Considering the title, you might think this piece is a love letter to President Barack Obama. It’s not. On the contrary, I’m a libertarian who is on the record objecting to just about every major policy push the Obama administration has made.
Nevertheless, I think my colleagues on the center-right need to recognize what a transformative president Obama has been in an ideological sense. Barack Obama will not go down in the history books as a forgettable or ineffective commander-in-chief. To the contrary, he marks a major shift in liberal politics from the Third Way compromise era characterized by the Clinton era to unapologetic progressivism.
That’s not to say that Barack Obama is the first progressive president. To the contrary, there have been many — from Woodrow Wilson to Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson. However, progressivism largely went out of style after World War II—until Obama. John F. Kennedy signed off on the largest tax cuts in American history. Jimmy Carter deregulated the airline and trucking industries. Bill Clinton enacted welfare reform, harsher crime sentences, and cracked down on immigration — not to mention Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
I can only chuckle when I hear hardcore conservatives call past Democratic presidents “leftists” or “communists.” To the contrary, many of them achieved remarkable victories for liberty.
Barack Obama’s presidency, on the other hand, is a whole different story.
Read the full article at Rare.