Re "Libertarians' likable lunacy," Opinion, Jan. 12
Michael Kinsley's examination of libertarianism damns it with faint praise while characterizing it with the usual wackiness. The same smug patronization was evident at the Republican presidential debates, where candidates treated Ron Paul as if he were a loon allowed onto the pond with the swans. Such condescension is symptomatic of how far America has drifted from its founding principals of individual freedom and minimal government. Thankfully, Jefferson, Madison and the other founding fathers were just loony enough.
Kinsley's argument that "externalities" justify government's restrictions on personal freedom ignores the evidence that once government is allowed to decide what is best for you, it never stops doing so. One price of freedom is that people will make personal choices that you may not like. They may pursue their idea of happiness in a manner with which you disagree.
Occasionally, that might cause you some inconvenient externalities, but that is a small price to pay.
As a person with a libertarian bent, I found Kinsley's article refreshing. When it comes to such dramatic rights as the right to die, I agree with Kinsley that libertarians are on much firmer ground.