Are You a Classical Liberal?

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by Minuteman, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Guest Columnist Craig Cantoni asks:
    Can a "classical liberal" get elected?
    Classical liberals need not apply
    By Craig J. Cantoni
    An ideology is a set of values, beliefs and philosophies. A political candidate who claims to be non-ideological is either lying, brain-dead or devoid of values, beliefs and philosophies.

    The Founding Fathers thought of themselves as classical liberals -- limited government, free markets, individual responsibility -- no connection to what the word liberal means today (generally the opposite of those values).

    Because the Democrat and Republican parties have merged into a combined party of big government, party labels no longer indicate ideology. Thus, to know a candidate's ideology, it's necessary to ask questions such as the following:

    1. Is the primary purpose of government to protect our life, liberty and property, or to give us free stuff, wipe our noses, and tell us what we can do in our bedrooms?

    2. Is it unethical, immoral or improper for individuals, groups or businesses to take money that taxpayers put into the public treasury, in the form of handouts, subsidies, grants or tax breaks?

    3. Should riders of public transit pay the full cost of their ride at the fare box, or should they be subsidized by tax-paying non-riders; should patrons of the arts pay their full cost at the ticket window or should they be subsidized by tax-paying non-patrons; and should private owners of tax-subsidized sports teams be blasted as moochers or honored as visionaries?

    4. Are businesses in the free market better at economic development than the government? If yes, why do both parties support constant intrusive government controls on free enterprise? If no, isn't that the central planning of socialism, which we know doesn't work? Isn't government, which produces nothing, totally dependent on businesses for economic development?

    5. Is it wrong for government workers to have better pay, medical insurance, pensions and job security than private-sector workers who pay for those government-worker benefits? Similarly, is it in the public's interest for firefighters, police officers, school teachers and other public-sector workers to form unions when they already have massive civil-service protections?

    6. Would moral citizens help the poor without being coerced to do so by the government? If government takes money from one person, and gives it to another it deems "worthy" or "needy," isn't that theft? Where in the Constitution is that sort of redistribution of wealth authorized? If it's not, does voting for such handouts violate your oath of office?

    7. Do you prefer the philosophies of John Locke, Adam Smith and Thomas Jefferson, or the philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Georg W.F. Hegel and Franklin D. Roosevelt? Do you know the difference?
    Few candidates can answer these questions (if they did so truthful) relying on the "classical liberal" ideology of our Founders. Accordingly, they would have no chance of being elected to mayor, dog catcher or any political office in today's USSA (United Socialist States of America).

    An author and consultant, Mr. Cantoni can be reached at
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