Libertarians Mentioned in the Wall Street Journal Today: Take a Guess

Once in a while the mainstream media recognizes that libertarians exist. So yesterday there was a brief mention in Peter Berkowitz’ Wall Street Journal Opinion piece.

The title barely hints where he’s going: Conservative Survival in a Progressive Age. But the subtitle screams it:

Big government and the social revolution are here to stay. The conservative role is to shape both for the better.

And a few paragraphs in he mentions libertarians explicitly:

Conservatives should … come to grips with two entrenched realities that pose genuine challenges to liberty, and whose prudent management is critical to the nation’s well-being. The first entrenched reality is that big government is here to stay. This is particularly important for libertarians to absorb.

Libertarians are unlikely to fall for Berkowitz’ call. Some of the comments expressed themselves well. One wrote:

In other words, the US, once beacon of freedom and prosperity to the world, is a thing of the past. The author may accept this, but he is looking at the short term expecting the future to repeat the past.

What is missing in this article is the simple truth that the model that exists today is not sustainable because it costs more than all the wealth the country holds….If we don’t shrink the central government by a wide margin, we will see the value of our money disappear under the guise of quantitative easing. A return to sovereign states is the only way to hold the country together. It will happen when the money dies.

Another used an elegant metaphor:

His political “moderation” exalts the “wisdom” of the frog sitting in the increasingly hot pot of water, waiting patiently (and oh so moderately) to be boiled alive.

One more hit a historical tone:

When he says, “the first entrenched reality is that big government is here to stay,” Berkowitz shows that he lacks the most basic understanding of history. The loudest and clearest message that history delivers is that nothing is “here to stay”. The US, as it increasingly accommodates the policies that have led to the collapse of every civilization before it, seems well on the way to confirming that history does repeat itself.

At least one libertarian joined in the fray:

If I understand his argument, Berkowitz is saying to libertarians (like me) that we should stop telling people that big government is gradually choking off both our freedom and our prosperity and arguing that we must either go cold turkey on welfare or suffer societal convulsions. That’s because most people have made up their minds that they like big government, won’t think about its long-run damage, and will just get mad at those who say that it is poisonous to the future. Maybe he thinks we should be like preachers who don’t say that sinful conduct is wrong, but merely advise against too much of it. I don’t agree. Our goal should be to retake the education system and infiltrate the media so we can tell people the bitter truth about the welfare state.

So yesterday libertarians got a brief mention. Perhaps next year the Journal might offer a full sentence, even a paragraph. And somewhere down the road an article? More likely Berkowitz and the WSJ will regret using the word and do their best to avoid mentioning us again. The NY Times will continue to treat Greens similarly.

18 thoughts on “Libertarians Mentioned in the Wall Street Journal Today: Take a Guess


    @1 Excellant point! As for the mention, or lack there of, why worry ? The msm has been overpaid lackeys of the power elite who profit from the war machine for decades, They won’t be giving their (REAL) political opposition much FREE positive coverage now or anytime soon…..

    “There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar weekly salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.” – John Swinton, former New York Times Chief of Staff

    “I pledge no allegiance to the flag of the Corporate States of America, or
    to the Kleptocracy which stole the land, and plunged our nation into debt,
    insurmountable, with questionable futures for all.”
    –Bruce Arnold, 19-Nov-2010
    Kleptocracy and You, How things really work!-

    War is a Racket-

  2. Jill Pyeatt

    Warren, I think this is a good article. I don’t think it’s “inapropriately oped-ish”, and we’re kind of watching you to set the new guidelines.

  3. paulie

    Inappropriately oped-ish?

    As long as you are going to keep the previous policy in place, I would say yes.

    Some of the comments expressed themselves well is a statement of opinion, not fact.

    Same for elegant metaphor.

    mentioning us again …Who is “us” here? I would change that to Libertarians. Otherwise you may be taken to imply that IPR is Libertarian (something that some people allege, and many of us are, but as a group we are not aligned with one party or another).

    It’s within your power to change the policy and allow editorials by individual contributors.

    You can even say explicitly that you can post your own editorials and other people can’t post their own.

    But if you are going to do either of those, you should make it an explicit change of policy, not a de facto change which leaves the acceptable standards for other people’s articles (or IPR’s adherence to our stated policies) in question.

  4. Mark Axinn


    Thanks for posting.


    The “us” in this case referred to Libertarians, but Warren’s point is larger than that: The WSJ treats Libertarians as poorly as the NYT treats Greens, and in that sense the “us” is any member of a third party that does not tow the Demopublican line.

  5. Warren Redlich

    I had thought of contacting someone like Mark for comment from a Libertarian leader. But I was lazy and just posted as is. That would probably have been better.

  6. Jeremy C. Young

    Why not just divide it up? Straight, dispassionate “just-the-facts-ma’am” reporting in the actual post, as has been the tradition on IPR since the beginning (that’s how a legitimate news site operates). Commentary in the first comment below the fold. That’s how I did it when I wrote for IPR, and nobody seemed to mind.

  7. Matt Cholko

    I’m with Jeremy. Seems like a good way to go on a site where all of the posters are personally involved in the business (both literally and figuratively) of that site.

  8. Patriot Defender

    While Gary Johnson was a strong candidate, Judge Andrew Napolitano comes to the table with greater national name recognition. Many disinfrancized Republicans know him well from Fox News and unlike guys like Karl Rove and Dick Morris who have been tossed out on their ears Andrew Napolitano is in good stead as his strong Libertarian character holds steady.

  9. Jake Witmer

    For those who care about these things, I wound up here because I followed a link that had Steve Kubby’s name on it. (Whenever I have time, I read Kubby’s latest.) Then, I thought the link to the right “Libertarians mentioned in WSJ: take a guess.”

    Does Peter Berkowitz regularly mention libertarians? If so, does he regularly mention them in such an uneducated way, or does he sometimes represent them (and reality) fairly and intelligently? I’m too lazy to search the interwebs for answers to these questions. Fellow libertarians, please feel free to rank Berkowitz on comprehension and fairness.

    I didn’t mind Redlich’s editorializing (I actually found it to be entertaining and useful, so I actually didn’t have to wade through the low-level burble of the WSJ myself), but it might have been kind of harsh for those who are here to see what their beloved socialists are doing.

  10. paulie

    I didn’t mind Redlich’s editorializing (I actually found it to be entertaining and useful, so I actually didn’t have to wade through the low-level burble of the WSJ myself), but it might have been kind of harsh for those who are here to see what their beloved socialists are doing.

    I don’t have a problem with it per se, I just think we should either formally change the policy or be consistent with it – one way or the other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *