George Will talks about something he calls "the church of true conservatism" in his most recent column. He mentions libertarianism, and clarifies that libertarianism is distinct from "true conservatism".
I couldn't agree more. What gets my attention is not the mere mention of libertarianism in his column. It is that Will, a highly respected and influential conservative columnist, describes Arnold Schwartzeneggar as a libertarian conservative, and says that, "his conservatism ... Is the point of the spear in conservatism's primary political challenge -- defeating liberalism's attempt to Europeanize America".
Libertarian purists might bristle Will's description of Arnold as a libertarian. However, Will cites thusly:
"His libertarianism extends beyond the theory of political economy he
encountered as a young man in the writings of Milton Friedman, and beyond the
exuberant entrepreneurialism of his life, to social issues. He favors abortion
rights, does not care if any state's voters endorse gay marriage, and has "no
use" for a constitutional amendment barring that."
It is the fiscal side that Gov. Ah-nohd is focusing on, and in that area, the Governor is a-ok. I like that Will has reminded conservatives of Friedman. They need that reminder. In fact, we could use a Governor here in Indiana much like him. Ironic that Mitch Daniels had the nickname 'The Blade' when in DC on the Bush Administration. Daniels' solution to budgetary shortfalls? A laughable 'temporary' tax on those earning $100,000 or more. Arnold, as a Libertarian governor would do, proposes cuts across the board. From Will:
"He proposes to cut spending across the board when the budget is not balanced,
and to adopt nonpartisan redistricting by a panel of retired judges. This latter
might pick the lock that the Democratic Party and its base in the public
employees unions have on the Legislature. Schwarzenegger's program aims to
curtail the distributional politics that drive government's expansion."
In fact, all of these could as easily have come from a libertarian governor.
I like that will credits Arnold's libertarianism. If the case of California is to be in the public eye, and Arnold is instituting libertarian solutions to the extent his state's legislature will allow it, let's make sure that libertarianism is credited when the successful outcomes arrive.