Many are celebrating the final couple weeks of June as a huge success for President Barack Obama.
For libertarians it was a month full of major successes and a few major failures.
The month opened with libertarian-ish Republican Presidential hopeful Rand Paul working closely with his colleagues in the senate to force the expiration of some provisions of the Patriot Act, including the incredibly controversial section 215, which is the portion that Paul rallied against most vehemently.
Although expiration of key provisions to the Patriot Act is a clear victory for civil libertarians, the joy was short lived, as the USA Freedom Act that was put in its place and continues many government overreaches.
Later in the month, the successes for liberty continued, when the Supreme Court decided to allow gay marriage in all 50 states. Again, another obvious victory for those who believe that the right to marry whomever you love is a constitutionally guaranteed right.
However, again there is a dark side to this. Marriage is still a government institution, which goes against all that libertarians believe in. Certainly, marriage equality is vital for libertarians, but it would be an even greater feat if government was fully removed from marriage altogether. Marriage should simply be a contract between consenting adults, thus removing any government intervention into the most intimate aspects of human life.
Later in the month, another victory occurred for libertarians, as reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank was not passed, dealing a serious blow to crony capitalism.
As Veronique de Rugy points out at Reason killing the ex-im bank is a good step towards removing cronyism from the American economy; the type of cronyism that benefits the richest corporations at the expense of the middle-class taxpayer. Ending corporate welfare is something that both libertarians and progressives are beginning to embrace.
There’s still a lot of work to be done to fully remove cronyism from the American economy and institute true free market policies that will bring the poor out of poverty and will re-strengthen the middle class, but killing Ex-Im is a good first step.
The last victory to take place for liberty this past month was the Marijuana Policy Project releasing its report cards for candidates and giving Rand Paul the only “A” rating, with an A-minus. That sparked marijuana activist groups to donate to the Paul cause, making him the first major party candidate to raise funds from marijuana groups.
Ultimately, for libertarians, there was only one major failure and that was the Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare. But, hey, you can’t win them all.