As a libertarian, I see little difference between Obama and Romney. They both favor a perpetual war on terror, an occupation of Afghanistan, military aid to Israel, indefinite detention of terror suspects, military imprisonment outside the bounds of habeas corpus, warrantless wiretapping, the TSA, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the FDA, the war on drugs, gun control, bailouts, Keynesian economics, income taxation, Social Security, Medicare, central banking, subsidies for rich and poor, licensing in industry, public education, employment regulation, agriculture corporatism, tariffs, and a federal budget that amounts to far more than ten thousand dollars for every man, woman, and child in this country.
The pathology of mass democracy translates into ugly social divisions. Great liberal thinkers from Bastiat to Mises have demonstrated that all classes have nothing to fear from one another in a market economy. Freedom of exchange results in the harmonization of interests. Politics, on the other hand, creates fissures that need not exist. Every minor issue becomes blown up into a Manichean struggle. This happens especially over relatively minor issues, because these are the only ones over which the mainstream politicians evince even a rhetorical disagreement. The truly foundational issues of our time—mass confiscation of wealth, IRS despotism, mass imprisonment, militarized policing at home and unending warfare abroad—unite both major parties behind an establishment agenda. They bicker instead over relatively small matters, each one of which becomes amplified into the greatest battle in the history of the world at election time.