Libertarianism

The Libertarian Moment is Everywhere Around Us (Increasing Social Tolerance Edition)

Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals want to keep the world tightly sorted into two categories that describe fewer and fewer Americans.

|

For the past 15 years or so, Gallup has charted how Americans describe themselves when it comes to social and economic issues.

For the first time ever, equal percentages of us define ourselves as liberal and conservative on social issues:

Gallup

Even among Republicans, social liberalism is ascendant, with self-described conservatives dipping from a low of 67 percent in 2009 to just 53 percent now. The key issues driving the growth of social liberal views and the decline of social conservative views, says Gallup, are gay marriage and pot legalization. Support for both of those things has skyrocketed in the 21st century, with a velocity that is nothing short of stunning.

I think you can safely add to these issues a more broad-based embrace of what Matt Welch and I dubbed the "Libertarian Moment," or comfort with and demand for increasingly individualized and personalized options and experiences in every aspect of our lives. More and more choices in everything are busting out all over the place and such change is even coming to those areas still controlled by relatively top-down governmental edicts (education, health care, retirement).

According to a composite index of libertarian views on social and economic issues developed by pollsters at CNN, something clearly is afoot. The pollsters look at whether people believe that government is trying to do too many things individuals should be doing and whether or not people think government should enforce a particular set of morals. In 1992, the index of libertarian belief stood at 92 points. It's now at 113 points. Virtually all surveys show trends of people thinking the government is doing too much, is incompetent or untrustworthy, or represents a larger threat to the future than big labor or big business.

This is a major shift that the Republican Party has failed to acknowledge or understand. At the very moment that Americans are embracing skepticism toward government—long a rhetorical mainstay of GOP politics—the leaders of the party are often doubling or tripling down on all sorts of reactionary positions toward same-sex marriage, the drug war, immigration, and social tolerance more broadly. That's no way to win the future (WTF).

The same Gallup Poll that shows record high levels of liberal social views also asks respondents to describe themselves in economic terms. In the case, "conservative" views dominate but are losing ground.

Gallup

By this measure, there are twice as many economic conservatives as liberals, but the cons have declined substantially over the past five years. In the detailed breakdown, the number of people calling themselves "moderate" has grown in the past five years.

Reason.com/poll

I think it's fair to say that since the Great Recession and finanical crisis, Americans are obviously more worried about long-term, large-scale economic security. That, too, is something that the Republican Party seems to be out to lunch on. Hence, when the GOP discusses agriculture bills, for instance, its members try to cut food stamps first while paying lip service to getting around to ending farm subsidies. Or the GOP talks about an impending implosion due to debt and deficits and then pulls out the stops to spend ever-higher amounts on defense spending. Voters aren't stupid or confused by this. They're appalled. They know a con when they see one. And they remember the years when the Republican ran Congress and the White and increased inflation-adjusted overall by spending about 50 percent.

If Republicans are missing the boat when it comes to recognizing incipient libertarian attitudes of social tolerance and true fiscal responsibility among Americans, so are Democrats and folks further to the left. What does it say that the presumptive Democratic nominee for president is a war hawk who wants to put Edward Snowden in jail, only recently switched positions on gay marriage, and is an unrequited drug warrior? Or that Elizabeth Warren, who is setting progressive hearts aflutter, is a balls-out defender of the Export-Import Bank (as are all congressional Democrats with the exception of Alan Grayson), the single-most obvious corporate-welfare scheme going?

And then there's this sort of epistemic closure further out on the left-wing spectrum. Writing at Raw Story, Greta Christina lays out "7 things people who says they're 'fiscally conservative but socially liberal' don't understand." Her assertion is simply that you can't be in favor of "low taxes, small government, reduced regulation, a free market" and give a shit about the poor and marginalized. Seriously:

Hell, even David Koch of the Koch brothers has said, "I'm a conservative on economic matters and I'm a social liberal."

And it's wrong. W-R-O-N-G Wrong.

You can't separate fiscal issues from social issues.

