Democrats and Republicans Oppose Liberty
Conservatives say they are for small government and individual liberty, but a content analysis of leading conservative magazines shows that most have preponderantly failed to take pro-liberty positions on sex, gambling, and drugs. Besides many anti-liberty commissions, the magazines may be criticized for anti-liberty omission—that is, failing to oppose anti-liberty policies. Magazines investigated include National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Enterprise, and The American Spectator. We find that National Review has had the strongest record on liberty on the issues treated, while the others have preponderantly failed to be pro-liberty or have even been anti-liberty.
Matt Yglesias piles on:
On the other hand, conservative do take the freedom of business enterprises to have a negative impact on the quality of the air you breath, the quality of the water you drink, and the stability of the climate you live in very seriously. They’re also pretty keen on the freedom of employers to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. These are important freedoms to many Americans.
Meanwhile, of course, liberal magazines like The American Prospect, Washington Monthly, and Mother Jones are all about teh freedom. Unless we’re talking about, say, gun ownership, private property rights, school choice, free expression on radio, and a host of other issues where the left is anti-progress and anti-liberty.
Of course, neither conservatives nor liberals would couch their policy preferences in terms of limiting freedom but rather in terms of protecting some higher value. But if your solution to a problem is “There Oughta Be a Law,” then you’re against liberty in that instance almost by definition.