Friday, January 2, 2015

Erick Erickson asserts a difference between libertarianism and libertinism

Today filling in as guest host of the Rush Limbaugh Show in response to a caller recommending the Republican Party move in a more specifically libertarian direction.

The comment was more diplomacy than wisdom.

In the Molly Ball feature on Erickson for The Atlantic here, Erickson more than once eschews libertarianism, let alone libertinism:

“Nationally, people think of me as a Tea Party person, and I am,” Erickson told me. “But in Georgia, the Tea Party can’t stand me.” The local movement, he explained, is dominated by libertarian followers of former Congressman Ron Paul, and Erickson has opposed many of its chosen candidates. Erickson’s conservatism is of a more traditional bent, deeply informed by his evangelical faith. He believes Republicans must not yield in pursuit of small government, strong national defense, and the primacy of the traditional family.

Erickson sounded almost gleeful as he told me about the Tea Party hating him. He seems to delight in confounding expectations, and in almost every way, he refuses to be pigeonholed: he is a southerner who defines himself by his small-town sensibility, but he spent most of his childhood in Dubai. He speaks for the conservative grass roots, but he pals around with cable-news regulars and Beltway elites. He’s a strict no-compromises ideologue, but during his one foray into elected office, he was a model of bipartisan cooperation. ...

When I pressed him on whether his zeal for regulation while on the city council was at odds with his less-government philosophy, he said he believed human trafficking was a problem that government should have a role in solving. “I’m not a libertarian,” he said. Even small-government absolutists, after all, can agree that sexual slavery ought to be prevented.