It's all or nothing, baby. If you are in favor of gay marriage, you must be in favor of…mandatory unions? Christina is obviously talking about rising libertarianism but can't quite bring herself to call it by its proper name. For good reason: Admitting to a third term in U.S. poltics is as disruptive to the left as it is to the right. So you get verbiage like this:

The reality of fiscal conservatism in the United States is not cautious, evidence-based attention to which government programs do and don't work. If that were ever true in some misty nostalgic past, it hasn't been true for a long, long time. The reality of fiscal conservatism in the United States means slashing government programs, even when they've been shown to work. The reality means decimating government regulations, even when they've been shown to improve people's lives. The reality means cutting the safety net to ribbons, and letting big businesses do pretty much whatever they want.

Alas, ennumerating those specific cuts to all those safety net programs seems to be beyond the scope of her piece and at least two of the things she talks about—ending the drug war and ending "racist" policing—are the hobbyhorses less of progressive Democrats and more of libertarian-leaning Republicans such as Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Justin Amash, and others.

It's goddamn messy when you have to fit everything into Column A or Column B. Things don't fit so well, but the right and the left, Republicans and Democrats are going to do their best to maintain their duopoly in a world where even freaking Pop Tarts come in dozens of varieties.

This sort of enforced dualism is anathema in today's marketplace of goods, services—and ideas. That's especially true with millennials, the single-largest cohort in the country and folks who have grown up in a very different world than the black/white, right/left, Rep/Dem world many of us did. Based on various measures, they are presumed to be in favor of bigger government. Reason's poll of millennials from last year suggests that when millennials are confronted with the cost of providing more services, their enthusiasm for Leviathan declines greatly.

As Emily Ekins and I wrote last year in Reason, millennials are in fact less devout partisans than older Americans and are still searching for a stable political or ideological identity:

They are also highly skeptical of government action. Fully two-thirds say that government is usually inefficient and wasteful. That's up from just 42 percent in 2009, at the dawning of the Age of Obama. Sixty-three percent of millennials say that regulators are in the hip pocket of special interests, and 58 percent agree that government agencies and bureaucrats generally abuse their power. Not occasionally, generally.

It's tempting to simply declare that millennials are unacknowledged libertarians, but that's not quite right, either:

Such anti-government attitudes may warm libertarian hearts, but it would be a major mistake to think that millennials are the second coming of Murray Rothbard-style anarchism or even Reaganesque disdain for government solutions. While millennials clearly prefer free markets to state-managed ones, they are split on whether free markets are better at promoting economic mobility (37 percent) than are government programs (36 percent). Seven in 10 support government guarantees for housing, health care, education, and income for the truly needy. Yet almost as many—65 percent—think overall government spending should be reduced, and 58 percent favor cutting taxes.

Read more here.

The two major parties—and the basic ideologies they represent—are like Wile E. Coyote after he's run off the edge of a cliff. They are staying afloat by refusing to look down and admit that the ground has shifted underneath them. Who can blame them, really? They've spent a lot of time building their coalitions and their brands and they've got constituents to feed and all that.

But here's the thing: America is basically a fiscally conservative and socially liberal place in the 21st century. The first party that gets that and (no small thing) changes its policies to embrace what that all means won't just win every election between now and the The Rapture or The Melting of the Polar Ice Caps; it would actually make the country a better place to live, love, and thrive.

NEXT: Listen Up Climate Combatants - It's About to Get Real Hot

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Lights the Hihn signal*

    1. Bastard!

    2. Hihnspiracy!

      1. -1 (dishonors Greg Khin)

      2. Awww, I was Hihntercepted.

  2. ” : America is basically a fiscally conservative and socially liberal place in the 21st century.”

    How are we defining those terms? Because I think me and most of the people who took that survey have very different meanings for both.

    1. Well, I think socially liberal means “do what you want with your body/mind/soul/life,” and fiscally conservative means “do what you want with your money/stuff/business/contracts,” but I don’t think most people would agree with that.

      1. “but I don’t think most people would agree with that”

        That may be, but it doesn’t mean that your description isn’t spot on

      2. 30 yrs. ago I was satisfied w being described as “liberal” for the “social” dimension of my thinking. Since then, although I had very little change in my ideas, I’ve stopped being comfortable w that labeling, because it no longer means socially tolerant.

    2. Eh, it’s a continent-sized country. You can only speak of broadest of trends. And I’ll be optimistic, and assume that for most people it means “Leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone.” Which I guess is why politicians have trouble following the people, their occupation literally being antithetical to such an attitude.

