Our site name is kind of odd (or unique!). I routinely hear, “Daily Whig? Whigs like… the party?”
And then I have to explain that we are really named after the patriots of the American Revolution, the Whigs, who in turn derived their name from the anti-monarchy party in Great Britain. The Whigs stood for the classical liberalism of Locke and Smith, like we are doing today.
I’ve written before that a classical liberal coalition will be necessary to defeat the rise in authoritarianism in both parties. Such a coalition would include conservatives, libertarians, and liberals.
So what are three domestic policies such a coalition could pursue?
1) Reduce Spending: Everyone knows we have a debt problem, but sacrifices haven’t been made by all parties to address the issue. It’s first going to require reducing spending for every government program. Every single one. Gary Johnson had suggested cutting 1% across the board. I think that’s a good start. Next, we’d look to entitlements specifically to greatly reduce their inefficiencies. This would eventually include moving all of them to the state level if the states so desired. At the national level they are unsustainable. Finally, we’d have to cut spending for the military as well. Every government organization and program is so bloated with bureaucracy that spending cuts could easily be made, and each of the organizations and programs would probably greatly increase their efficiency and end up doing more with less.
2) Free Trade: Part of this coalition will include economic literacy and opposing any of the protectionist nonsense of the Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders wings of their respective parties. Tariffs decrease economic growth, reduce business efficiency by removing competition, and raise prices for consumers, which is most noticed by the poor. Instead, this coalition will have to push to make American industry competitive by lowering taxes and regulations, which is right in the conservative/libertarian wheelhouse. Liberals could be convinced that free trade and low taxes and regulations are the way to go if conservatives and libertarians make the case that such policies are best for the poor, which they are…
3) Legalize Marijuana: Conservatives have to get over this one. The war on drugs has been a failure. Besides that, criminalizing drug use is in no way consistent with conservative principles. If we want the government to stay out of our lives, if we want to stay true to protecting natural rights, then we must let people smoke dope if they want to. It doesn’t affect you. Let it be.