The Semi-Libertarian West

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.


4 thoughts on “The Semi-Libertarian West

  1. Casey Khan September 12, 2007 / 12:12 pm

    “at least, until the Californians finish filling up the cities–and that regional character is pronouncedly more libertarian than what elsewhere”

    Yes, I would say Arizona and even New Mexico is much more libertarian than most places, particularly compared to CA and NY. Of course the tragic developmbent is all the collectivists who are moving to these western areas from CA & NY. Arizona had a pretty decent gun culture that is now under attack by new laws being proposed by the infusion of such collectivists.

  2. John W. Payne September 12, 2007 / 6:40 pm

    Yeah, I think you’re mostly just fooling yourself about Missouri. However, it isn’t that divided. A lot of the Republicans–even in the hinterland–aren’t all that fiscally conservative, and a lot of the Democrats aren’t that socially liberal. Think about Saint Louis. The only reason it is so consistently blue is because of the large populations of both blacks and union workers, who as groups are economically liberal but socially conservative. So we get a state that is economically moderate to liberal and socially conservative, which from where I stand is almost the worst combination around. Oh well, at least we’re not Mississippi, and we according to this Reason Foundation study we’re the least regulated state when it comes to occupational licensure:

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