  3. most of the people who took that survey have very different meanings

    Yep, a problem with surveys.

    “You mean by ‘fiscally conservative’ that ‘Congress should be required to vote each year on raising the Debt Ceiling’, right?”

  4. Ah, Gillespie still is under the delusion that “social liberal” means tolerant of other people’s views despite the wide evidence that it favors an ideological totalitarianism that will outlaw views it disapproves of.

    1. Tell us more. Oh wait, shit. I mistyped. I mean, fuck off and die, scum.

      1. That is the level of inteligent, reasoned, tolerant debate I have come to expect of social liberals.

        Thank you for providing such a quick demonstration of the smallminded hatred of that benighted philosophy.

        1. Please allow me to retort: fuck off and die.

          1. Another skilled representative makes an appearance

            You first.

        2. Excellent work. Now say something about homos destroying marriage and wetbacks swimming the river to vote themselves welfare.

        3. That was unfair of me.

          There are people who do suscribe to a tolerant philosophy but these are not the majority of the people who are getting described by the social liberal label, which will include those who try to force footbsll coaches to apolgize for publically liking a movie, or homosexual group from trying to bar a speaker from appearing merely because he does not think SSM is a good idea.

          1. There are people who do suscribe to a tolerant philosophy but these are not the majority of the people who are getting described by the social liberal label, which will include those who try to force footbsll coaches to apolgize for publically liking a movie, or homosexual group from trying to bar a speaker from appearing merely because he does not think SSM is a good idea.

            And what is the basis for your belief that these people constitute “the majority” of those who self-describe as socially liberal, rather than a particularly vocal and provocative minority?

            1. GOOBLE GARBLE TEAM GOOBLE FUCK TEAM BLUE GAAAARRRR

              That’s his basis. He knows how to hate and how to tie his shoes, and I’m not sure about the last one.

              1. I really touched a nerve if you are going to shit all over the thread with this level of projection.

            2. The reaction to the Indiana RFRA, and the general distaste for freedom of association and free speech.

              Where do you think that there is a general rsspwct for those liberties?

              1. So the answer to my question would be…no evidence, then?

                1. Did you really expect any evidence?

                2. The majority of of people who are “tolerant” of gays will happily throw out freedom of association. In fact there seems to be more support for that than support for SSM.

                  1. Shorter Mickey Rat:

                    *waves hands*

                    “Because I feel like it’s true, so it must be”

                    1. Am I wrong that trampling freedom of association in favor of positive civil rights is not more popular than SSM?

                      What proof do you have to offer?

                    2. That’s not really how this works. If you make a claim you need to be prepared to defend it not to demand that other people prove you wrong. Stop being a lazy schmuck and show us that your contention isn’t pure fiction you pulled out of your own fever dream or stop stating it as fact.

                    3. If I were sitting at my computer at home I could look up some polls that indicated high levels of suppot for public accommodatons but I am not. I did not think that was something that was something unknown here.

                    4. Support for public accommodation law isn’t exactly a good proxy for what you’re claiming. It’d depend massively on how the polsters phrased their question. “Do you believe that blacks, women, gays, whatever should have equal access to goods and services as whites, men, heteros, whatever will likely get you a very different response than “do you believe that merchants should be forced to provide goods and services to x, y, and z”

                      I’d actually be really interested to see a poll that asked both and compared the numbers.

                      Also African Americans may support public accommodation law because they want equal access, but scream that it stomps all over their rights if they have to serve homos, or any other combination of affected groups, so again you’re not getting a straightforward proxy with that number.

                    5. Straightforward? This type doesn’t want straightforward, Jesse. They want confirmation of what they already feel to be true so that they can hate even harder.

          2. Oh man, there are some conservatives who spend every day writing letters to the FCC over “inappropriate” content. They make their voice heard by writing oodles of letters.

            They must be the majority!

          3. It’s more like one asshole move deserves another. Saying that gays are sinners and all that crap = asshole move. Trying to bar a speaker from speaking at a college because he loves to hate on gays = also an asshole move.

