Daily Kos: The Libertarian Dem: "The key here isn't universal liberty from government intrusion, but policies that maximize individual freedom, and who can protect those individual freedoms best from those who would infringe. "
I have long thought of myself as a Libertarian-leaning-Democrat, though at times it may have been the other way around (yes, Kos, I was one of those who "threw away" my votes in previous elections). I do, essentially, believe in a small government. In many ways I am also fiscally conservative. But I also believe that government should not go imposing itself where it does not belong. Let me explain.
We have a moral responsibility to the citizens of our country and this requires a progressive tax system. It also requires a social safety net. Our country is better off as a whole when as a whole we are doing better. The country does not succeed when the wealth is in the hands of a few. We do not succeed when we depend on too few. So, you might see this as a traditionally Democratic way of thinking. I do not disagree.
On many issues, though, I think the government has zero to no role whatsoever. Trade must regulated in some form, but I do not agree with the arbitrary imposition of tariffs. As we grow to become a more global society, we must move away from our protectionist stance. This could be seen as a Libertarian idea.
The two come together in the notion of social freedom. The government has no role in what we do to our bodies. From seatbelt laws to drug restrictions, the government oversteps its bounds, but where we really go wrong is when the social conservatives use the government to impose their agenda. This is one of the reasons the gay marriage debate gets me so riled up. The government is not here to impose some moral standard.
So, maybe there is a new Democratic Party emerging, but it is still not possible to win anything if the new Dems cannot get the party out of the hands of the widly varied, and paralysing, special interests.
Oh, embracing folks like Russ Feingold isn't going to get us anywhere either.