When a Progressive Accidentally Becomes a Libertarian


There is a hilarious account on X called “Accidentally Libertarian” that is worth a follow for anyone who is right of center.

The account typically highlights posts or videos from Democrats and Republicans in which they make statements that unintentionally promote small “L” libertarian ideas.

In one instance, the account went after “Star Trek” actor George Takei when he argued that America’s AR-15s could arm a lot of Ukrainian soldiers.

I came across a story that reminded me of those who accidentally espouse libertarian values. It involves a Tampa-based progressive activist named Bree Wallace, who made local headlines with an innovative idea: Creating and placing “period pantries” in various parts of the city.

Wallace, inspired by a friend in Jacksonville who had a similar idea, created pink wooden boxes containing a smorgasbord of feminine products, including tampons, pads, sanitary wipes, and heating patches for women to use freely. While she would likely take offense at my insistence that only women can use these items, the purpose is clear: Helping low-income women who struggle to afford these products by giving them out for free without using the government to use the money it steals takes from residents in taxes to pay for it.

“A lot of the people that I work with within reproductive health are people who are low income, who are unhoused, who don’t have money,” she said. “So sharing this resource with them helps them at least a little bit, you know. If they have a few dollars to their name, they can use it somewhere else and use free products from here.”

Wallace launched this initiative after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rightly vetoed legislation that would have provided these products for free in schools and elsewhere.

The activist, with the help of local donors, stocks the boxes herself. “We have to support each other, and especially as women, you know, we deal with a lot,” said Leigh Anne Balzekas, owner of Disco Dolls Studio.

DeSantis in June vetoed the $6.4 million funding measure for the Menstrual Hygiene Products Grant Program, which sparked some controversy among Democrats who believe it is appropriate to swipe money from taxpayers and use it to buy pads and tampons for residents.

State Rep. Kelly Skidmore (D) of Boca Raton, who advocated for the bill, highlighted the importance of the measure: “For girls in school, it is no different and they shouldn’t be deprived of attending class and furthering their education five days out of every month.”

Bree Wallace’s initiative is a prime example of what libertarians and conservatives support: Community action instead of reliance on the state. While someone like her would much rather use the force of government to compel people to fork over more of their money for feminine products, she at least recognized that if the government isn’t going to handle the problem, then it is up to folks like herself.

DeSantis is right – it is not the role of government to furnish these items for women in need. Instead, issues like this should be handled by members of the community who can step up to help voluntarily. It is far more virtuous to take these matters on ourselves than to be coerced into doing so, is it not?

Moreover, while Wallace’s ilk might not be willing to admit it, she can likely do a better job of ensuring that low-income women can receive these items than the state. Yet, folks like her completely miss this point, which is unfortunate because it only empowers the state by encouraging reliance on the government.