Chris Graham: Nuts and berries

Where I break with Libertarians – the economy. The stuff about keeping government out of my private life, I’m there. (Which is where I break with so-called conservative Republicans, who think it’s not only OK but encouraged for government to tell you every little thing you should be able to do in your private life.)

The economy, which conservative Republicans pretend and Libertarians believe fervently is a government-free zone, well … you ask me, an economy isn’t something that happens naturally. What happens naturally is we hunt wild boars and balance our diets with assorted nuts and berries. We’re economic actors because we organize ourselves into societies with internal and external security, education/training and infrastructure aimed at improving the common wealth.

It’s unnatural to think that less in the way of organization – going back to the hunting boars and collecting nuts and berries – is going to boost our common wealth.

“Republicans and Democrats constantly try to pretend that they’re on opposite sides of a huge chasm. Unfortunately, the mainstream press cooperates and hypes up that false notion. In fact, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between them,” said Libertarian Party executive director Wes Benedict.

Not conservative enough is the Libertarians’ call – similar to what we’re hearing from the Tea Party set, which has gotten itself into a lather over how Republicans aren’t proposing the draconian spending cuts that they expected when they voted the GOP back into split power in the 2010 midterms.

I give the Republican leadership credit much as I give President Obama credit for conceding to reality on Guantanamo Bay. Obama has famously backtracked from his campaign promise to close Gitmo because now that he’s in office he sees the security value that it serves. Republican leaders in the House similarly have been quietly backing off shutting down government because now that they have some responsibility for policy direction they see that cuts for the sake of cuts would dampen our ongoing economic recovery.

I get it, of course. The philosophy behind the arguments of Libertarians and hardline GOP conservatives makes sense on paper. Every man for himself, et cetera, indeed. We should all hunt wild boars and forage for nuts and berries.

We’d die before 30, but how vigorous would our lives be until then!

More columns by Chris at

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