We Must Assemble a Liberal Coalition

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Statism is failing, and more and more people are starting to realize that.  Draconian COVID policies are doing far more harm than good; profligate government spending is sending prices soaring; parents are starting to notice that the public schools are bad at teaching the three R’s but are focused instead on leftist indoctrination; respect for the law and the rights of peaceful individuals is plunging; the U.S. is once again an energy importer — and just wait until a snowpocalypse or huge volcanic eruption shows the folly of relying on “green” energy.

The recent elections suggest that a big coalition of people who dislike and distrust big government (what Grover Norquist calls the “leave us alone” coalition) is ready to be assembled. It’s a liberal coalition, using “liberal” in its original sense of respecting each person’s liberty to run his or her life.

Brad Lips of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation has written a book that will help to put that coalition together: Liberalism and the Free Society in 2021.

It’s an optimistic book, full of sage advice. He writes, “We need more interactions with people not like us, not less. Such fluid interaction tends to breed more empathy for the challenges we each grapple with, as well as genuine respect for the know-how and problem-solving strategies that diverse people have developed to get by and thrive.”

Yes. The statists want to keep huge minority voting groups angry and clamoring for government favors, but we can readily convince them that their futures will be far better if they ally with the liberal coalition.

What must authentic liberalism strive for? Lips gives us a good agenda, including the end of corporate welfare, downsizing of the D.C. leviathan and locating many major bureaucracies out in flyover country, creating educational savings accounts so parents can fund the optimal kind of education for their children, strengthening protection for constitutional rights, especially the First Amendment, free trade, and so on.

I strongly recommend the book.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.





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