Selectively Small-Government

Yesterday, David Boaz riffed off of Michael Petrilli’s recent Wall Street Journal piece on the need for Republicans to stop denigrating well-educated, social-progressive types and make them feel welcome in the party. That is, make them feel welcome as long as they don’t try to impose their progressivism on everyone else through government.

That’s certainly good stuff — I’m all for making the GOP as libertarian as possible — but libertarianism extends far beyond just saying nice things about people who eat arugula or who own their own wind farms. Fundamentally, it means government leaving people alone in all facets of their lives as long as they aren’t inflicting harm on others.

Unfortunately, as Petrilli’s Thomas B. Fordham Foundation — perhaps the foremost neoconservative education think tank in the nation — has made clear for years, that’s definitely not something Petrilli and Co. are prepared to do.

Petrilli’s piece was a nice first step, but both he and the GOP still have a long way to go.