Fascinating stuff. From a purely political perspective, I wish him the best of luck. I hope he is wildly successful and in a couple years is considered a major leader of the libertarian movement. There's a lot that's truly rotten about libertarianism and conservatism, despite the fact that there is also a lot that's not rotten. American liberalism - the left of the classical liberal tradition - has been caught in what I think is an unfortunate struggle with the American right. It's unfortunate because the tendency to pose as the opposite of your ideological opponent has unfortunately lead to the left downplaying important elements of the classical liberal tradition and allying with democratic socialists (or I suppose social democrats?) more than they really ought to.
If a Glenn Beck/Tea Party libertarian movement fractured the American right into two camps - a conservative camp and a bastardized libertarian camp - it could give some real electoral strength to American liberalism so that it would have to rely far less on its leftist base for success (fleeing Republican moderates will help with that). Remember, we are not a parliamentary system. Monolithic parties win, and it is dangerous to have a party fracture like this. This will also humiliate and weaken the true anarcho-capitalist libertarians that are arguably more intellectually coherent but - like a true blue Marxist - also more problematic for their coherence because of the fundamental problems with their ideology.
I don't really think about the world in a political or ideological way in most cases. Usually I take the ideological landscape as given, recognize about where I fall in it, but don't take that to imply any obligaiton on my part to follow any particular party line. But this little bit of news interested me, and thinking more intently on it I'm a lot less scared of the Tea Party elements than I used to be. In the long run, if this does lead to a fracturing of the broken and really reprehensible shell of the Republican Party, this could be a very good thing for the United States.
Comparative advantage: a partial truth
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