      2. If you have any evidence he’s wrong, I’d like to see it. I also think most peoples definition of fiscally conservative= We only spend a little bit more on each government program each year. Unless something really bad happens, or we need “stimulus”, or…

        1. I would argue that both terms, like most labels, are rather meaningless, especially in a survey. They clearly mean different things to different people, so I don’t think the survey measures anything meaningful in terms of actual policy preferences.

    2. ^ This

    3. Socially liberal means tolerant of people college professors approve of.

      1. People and opinions

  5. —In before the conversation turns into a raucous orgy of stentorian shit-flinging.

    See you later, suckas!

      1. *checks out Steam profile*

        OMG another Unicorn!

          1. Why the fuck do you link to a private steam account?

            1. Why the fuck does anyone do anything?

              Why is the sky blue? Why did you comment? Who is John Galt?

              1. Look I have the god given right to make fun of you for owning “Gone Home” and having 500 hours playing huniepop.

            2. It’s social signaling.

              Now you know she’s hot.

  6. 90% of the population wants the government to make other people behave they way they should.

    It matters not one fucking bit what these people call themselves. They only differ in which part of other people’s lives they most want to fuck with.

  7. even freaking Pop Tarts come in dozens of varieties.

    You’re goddamn right they do. Used to be I could only vary my poptart-ice cream sammiches with new and exotic ice creams; now the only limiting factor is how much I can stuff into my facehole.

    Gobless ‘Murica.

    1. It’s comments like these that make me RTFA. I’ll be back.

        1. Ted Knight was such a treasure.

  8. Gillespie is libertarian on the left side. All his people are libertarian on the left side.

    1. But what about the cocktail parties????

      1. Wasn’t that a reference to an old 80’s song about passing something to/on the left hand side?

        1. Dunno. I was born in 1991.

            1. Chill, Fistmon.

              Have a kutchie and shine on, you Mighty Diamond.

  9. I went shooting this morning, smoked wings for lunch, now having cold beer being served by hot chicks. Libertarian moments all day:)

    1. Look, I’m not sure if you’re ready for the freewheeling libertopia you’re asking for. Slow down, son.

      1. Says the person cheering on the ungodly pop tart expansion.

        1. One man’s ungodly expansion is another woman’s heaven on Earth.

          1. PHO IS HEAVEN. Pho is love.

            1. Still need to try some. I have a hard time ordering it because it’s like an actual dish instead of an appetizer or side at both the places who have it here, and SOUP just doesn’t seem like an entire meal to me, you know?

              And I’d hate to be judged because I ordered a bowl of pho, pork bao, crab rangoon, general tso’s, and noodles all at once…

              1. And I’d hate to be judged because I ordered a bowl of pho, pork bao, crab rangoon, general tso’s, and noodles all at once

                That’s what my wife, and increasingly my daughter, calls “an appetizer.” Granted, they have the metabolisms of 15 shivering Chihuahuas, so they’ll remain 85 pound Asian stick-women for the rest of their natural born lives.

                1. I almost – almost – posted a quote from The Blues Brothers.

                  But I shall simply remain contented knowing that you are not only an able researcher and H&R commentator, but a fortunate and happy man (that is until your daughter reaches dating age, whereupon I wish you patience and the ability to strike the fear of HM into her would-be suitors).

                  P.S. Keep trim.

              2. If the place serves both pho and general tso’s, go somewhere else for either.

                1. I live in Montana, dude. I count myself lucky that there are even restaurants that serve pho.

                    1. D: What do I look like, some kind of woman who knows how to cook?!

              3. It is if it’s zuppa di pesca, which is Italian for bouillabaisse, which is French for paella, if you allow for add’l liquid w each successive xltion.

            2. Bun Bo Hue is even better.

    2. What, no pot, Mexicans, or ass sex?

      1. The night is young:)

      2. Good chance on the first one, secind one willbe up tto the local young senoritas, no chance on the 3rd, not my thing:)

          1. I accept that

    3. smoked wings for lunch

      “Wings”, huh? Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

      1. The feathers of a bald eagle mixed with lude powder in a bong.

  10. Gillespie: Liar or Moron?

    such change is even coming to those areas still controlled by relatively top-down governmental edicts (education, health care, retirement).

