By John Winfrey
The term libertarian has so many meanings we must specify each flavor. We speak of an Ayn Rand libertarian, referring to the founder of objectivism and novels featuring heroes Howard Roak (“The Fountainhead”) and Hank Reardon (“Atlas Shrugged”). She was an atheist who despised the Christian right for its belief in a loving God and that free markets ensured good job opportunities. She knew that unregulated markets were a jungle that created winners and losers.
A true libertarian owes nothing to losers, certainly not safety nets or social programs. Losers are burdens — good riddance.
By contrast, the libertarian movement that controls Republicans in the House and Senate and most Republican states is heavily influenced by the Christian right.
Winfrey, of Lexington, is professor emeritus of public policy and economics at Washington and Lee University.