Jesse Walker on two Western politicians in the news lately, Larry Craig and Bill Richardson, and their semi-libertarian qualities. Craig actually was good on 2nd amendment rights and tried to mitigate the worst of the PATRIOT Act, which ain’t much but is more than the typical Republican senator is good for. If only he’d kept his hands in his own stall.
Walker and some of the commenters responding to his article are certainly right to say that the West is not strictly philosophically libertarian, but it does have its own regional character–at least, until the Californians finish filling up the cities–and that regional character is pronouncedly more libertarian than what elsewhere (though New Hampshire is pretty good, too). My own native region, the Midwest, isn’t quite as individualistic, but on a good day I like to make the case that people in Missouri have very little use for the ideologies of the Left or Right, despite the obvious split between a “red state” countryside and “blue state” cities. But on a bad day I have to admit I’m just fooling myself.