Why is it that there is so much tension between traditional Republicans, libertarian Republicans, and radical anti-statists? It is because many of those who claim to support individual liberty no longer have the fire and passion necessary to abolish the evils of coercive government. Instead of calling for an end to compulsory taxation, they bicker over lowering tax rates by a percent or two. Instead of advocating the abolition of redistributive welfare, they debate over designating what foods are "healthy enough" to be purchased with it. Instead of demanding that healthcare be returned to the free market, they suggest that Obamacare must be "replaced" by some other government-funded system.
Murray Rothbard (AKA "Mr. Libertarian") wrote about this issue more than 35 years ago and pointed out that "the radical libertarian ... knows that the State must be diminished as fast and as completely as possible. Period. He also addressed the issue of why we can't seem to work together:
"Many people have wondered: Why should there be any important political disputes between anarcho-capitalists and minarchists now? In this world of statism, where there is so much common ground, why can't the two groups work in complete harmony until we shall have reached a Cobdenite world, after which we can air our disagreements? Why quarrel over courts, etc. now? The answer to this excellent question is that we could and would march hand-in-hand in this way if the minarchists were radicals, as they were from the birth of classical liberalism down to the 1940s. Give us back the antistatist radicals, and harmony would indeed reign triumphant within the movement." ¹
We need to stop looking for baby steps away from tyranny and start calling out statist evils whenever and wherever they appear. The statists and the progressives have no qualms about taking big steps toward tyranny, yet we balk at even keeping pace with their headlong rush into totalitarianism. Why do you think we are always playing defense and trying to undo the victories the statists have already won rather than playing offense and actually pushing the progressives to moderate their positions? The statists are radicals and they have been winning in this country for at least the last century and a half. It's long past time for those of us who truly oppose the evils of a coercive state to embrace a more radical mantra calling for its eradication.
To those who disagree, I offer the counsel of Samuel Adams:
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!"
1. Emphasis added. Quote taken from "Do You Hate the State?" by Murray N. Rothbard.