The economic downturn in the United States of America has sent the political spectrum swinging wildly. In government they have a left leaning President who has delivered on healthcare reform; something a large portion of the country thinks of as radical “socialism”.
Yet whilst the executive turns to big-state solutions, a libertarian wind is blowing to upset the political elite. This is no organised movement, however, and there are numerous eddies pulling this way and that, confusing any hope of a concise swing in the popular mind.
California has a huge budget deficit, and it is in this state that the libertarian movement has its strongest play. Today, whilst voting in the midterm elections, the citizens of California will vote on weather or not to legalise cannabis. It is estimated this will lead to savings/earnings of three billion dollars per year. It is of no surprise then, that this is the primary motivation for the sudden courage politicians have shown in supporting a “yes” vote.
If California legalises pot, then many other states could soon follow, the temptation of the massive savings, drops in crime, tax raised and health improvements could prove irresistible, especially with California pulling out into the lead above their neighbours. In turn, the rest of the world would be free to pursue their own legalisation agenda, something nations have been afraid to do previously, encase they were penalised by the USA.
If this is the small, yet hopeful breeze of libertarianism, the rise of the Tea (Taxed-Enough-Already) Party is the confused hurricane. They claim to be fighting for a smaller state against a government out of control and intent on meddling in peoples lives. Whilst that is an honourable endeavour, the conservative right has once again been manipulated by religion into sullying their own message with extremely un-libertarian goals of imposing their faith on others.
The political figure-head of the Tea Party is Sarah Palin, a woman widely mocked, yet who holds a talisman-like status amongst her followers. Tonight’s election results could see a great shift, not just from the democrats, but from traditional republicans into the hands of this new and dangerous force for ignorance.