    The first party that gets that and (no small thing) changes its policies to embrace what that all means won’t just win every election between now and the The Rapture or The Melting of the Polar Ice Caps;

    Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon say “Bullshit!”

    1. It’s one thing to be a tiresome cunt Winston, it’s another thing to be an unintelligible tiresome cunt.

      1. *snorts milk out of nose* bwahHahaha

  11. The end of that meme is: “and then the bar owner got sued and other bar owners made their buildings safe so they wouldn’t get sued.”

  12. I fucked up the first part of that previous post:

    Gillespie: Liar or Moron?

    the “Libertarian Moment,” or comfort with and demand for increasingly individualized and personalized options and experiences in every aspect of our lives.

    such change is even coming to those areas still controlled by relatively top-down governmental edicts (education, health care, retirement).

    https://reason.com/reasontv/201…..-obamacare

    Obamacare is a truly epic mistake, but it’s also one that’s not going away anytime soon.

    Doublethink for the Win!

    1. DERP DERP ME NOT UNDERSTAND ARTICLE /winston

      1. If Obamacare is to stay then what sort of libertarian moment is that? I expect more of “libertarian moment” than another Clinton or Carter.

  13. It’s funny. Before 9/11, I thought that the idea of limited government was starting to make a comeback. Since then, not so much. Really, less so today than ever. We’re seeing increasingly open and egregious violations of the Constitution by government, all with little to no consequence. Rule of law, not men, seems to be fading as well.

    I don’t think some farcical aquatic ceremonies for members of the same sex who want them or any other of these supposedly great social breakthroughs at all offsets the liberty we’re losing by the day. If the government continues on this upward growth spiral, we’ll reach a point where we have no liberties that the government doesn’t specifically allow (and that we can’t exercise underground).

    The only hope I have right now is that people are tiring of this nonsense and of the lies and the moral corruption of politicians. Not to mention the economic absurdity. And there are some signs of this, for instance, in politics with people like Rand Paul. But we’re not winning any battles just yet that really matter.

    1. I’m with you, sadly. At this point, all the incentives are against any return of liberty, other than in small and largely symbolic areas like rights for homos or legalized weed.

      1. It’s really hard for me to get excited about being permitted to do a few things that everyone who wants to is doing, anyway. The government doesn’t need the WoD, anymore, anyway, because it now has the superior WoT.

        Even if we had all the individual liberties in the world, if the government is unrestrained, those liberties are solely at its pleasure. We’re like the coyote, ratcheting up a 16-ton weight over our heads. From ACME.

      2. I’m not so sure. There’s large portion of the population who specifically states they stay out of politics because “their* all crooks.” If they’d actually take some initiative, I’d like to think they’d be all for largely reducing the size and scope of government. The problem is that, gosh, politics are just so confusing(!) for them, and they think they have better things to do with their lives than cast off the shackles of government bullshit.

        *Original spelling retained

        1. Eh they could just want the politicians to stop bickering and Get Things Done by giving them goodies and taxing everyone else.

        2. That’s been true for a long time. We don’t seem prepared to take sustained action against the growth of government. There’s a spike of protest, some small change, then back to business as usual.

          We didn’t get here overnight.

      3. If this were true New Mexico would have not have *unanimously* passed strong asset forfeiture reform, nor would we be staring down the barrel of the end of the War on MJ.

        Once the era of cheap money ends-and it will, either soon and painfully or later and brutally-it’s also curtains for the Social Welfare State, which is in its dusk in Europe.

      4. As I keep saying, we could all rise up en masse and wipe out theprogressives. Nothing wrong that a few million bullets couldn’t fix.

        I realize life isn’t necessarily this binary, but if it came down to that or letting America slide into a Societesque state, which would you choose?

    2. Things were far worse in the ’30s and even the ’70s in many ways. If we can come back from that we can come back from a lot.

      1. I expect a “libertarian moment” to have more of a Coolidge-type rather than a Carter or Bill Clinton-type.

  14. So about “fiscal conservative” and “socially Liberal”, what do they mean? If we mean “Republican Fiscal Policy” and “Democrat Social Policy” I don’t see how either are very libertarian.

    1. “fiscal conservative” means “government should spend all of our money in a responsible manner” (i.e., it means nothing).

