On Sunday, January 2nd of this year Ms. Veronique de Rugy published a column in the Orange County Register’s Opinion section entitled “We Must Unite to Fight Illiberalism: Classical Liberal Values under Attack by Left and Right.”  The thrust of her column is that politicians from both the left and the right are promoting the “worrisome rise of authoritarianism around the world.”  And I agree with her – to the degree that I believe this movement is transparent.  She went on that, of course, for a long time we who are inclined toward free markets have seen this tendency to centralize more power with the federal government come from the political Left, but now the Right is trying mightily “to use state power to control individuals’ choices and destroy those with whom they disagree.”  An example of this was President Trump’s efforts to promote protective tariffs and other benefits for favored industries, along with increased hostility to foreign workers, immigrants and other disfavored groups.

People of all political beliefs should understand that our economy and lifestyle have received huge benefits over the years by maintaining decision-making power in the hands of private individuals and businesses, not governments.  That brings competition – and it works!  And even if one type of government can produce additional benefits for its supporters, when that political power changes hands, the situation will be reversed – thus making politics even more unduly important.  But if authoritarianism is kept at bay, virtually everyone will continue to come out ahead except the bureaucrats and politicians.  That is in all of our common interests!  Ms. De Rugy closes her column by saying: “I ask you to join me in opposing illiberalism in all its forms.  It means opposing the draconian regulation and unsustainable government welfare advanced by the Left.  It also means opposing rising right-wing illiberalism that is hostile to LGBTQ and immigrant cultures, itches to ban books and generally wants to use government power to achieve its cramped vision of an American society.”  I ask the same.

Sign of the week, seen on the doggie pop bag dispenser at a park: “Business is Picking Up!”

P.S. This column will be on hiatus for the next two weeks while my great wife and I are traveling.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

As stated above, feel free to listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely issues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand by going to https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com. Please read and discuss it with your friends, and send in a review.