Monday, August 08, 2005

Oversimplifications

It is worth noting that the Lind post I discussed earlier oversimplifies quite a bit for the sake of cleaner analysis. He suggests that libertarians are "socially liberal", but then cites as examples of Jimmy Carter's social liberalism his support of affirmative action and abortion, neither of which libertarians necessarily support. Two of the many senses of the word "liberal" are in play here, and they're being treated as the same thing.

The same problem reoccurs with the phrase "economically conservative". Clinton's health-care plan is called economically conservative because it was "business-friendly". That's a pretty damn low bar to set for calling something economically conservative, but if you're going to use it in that sense, you certainly shouldn't say that libertarians are economically conservative!

I'm not sure any of this undercuts Lind's fundamental point, however.

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