Correcting Political Misconceptions

Yesterday, I wrote about “FDR, a play we saw at the Pasadena Playhouse about a president that is generally regarded as one of the best presidents this country has ever had (the top three are Washington, Lincoln, and FDR). I mention this because one thing FDR did was vastly expand the scope of government, and ushered in a new political age—an age that lasted until Ronald Reagan.

Currently, our national political discourse has been focused on the activities of the “Tea Party”: a party that seems to be calling for a return to a greater focus on the constitution and something very close to Libertarianism. First, I’ll note this is nothing new: the debate about the Constitution goes back to the days of Hamilton and Jefferson, and the desire for the people’s voice to be heard of Jackson. But even more importantly: I want to highlight that for all their claims, the Tea Party gets both the Constitution and Libertarianism wrong. To explain that statement, I want to note two excellent references. One is an article from Newsweek about how the Tea Partiers get the Constitution wrong. The other is a podcast from NPR’s Planet Money about how most people do not understand what being a Libertarian is (an article version is here).

[By the way, I’ll use this space to highly recommend Planet Money. Paired with their Libertarian podcast was another Podcast where they demonstrate, by interviewing a Socialist, why what the Democrats are advocating isn’t Socialism]