Libertarian Lamentations: Libertarians Fear That Political Opportunists Will Use Public Concern about Terrorism to Usher in Big Government, Threaten Civil Liberties and Close Borders to Immigration. (Nation: State Power)
Rust, Michael, Insight on the News
Much has changed since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, including the way many Americans look at their government. And that is causing concern. "Historically, war has always led to an expansion of government," Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for foreign policy at the Cato Institute, Washington's leading libertarian think tank, tells Insight. "I'd be mighty surprised if this didn't happen now as well."
That's fine with those who seldom have anything but praise for big government. Al Hunt, a liberal who is a Wall Street Journal columnist, wrote Sept. 27 that there seemed to be a "moratorium on government-bashing." This followed Hunt's praise for the bravery of police, fire and rescue personnel -- all of whom, he noted, are public employees.
For another segment of political Americana, this is ominous news. Libertarians, who decry government authority over citizens, fear a wave of concern about national security will encourage big government, threaten civil liberties and reduce self-reliance.
In a column written shortly after the attacks, Carpenter warned that proponents of state power will use public concern about terrorism to promote their own views. "Americans should recognize that political and ideological opportunists are not above exploiting any issue," he wrote. "We should also understand that not everything advertised as essential in the fight against our terrorist enemy …
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Publication information: Article title: Libertarian Lamentations: Libertarians Fear That Political Opportunists Will Use Public Concern about Terrorism to Usher in Big Government, Threaten Civil Liberties and Close Borders to Immigration. (Nation: State Power). Contributors: Rust, Michael - Author. Magazine title: Insight on the News. Volume: 17. Issue: 41 Publication date: November 5, 2001. Page number: 20+. © 1999 News World Communications, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.
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