Acton Institute Powerblog

Before you vote, think like a libertarian

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You don’t necessarily have to be a member of the Libertarian Party to appreciate it. In a new piece for the Federalist, Acton’s director of programs, Paul Bonicelli suggests that there are libertarian questions that voters of all parties should be asking. Libertarians, with a focus on limiting federal power, question the size and scope of the state and its bureaucrats, as anyone supporting individual freedom should.

Some of the questions Bonicelli offers are:

  • Does the U.S. Constitution permit the government to do this?
  • What would this power look like if it were expanded dramatically in scope or in time?
  • Does this power represent the government putting its thumb on the scales to prefer some competitors over others, perhaps based on their relative power and influence?
  • Are we acting out of fear, anger, or self-promotion?
  • Is there any evidence the government is any good at this?
  • What would your worst enemy do with this power?

This election has been plagued by strong emotions and plenty of “hurt feelings,” but Bonicelli suggests that a more rational and reasonable approach to selecting a candidate would behoove the American people. Read Bonicelli’s piece in its entirety and see also Ken White’s “Libertarianism as ten questions rather than ten answers” at Popehat.

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Sarah Stanley