(The following was originally published in the Washington Times.)
As the American political scene becomes ever more polarized, citizens of all political views have tired of both the liberal and conservative perspectives. The two “mainstream” perspectives strike many as inconsistent and hypocritical, and far more similar than different. Both advocate large and intrusive government, albeit in different arenas, despite rhetoric that claims otherwise.
What these disillusioned Americans really want is libertarianism, which advocates small government across the board. Misleading or one-sided characterizations notwithstanding, libertarianism is precisely the “third way” that many Americans desire.
Libertarianism is not the claim that individuals are always rational, or that markets are always efficient, or that the distribution of income under laissez-faire capitalism is always “fair.” Rather, it is the claim that, despite the imperfections of private arrangements, government interventions usually make things worse. Thus, non-intervention is the better policy.