If you were running for president, what would you run on?
These days there are more presidential candidates than ever, and those candidates like to come up with idealized policy proposals that have no chance of passing to post on their websites and shore up their ideological credentials. I’ve decided to join the ruckus with my own mix of libertarian proposals from fairly obvious to extremely radical. I’m going to be treating these pieces as a first draft of my hypothetical presidential platform with room for growth and change, and I won’t be delving too deeply into any single topic.
The Republican National Convention, held in Philadelphia, June, 1900 – Public Domain Image
An important criticism of both libertarian political ideology and practical policy is the lack of positive goals in international relations. Libertarians are often derided as isolationists, and even Ron Paul’s self-classification as a “non-interventionist” perpetuates the perception that libertarians can only talk about foreign policy in terms of “doing less”. But this criticism can be broadly rebutted on two fronts. The first is that the libertarian opposition to military engagement and advocacy for military reduction is not only a healthy and needed reality check, but ultimately better for our national security. The second is that there are other paths besides military power which should be emphasized, notably free trade, which policy in the past decade has largely ignored. I should note that my goals in this post are pretty modest. It is my belief that any foreign policy position labelled as libertarian would have difficulty finding mainstream acceptance, yet given these two moderate positions, I believe I can construct a foreign policy platform most ideological libertarians (and actually most Americans) would agree with. Continue reading →