Micheal Gerson admonishes Christians enamored with libertarianism:

But for millennia, Christian reflection on politics has also included an important, even noble, role for government. Government pursues the common good, which should be shared by the weak and vulnerable—people who can’t compete under the normal rules of the market. A government secures public goods—such as public safety and public health—that individuals cannot adequately achieve on their own.

This two-fold belief in the rights of individuals and the duties of government requires a balance. People can’t be protected from every bad choice. But addictive drugs, for example, impose a form of slavery that ends the possibility of genuine choice.  And the broad prevalence of those drugs turns a community into a shabby, dangerous, violent place—violating the rights of all who live in it.

So nearly every political choice involves the weighing of competing priorities—freedom and the common good. This is the reason that prudence is the highest of political virtues.

And prudence is exactly what some political ideologies lack. Socialism places an unbalanced emphasis on equality above all else—resulting in the routine violation of individual rights. Libertarianism places an unbalanced emphasis on autonomy above all else—resulting in a nation without airport security and food safety laws.

Raising a single, pure, simple principle in politics can be powerful—but it is almost always dangerous. Complexity is the nature of politics. It is also the sign of a serious political thinker or candidate.  

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