The root cause of everything from street muggings and gang delinquency to rudeness at traffic lights to excessive lawsuit filing has finally been found, and it's...libertarianism. At least that's the view of Andrew Peyton Thomas, an attorney with the state of Arizona and a frequent contributor to conservative magazines. Writing in the August 26, 1996, Weekly Standard, Mr. Thomas referred to the above woes as "the libertarian-created problems of Southern California and elsewhere." Readers who hadn't known that libertarians got to run things in Los Angeles may rub their eyes, but Mr. Thomas isn't kidding one bit. He blames crime, rudeness, and litigiousness on the "live-and-let-live urban lifestyle" as spawned by "the moral laissez-faire disorder of libertarianism." Mr. Thomas, author of Crime and the Roots of Order, has made a momentous discovery: "The root of our crime problem," as he informed Standard readers on March 17 of this year, "is a rights-happy radical individualism."
Thomas is right. God help us if libertarians ever get any power in this country. Imagine, for example, the irreparable damage to the rule of law if a libertarian were ever elected Maricopa County prosecutor.