The 2012 Problem

Even with the release of “The Road to Freedom” today and a very packed media schedule, I can’t help but notice what seems to be on everyone’s mind: What will happen to Governor Walker and Senator Lugar? And what will their election results mean for 2012? Their fate has been a conversation driver behind the scenes during many of my interviews, and it’s certainly an important question.

But the truth is, what happens tonight, or even what happens in November, isn’t the most important issue. The problems we face in America today are massive. A broken-down entitlement system, runaway spending, and a growing addiction to the Santa-State are all serious problems that require long-term solutions. To be sure, every election counts. But even the strongest leaders need to be held accountable by a dedicated citizenry to turn America around. And a dedicated citizenry will only emerge when free enterprise advocates begin to pair their data-driven policies with moral arguments. My AEI colleague Steve Hayward points out the importance of culture and moral argument today over at Powerline, and the warm reception I’ve received today for the book makes me hope that the message will sink in and free enterprise advocates will continue to make this case for as long as it takes, which will likely be ten years at the least.

For a bit more reading, check out my interview with FrontPage Magazine, or this great review over at Breitbart. You can watch my Squawk Box appearance at the AEI website, and be sure to watch me on the Sean Hannity Show tonight. There are also short reviews up at The Weekly Standard and The Corner.

And finally, happy birthday to Friedrich Hayek, whose work has clearly guided my own. My “ideal role of government” in the new book comes solely from him, as do many of my other inspirations. If The Road to Freedom has just a fraction of the impact The Road to Serfdom did on public policy, I will be immensely humbled.

Arthur Brooks