Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “big government is here to stay. This is particularly important for libertarians to absorb. Over the last two hundred years…
…society and the economy in advanced industrial nations have undergone dramatic transformations. And for three-quarters of a century, the New Deal settlement has been reshaping Americans’ expectations about the nation-state’s reach and role. Consequently, the U.S. federal government will continue to provide a social safety net, regulate the economy, and shoulder a substantial share of responsibility for safeguarding the social and economic bases of political equality. All signs are that a large majority of Americans will want it to continue to do so.”
In other words, get over it, all you backward libertarians and conservatives! The almighty progressive State has won, and proponents of limited government, self-responsibility, and individual freedom have LOST.
In response to that, a fellow named Bob Fromuth (who lives in Modesto, California, of all places) responds today in a letter to the editor as follows:
The illusion of impregnability that the modern welfare state currently possesses is a fleeting phenomenon. History is littered with many seemingly permanent empires and institutions. The progressive consensus that Mr. Berkowitz describes is, on closer inspection, a crumbling bread-and-circuses endgame rife with internal contradictions that precariously awaits a black-swan event.
If we believe, as I do, that conservative values possess the distinct advantage of being true, then demurring from a robust legislative assertion of those truths isn’t only a losing strategy for conservatism, but a disservice to humanity. There will come a time in the not so distant future that focus groups and moist pinkies in the air will detect a breeze in our direction. Meanwhile, we need to credibly play the game and accept our losses standing up, clearly speaking the truth.
Thank you, Bob, whoever and wherever you are today. You’re right.