic American politics. The Bush campaign is depressingly, although perhaps wisely, silent on any of the quasi-libertarian Republican issues – gun control, deregulation, privatization of Social Security, tax cuts. As for the Bush record, well, if the rhetoric is depressing (he stated he would sign an extension of the moronic assault weapon ban), the reality is even worse, in the form of a spending binge beyond all precedent or belief. I note the sole exception of Bush’s rather anemic and backloaded tax cut, much of which is self-repealing.
The Democrats, predictably, are even worse. Their only real complaints concerning current domestic policy are fiscal – that spending wasn’t increased even more, and that taxes weren’t raised to pay for all that spending. Sure, you can catch the occasional Dem kvetching about such issues as tort reform or environmental deregulation, but those are dogs that are notable because they are not barking. There is no tort reform, there is no lightening of the regulatory burden. Democratic joke candidate Kerry floats the occasional trial balloon concerning a targeted corporate tax cut or Social Security privatization, but you know that is only so Senator Flippy can say he was for them before he was against them.
There is, in short, no evidence to be found in either major party that limited government and individual freedom (aside from the freedom to have an abortion, of course) have any place in the modern US of A. If it wasn’t for the fact that the best thing that could happen to the libertarian movement in the US would be to launch the entire current Libertarian Party into the sun, I would vote Libertarian. As it is, one simply despairs of advancing the libertarian agenda in current US politics.