  15. Also I get the feeling that people in the abstract might think that the government spends, taxes and regulates too much but supporting actual spending cuts, tax cuts and deregulation is something. And public opposition to the shutdown proves Gillespie is full of shit.

    1. public opposition to the shutdown

      Citation needed.

  16. So…most people treat American politics like Star Wars – Good vs Evil, but we really need to treat it like The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly?
    Clint Eastwood for President before he gets alzhiemers(sic)!

      1. Both the Jedi and Senator Palpatine are evil.

      2. On a side note i never saw the last Star Wars.

        But seeing that video for the first time it is perhaps the only bit of dialogue from the last three movies that didn’t make me want to strangle puppies.

        Is the rest of the last episode that not terrible?

        1. No. It’s all that terrible. All of it. The acting and the dialogue are really not that great. McGregor does his best, but it’s not enough.

          Also, I can agree that both sides (Jedi & Sith) are not so good.

          1. Palpatine was a sadistic shit. But what of his economic policies? I hardly imagine him ratcheting up entitlements until the Republic broke.

        2. The last episode wasn’t as bad as the other two, and I’m not the only one who has said that.

  17. What’s the matter, Nick? No start date from Salon yet?

    1. Oh, Bravo!

      Can’t wait to see Nick’s mea culpa: “Yep, Michael Lind was dead-nuts on, libertarianism is a cult and I was brainwashed by a Mises groupie”.

  18. And a crook like Hillary Clinton has a good chance of being elected with the support of those “fiscon soclibs” and she wants to openly gut the First Amendment and has a good chance of doing so?

    1. No she doesn’t.

      1. No to what? She won’t get elected, won’t try to gut the first amendment or she won’t get a fifth anti-Citizens United Justice appointed?

        1. There is no way the Senate would/could deny a President Clinton her first Justice Appointment. The upper House is too closely divided. Not even a super-Majority GOP Senate would refuse and that can never exist.

          1. Plus McConnel has shown himself to be a big sopping smelly pussy.

  19. Isn’t the “libertarian moment” the libertarian equivalent of the “Inevitability of History”?

  20. While millennials clearly prefer free markets to state-managed ones, they are split on whether free markets are better at promoting economic mobility (37 percent) than are government programs (36 percent). Seven in 10 support government guarantees for housing, health care, education, and income for the truly needy. Yet almost as many?65 percent?think overall government spending should be reduced, and 58 percent favor cutting taxes.

    It’s almost like their views are totally incoherent.

  21. Does Gillespie support anti-discrimination laws? His articles during the Indiana kerfuffle implied that he thinks they may be necessary sometimes.

    1. https://reason.com/blog/2015/03…..7lg1q:oO3v

      From a libertarian perspective, belief in the freedom of association generally trumps belief in anti-discrimination actions by the state. Not always, but mostly.

      1. They mostly come at night…….mostly…….

  22. https://reason.com/blog/2015/04…..oc#comment

    Air quality is better everywhere in the United States than it used to be (full disclosure: that’s in large part to top-down regulations that libertarians typically rail against).

    1. I rather suspect it’s more about our technological prowess and wealth than regulation.

      1. Yeah. I find it damn near impossible that we would still be using coal to the degree we did in the 40s and 50s without the EPA.

        1. We’d be using a fucktons more nuclear without them.

    2. That’s not antilibertarian necessarily.

      1. Big Government is responsible for making things better than that contradicts his whole “libertarian moment” spiel.

        1. Denying that government ever plays any positive role in anything during any period is fanaticism.

          1. Not necessarily. Unless you run around screaming it naked or something.

  23. There is a libertarian moment in this country. The thing that Gillespie seems almost desperate to evade is that it is a phenomenon almost entirely confined to the right. That is to say, while it would be a far cry from reality to pretend that libertarians are conservatives or even that all conservatives have become libertarians, the growth of libertarianism in the American politics and culture has been the result of a greater number of conservatives taking a libertarian stance. From civil liberties, to drugs, to same-sex marriage, a significant portion of the conservative rank-and-file have just decided it’s none of the state’s business. A greater number of conservatives are happy to live-and-let-live.

