Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Fiscal Conservatism With Social Liberalism Is An Obnoxious Outlook

Texas State House District 134, where I live, Is going to be won by Democratic challenger Ellen Cohen. The Republican incumbent, Martha Wong, often says one thing while doing another. I’m confident the people have had enough of Wong. 

I’m disappointed though by a TV ad Ms. Cohen is running. Ms. Cohen makes an appeal to voters who consider themselves fiscal conservatives and social liberals. This idea has some resonance in District 134 because we have many educated and prosperous voters here. These are people used to having things their own way. 

Fiscal conservatism and social liberalism is libertarianism-lite. It is the idea that people can do whatever they want while paying as little taxes as possible. I don’t mind people doing pretty much what they want within the law. But we must have a government strong enough and with enough resources to protect our freedoms and fight for all people. By all people I mean the poor and working class as well as the wealthy.

Libertarianism is a far-right ideology of raw power and going it alone. Libertarianism-lite is the essentially the same—Except in one way it is even more obnoxious.

Libertarianism-lite lacks the honesty that comes with the brutality of pure libertarianism. Libertarianism-lite wraps the sell-out of the many by the few in a package that even some good Democrats find appealing.  


October 22, 2006 - Posted by | Houston, Politics


  1. I think you are defining “fiscal conservatism and social liberalism” as Libertariansim-lite and then attacking it. Watch out for strawmen!
    A fiscal conservative may also be someone who wants procedures in place to insure money is spent wisely and efficiently. For instance: a fiscal conservative may look at school vouchers for private schools and want to speculate about the eventual cost of the eventual oversight bureaucracy that will be needed to insure those dollars to private schools are achieving the intended results, and then want to compare those numbers to spending the money on public schools in the first place.
    Or a fiscal conservative may want sunshine on decision making to insure cronyism and no-bid contracts aren’t an inefficient use of our tax dollars.
    Fiscal pragmatists/ fiscal conservatives – the terms can sometimes be interchangeable.
    It’s often really about waste. If an argument can be made to justify a social program for a majority of the people then the money has to be there for it to work but some who may see themselves as fiscal conservatives just want assurances it is done with the least waste possible.

    Comment by carsick | October 23, 2006

  2. Candidates using the term should define what they mean. In the current climate the default meaning is that it is about paying as few taxes as possible.

    Comment by neilaquino | October 23, 2006

  3. A government strong enough to protect your freedom will not necessarily do so. It’s certainly not in their interest.
    Libertarianism hardly resembles what the “far right” has become these days. You could have made that argument back when Goldwater was a candidate, but that was a long, long time ago.
    Also “Raw power”? libertarians want power to be taken away from the government and given back to the individual. How is that an ideology of “Raw power”?
    Regardless, this meme was something she undoubtedly picked up from Kos, who has been attempting to woo “classic” liberals (libertarians) into voting Dem this November.

    Comment by mk | October 27, 2006

  4. I don’t understand Kos talking about this stuff. You can’t meld such a far-right view with any idea of a Democratic party that helps people in need.

    Comment by neilaquino | October 27, 2006

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