Why the Statists Win

Ryan McMaken of the Mises Institute has a must-read essay on “One Reason the Left Wins.”

McMaken’s reason for leftist success is that they never lose sight of their long-term goal, whether nationalized health care, gun control, or a green new deal. They are willing to accept small steps toward that goal, but they never take transitional steps that conflict with the ultimate goal and never do or say anything that will hurt the primary goal.

In contrast, conservatives, and even many libertarians, only focus on the short-term. They obsess over what can be passed today. As a result, they rarely advocate for the long-term goal, whether ending the Fed, bringing home the troops, ending gun control, rolling back the surveillance state, or closing down the Department of Education. Instead, they limit themselves to advocating whatever minor reforms they think the political class will accept. Whenever pushed to advocate for the ultimate goal, they insist we need to be “realistic.” But they are the ones not being realistic, because unless someone advocates the ultimate goal, we will never achieve it.

By limiting themselves to only advocating whatever the political class will accept at any given time, the so-called “realists” and “pragmatists” are allowing the political class to determine their agenda. Eventually, they end up not just settling for baby steps toward liberty, but actually celebrating setbacks. This is why so-called “fiscal conservatives” cheer on spending increases, as long as the budget does not increase by as much as originally projected. This is also why some alleged free-market advocates support phony reforms like the USA FREEDOM Act or the various ObamaCare-lite bills.

Eventually, these compromisers begin to see those of us who refuse to trade in our values as the enemy because we prevent them from getting things done—even if what they want to get done advances state power.  They also put the success of their favorite politicians ahead of the success of the cause—sometimes even lying to the grassroots about the effects of various politics or working with their allies to craft “acceptable” compromises.

Campaign for Liberty refuses to play this game—we stay focused on the long-term goal and we won’t accept compromises unless they move us closer to liberty. Please support our efforts.

Read Ryan’s article here.

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