    As much as some want to pretend that it’s an equal phenomenon on both sides of the aisle, there’s simply little evidence to support the claim. Not only have they moved even further toward support for government intervention in the economy, (something Gillespie nearly notes, but seems indifferent to), but even their social views have shifted toward a less tolerant and more prescriptive stand. From my own personal experience, just this morning I spoke with a progressive who honestly thought there was no problem with silencing, literally, political opposition. Even the much-vaunted Millennials, with their affinity for safe spaces, “check your privilege” and “hate speech”, show little credibility in terms of libertarianism.

    1. During the last half of the aughts, we saw the wrap up of the ‘consolidation’ on the left, with Progressives overtaking and assimilating ALCU-style Liberals. I am hoping that we’re seeing a ‘consolidation’ on the Right with Libertarians taking their proper place and Conservatism hopefully being destroyed. Unfortunately conservatives are still retarded on too many issues especially immigration.

      1. We all need to come together to wipe out the progressive Marxists. Or that’s all that will remain.

        1. Would it not be as likely that the next political era would amongst a more explicitly socialist/ green party and a more social democratic “centrist” party?

        2. Define ‘wipe out’. Because if you mean literally ‘bang, bang, gulag’ then I’m out.

          I’d rather just ‘wipe their asses out’ in the halls of ideas and intellectualism.

      2. …and Conservatism hopefully being destroyed.

        Odd. I don’t see it so much destroyed, as fulfilled. If you believe in conservatism and choose to take your principles seriously, well Welcome to Libertarianism. Are a lot of conservatives still retarded? Sure. But, the advance of naked progressivism has changed the equation. The battle lines are evolving

      3. How exactly are conservatives retarded on immigration if the majority of immigrants that want to be legalized are staunch leftists who will overtake the electoral majority for the Democrats if given the vote?

    2. it would be nice if the whole country was getting more libertarian, but ill take a pro freedom party vs. a big govt party, rather than whatever you call the disgusting duopoly we have currently

    3. Nick is still hoping that Wyden will ask him to prom. Seriously, Reason’s continued incidental support of genuine fiscal conservatism (hint: that means entitlements and individual welfare, Nick) means that the Institute for Justice and/or Mercatus can thank them for my contribution again this year.

    4. I think you might be correct. The right, conservatives from gen x and younger especially, are becoming somewhat more libertarian. Thus the cries of the right becoming more ‘fanatical’. They still largely suck on foreign policy though, especially with all this Isis nonsense lately and the talking point that ‘Obama’s foreign policy has been a disaster’ (even though no American’s lives have been negatively affected by it).

  24. “Not only have they” should read “Not only have the Left”.

  25. “Millennials….are still searching for a stable political or ideological identity:”

    Name one generation that has found it’s political identity.

    1. The Greatest. And it’s ‘HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE!’

      1. Gerbils eat their young also…i would not call that behavior a political or ideological identity.

  26. “Hell, even David Koch of the Koch brothers has said, “I’m a conservative on economic matters and I’m a social liberal.”

    And it’s wrong. W-R-O-N-G Wrong.
    You can’t separate fiscal issues from social issues.”

    She is right, it is wrong. Koch is libertarian on both social and economic issues.

    1. Kochtopus gonna get them progggies!

  27. The Gallup poll appears to ask respondents whether they are “liberal” or “conservative” on “social issues,” but doesn’t define “liberal,” “conservative” or “social issues.”

    This leaves open the possibility that a respondent will say, for example, “I’m sort of liberal on social issues because I want gun control just like liberals do, and guns are a social issue.”

    1. Or, “I want the government to restrict all that violent and misogynist stuff on the Internet and on cable, so I guess I’m socially liberal.”

      1. Again: “I’m a social liberal because I’m against Citizens United and want laws to keep Corporate Money out of our elections!”

        1. “Net Neutrality protects my free speech by redistributing the property of cable companies to Google and Netflix”

          1. Everyone on Earth should be required to bake cakes for gay weddings to foster tolerance.

  28. Jonah Goldberg making my points for me:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/…..h-goldberg

  29. Holy shit Winston we get it you’re a tiresome cunt that doesn’t understand Gillespie’s point. Stop posting already.

    1. Shorter Cytotoxic: Clap Your Hands if You Believe!

  30. Here’s the thing, Nick – it’s called being a ‘libertarian of convenience’. It’s not real.

    You’re too optimistic about the 21st century Americans. Our countrymen are assholes.

