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Is a GOP Loss the Only Way to Bring Back Small Government?

The editor of Reason magazine, the libertarian leaning mag devoted to "free minds and free markets," has an Op-Ed with a somewhat counterintuitive premise: in order to save the GOP, we must destroy the GOP. After voting for Dole and then Bush, editor Radley Balko’s disappointment grew to treasonous proportions in 2004 after watching the Republican Party create the invasive and historically expansive Homeland Security Department. Following that the prescription drug benefit — the largest entitlement program since the Great Society. The last straw for Balko, however, came as he witnessed one of the largest takeovers of a private sector in this nation’s history: the recent bailout.

Balko makes his case, as he's nervous about the Bush Administration’s ever increasing executive power, which the writer believes goes against the very core of his conservative ideology. Saying “. . . the only consistent principle we’ve seen from the White House over the last eight years is that of elevating the American president to that of an elected dictator.” While admittedly using hyperbole in that statement, his real concern is that of an Obama presidency which then uses those same expansive powers.

To find out his voting strategy,


The writer’s strategy? Vote Democrat or a third party. “This isn’t to say Barack Obama would be any better. Government would undoubtedly grow under his watch.” Lest he be labeled a traitor, he does believe a loss will be better for the Republicans in the long run. “A humiliated, decimated GOP that rejuvenates and rebuilds around the principles of limited government, free markets, and rugged individualism is really the only chance for voters to possibly get a real choice in federal elections down the road.”

What do you make of his argument? When he says the "Republican Party in its current form has forfeited its right to govern," is that the perfect chance for a makeover — or is the notion small-minded rather than small government?


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