The Power Of Political Vocabularies

Timothy Lee returns to the liberaltarian debate:

What libertarians and conservatives share isn’t a shared commitment to freedom so much as a common way of talking about freedom. Conservatives and Republicans like to invoke the Founding Fathers, talk about free markets and limited government, quote Hayek, and so forth. But political rhetoric is a lagging indicator of ideological commitments. A lot of fusionist slogans have become so shopworn that they’re what Orwell called dead metaphors. The fact that they’re often combined with calls to “keep your government hands off my Medicare”, promote “energy independence”, and build a police state along our Southern border suggests that these slogans are little more than empty rhetoric. When the typical Republican politiician says he cares about limited government, his purpose isn’t so much to express support for a specific policy agenda (most of the Republican policy agenda involves expanding government) so much as to signal membership in the fusionist political coalition.