The Libertarian Odyssey
Arnold Kling explains his intellectual odyssey from the "Far Left to Libertarian". Kling states:
The Far Left believes that bad policies come from evil motives. In this view, villains, such as powerful corporations, oppose good policies, and political incumbents lack the strength and courage to overcome the villains.
Libertarians believe that context is more important. We believe that government power is inherently corrupting, regardless of who holds leadership positions or how they are influenced. We believe that the market does a relatively good job of channelling self-interest toward socially desirable ends.
Arnold's comment that he stopped attributing evil motives to those he disagreed with was an important realization. It is actually very childish.
As a born-liberal until my late 30's, I too described all ideological opponents with Hitlerian traits despite always being mildly charmed by Bill Buckley and Barry Goldwater. I also began to see my liberal compatriots never being able to offer reasonable explanations for or against any policies. The reasons were always emotionally inspired. Upon reflecting upon many of Reagan's policies I began to admire him on many fronts as a president. I began to analyze whether the Big Government programs of the liberal government had borne fruit as intended. The opposite wound up being the empirical conclusion.
I realized that a limited government approach complied with my Jeffersonian inclination and Constitutional bearings. I found that empowering individuals was more beneficial than following the dictates of the elites. The elites are not evil people. They possess hubris and excessive self-regard.
I save the Hitler appellation for Hitler.