What if Bill Clinton is a closet libertarian?

Here's a scary idea. Maybe Clinton is really a libertarian (not a big L there, since that means something totally different). After all, as [name withheld] points out in [a webpage that's gone away], So if the bad shit MUST go down, then the sooner it comes, the better off we'll probably all be. While I'm usually feeling pretty optimistic, it certainly seems as though plenty of bad shit is going down some days. I usually get this feeling after either carefully reading the news out of Washington.

Think about it. If you were President and wanted to significantly cut into government, how would you go about it? Trying to get laws passed through Congress is like pounding sand. Enacting Presidential Directives or Executive Orders isn't that hard, but they're much easier to use to bring down some bad shit than for constructive purposes. That's why there's movements like H.R. 2655 afoot.

On the other hand, undermining people's confidence in Government may do more to affect real change than any President since Lincoln (who settled the question of secession once and for all). And Bill Clinton certainly has done plenty to undermine people's confidence in government. Hell, the man admitted commiting adultery (personally, I think that's something Hillary should have dealt with, and in a way that rhymes with Hobbit), sodomy (though it was legalized in the District of Columbia in 1992, so he arguably didn't actually break the law there), and is generally just a sleazeball. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples, but it's just depressing to list them all.

On the RKBA front, the announcement of the impending NICS system in 1998 sent me scurrying to the gun stores. While I'm not certain that the purpose was to create a federal registry of all firearms owners, that possibility is certainly there (and that seems to have been an effect of NICS), I figured it was better safe than sorry, so I did my shopping before the national registry was in place. Until that point, I owned no firearms, figuring I'd be able to get one when I wanted. When word of the new rules came down, I suddenly wasn't so sure anymore.

Then there's the crypto front. The Clinton administration's stance on crypto is such that it's turned a lot of computer scientists into raging libertarians. It's not as if most of these folks even USE crypto on a regular basis -- even getting PGP keys for people is still difficult, but it's made people stop and think. In some cases, it even results in folks DOING something pro-freedom.

Not saying it's the case that Bill Clinton is a closet libertarian, but just asking What would he do differently if he were? It's interesting that I can't think of a much he'd change.

As always, send your feedback (if any) to Dave Polaschek.

Copyright 2009, Dave Polaschek. Last updated on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 14:08:51.