The GOP and the End of Virtue

It’s done. The Republican Party has officially chosen the worst major candidate of my lifetime. Not because of his attitudes about the role and scope of government, though in that regard he represents the antithesis of libertarianism. But because of his values, his character, his basic dignity and humanity.

Those of us who argue for limited government often argue that liberty inculcates virtue. Or, at the very least, that a lack of liberty and its replacement by the heavy hand of the state cuts against virtue by incentivizing, encouraging, and rewarding vice. But it’s also true that in order for liberty to live up to our ideals, we need to live up to those ideals. We need virtue to live in liberty and we need liberty to live in virtue.

That’s the catastrophe of the GOP’s choice this week in Cleveland. They have chosen a man to represent them who should not represent anyone because anyone who lives up to the standards we ought to set for ourselves would refuse to be represented by such a man. The fact that so many Republicans embrace their now nominee says terrible things about the future of American liberty and American virtue.