George W. Bush a Libertarian?

The Albuquerque Journal’s letters section is often good for a few laughs. Of course it would be even funnier if the letters did not so often display extreme ignorance both about the role of government and economic reality. One recent letter that struck me as particularly funny was “If Tea Party Wins, the People Lose.”

While I certainly disagree with the premise, the letter makes an assertion that I found particularly egregious, that being: “The Bush-Cheney era was the closest the Libertarians have gotten to real power since Hoover.” This is just ignorant.

According to the book, which is written from a libertarian perspective “Recarving Rushmore,” which was written by Ivan Eland (who will be speaking at an upcoming Rio Grande Foundation-sponsored event in Albuquerque), George W. Bush was the 36th best of 40 presidents (not exactly close to the libertarian ideal).

Herbert Hoover was 18th out of 40th which is much better, but still not “great.” So, who is the libertarian ideal when it comes to the presidency? John Tyler and Grover Cleveland top the list, but among modern presidents Clinton and Carter do rather well. To find out who the best “libertarian” presidents really are, come listen to Ivan Eland’s presentation on November 10 and pick up a copy of his book.

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