  31. So Cytotoxic has Rachel started to reject everything she campaigned on?

  32. The two major parties are like Wile Coyote way after the cliff?? By what measure?

    They are still drawing roughly 99% of votes in all elections – which would make Stalin proud. It’s easy to take polls and find some libertarian moment dancing on the head of a pin somewhere. Even easier however for those major parties to round up the sheep every election – and they sure aren’t doing that by becoming more libertarian themselves.

  33. Libertarianism is about the relationship between the individual and government and the general proscription against aggression. It has nothing particularly to do with general “social tolerance”. It doesn’t matter how people feel vis a vis “tolerance”, per se. It matters what people do or don’t do to each other and that they be required not to interfere with personal sovereignty of others. Leave the holding hands around the campfire and singing kumbaya to progressives. It is a low enough bar just to expect people to refrain from harming, stealing from and exploiting other people. I don’t care if people like each other. I care whether or not they hurt each other.

    1. Not stealinggetting Medicaid is injury. Not getting marital benefits, i.e. free SS is injury. Aren’t they?

  34. Let’s take stock of this glorious libertarian moment:

    Most progessive tax code in decades.
    Net neutrality
    A majority of Democrats supporting curtailment of the 1st amendment
    Entitlement spending has never been higher
    Yes means yes
    More regulation than ever including the little gems that Barry just released today–some of which represent the costliest regulation in decades
    By Nick’s own data his precious millenials are evenly split between socialism and capitalism

    And in exchange we get:
    Gay marriage rights which mean, um, generally more government goodies! (Yay!)
    Amnesty and potential fast track status so we can get more people to vote to redistribute wealth (but the Irish and Texas!!!)
    Marijuana legalization (finally a real win with no tradeoff that I can see)

    Yeah, Galt’s Gulch just around the corner.

  35. Hooray for the Libertarian movement but I hate to be the one to tell you, the majority of the American population is STUPID and therefore voting for whichever party is giving away the free Obama phones. You can’t beat that.

    I figure about another 20 – 30 years and we will officially be known as a Socialists country (USSA)

    IT’S ALMOST ALL OVER FOLKS! Move while you can. Singapore or Thailand are nice.

  36. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.jobnet10.com

  37. There are two problems with taking social liberalism too far. In the first place, increasing the number of illegitimate births (if this terminology is still permitted, though a libertarian site presumably would have no such restrictions) means increasing the amount of welfare payments down the road, and likely also the amount of violent crime. In addition, social liberals aren’t at all libertarian. They seek to force, not legal toleration of their deviant behavior, but mandatory social approval of it. (Indeed, I would be in trouble for referring to deviant behavior.) Finally, social liberalism includes a desire to ban “hate” crimes, and in particular “hate speech”. Restricting the First Amendment is not even remotely libertarian — yet a majority of Democrats (and over a third of Republicans) are willing to do so.

  38. contrary to the authors belief there is a lot more to being a libertarian than merely being socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Many Liberal social ideas/policies are wholly inacceptable to libertarianist ideology. These include Affirmative action/racial quotas, forced integration, social welfare spending, forced inclusiveness, regulations regarding forced unionization, the size and powers of the Federal government.
    Being libertarian expresses confidence in and freedom of the individual to make as many decisions in his own life without the interference of the federal government, not merely a blend of the other two dominant social philosophies. This is one of the reasons that liberals and conservatives (but definitely more liberals) can’t quite comprehend libertarianism. They cannot understand that the country is made up of free and independent individuals who are supposed to make up a government that they control and not the other way around.

  39. Nathaniel . although Stephanie `s rep0rt is super… I just bought a top of the range Mercedes sincee geting a check for $4416 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten/k last-month . no-doubt about it, this really is the best-job I’ve ever done . I actually started seven months/ago and almost straight away started making a nice over $79.. p/h….. ?????? http://www.netcash9.com

  40. My last pay check was $9500 working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. This is what I do,
    http://www.wixjob.com

  41. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.jobnet10.com

  42. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8596 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here…
    http://www.jobnet10.com

  43. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is wha- I do…… ?????? http://www.www.netjob80.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.