Libertarian Moment

Liberty Is Still Popular

A recent poll shows a cross-partisan constituency still interested in smaller, less intrusive government and peace.

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Evan Meyer/Dreamstime.com

Listening to the media, one would be forgiven for thinking that the "Libertarian Moment" has passed. After all, few candidates are running on a platform of limited government, individual liberty, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. Instead, both parties push expansions of government power, whether nationalized health care, increased surveillance, or tariffs. And for all the partisan invective coming out of D.C., both parties are more than willing to work together to increase spending and debt.

However, a poll from last month conducted by Liberty Government Affairs and Gravis Marketing, shows that liberty is still popular. It also shows that a growing number of Americans are rejecting the D.C. consensus on many issues.

For example, the foreign policy establishment insists that America must stay in Afghanistan for as long as it takes to achieve victory—even though no one can define what victory would look like. The Liberty-Gravis poll found that 46.1 percent of Americans favor withdrawal from Afghanistan. Only 29.1 percent of Republicans support continuing to stay, while 37.4 percent of Republicans disagree with President Trump, and agree with candidate Trump, that the U.S. should end its longest war.

The drug war is another issue where grassroots Republicans disagree with most Republicans politicians. Forty-seven percent of Republicans in this poll support ending the war on marijuana, compared to 34 percent of Republicans who support continuing marijuana prohibition. Ending the federal war on marijuana is also overwhelmingly popular with Democrats and Independents. Legalizing marijuana is yet another issue where voters side with candidate Trump over President Trump—or at least his authoritarian Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The poll does not just contain bad news for the authoritarians of the right. The survey found that 46.6 percent of Democrats answered "yes" to supporting politicians who would "seek to reduce the size of the federal government, lower federal taxes, and end continuing conflicts abroad."

To be fair, this does not mean close to half of Democrats are ready to end the welfare-warfare state. But it does suggest a large number of Democrats do not support the massive expansion of government proposed by most potential Democratic 2020 presidential contenders. It is also further proof that the grassroots of the Democratic Party are closer to my friend Dennis Kucinich than Hillary Clinton and her ilk on issues of foreign policy and civil liberties.

On the other side of the partisan aisle, the 62.8 percent of Republicans who support small government may like Present Trump and the Republican Congress' tax cuts and regulatory reforms, but rejects President Trump and many Republicans' support for mass surveillance, trade wars, and spending increases.

Perhaps the most remarkable finding is that 45.1 percent of those polled, including 47.3 percent of Democrats and 33.2 percent of Republicans, support pardoning Edward Snowden, the world's most famous whistleblower. With the possible exception of Julian Assange, no one has been more demonized by the political class—left, right, and center—than Snowden has been. The support for pardoning him shows how any Americans are rejecting the lies that we must give up our rights for security.

The Liberty Government Affairs-Gravis Marketing survey shows that there is still a constituency for limited, constitutional government, free markets, and peace. This constituency crosses traditional ideological and party lines. As the welfare-warfare states overreach leads to an ever-deepening economic crisis, the number of Americans who want government stop trying to run the world, run the economy, and run our lives will grow.

Politicians ignore this growing pro-liberty constituency at their, and the country's, peril.

Ron Paul, a former congressman for Texas, is host of the Ron Paul Liberty Report and Chairman of Campaign for Liberty.

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  1. I really like Ron but liberty is not as popular as he thinks. Folks are OK with :

    1) Taking other peoples money for stuff they like because its in their opinion virtuous. If you think otherwise you are some sort of “phobe or ist”.
    2) Respecting others people freedom to do or say things you don’t like. The new ACLU for example is no longer a free speech absolutist organization.
    3) Taking care of yourself. A middle class living is apparently a “right” now.

    1. I agree. The Ron Paul Revolution showed us that most people that jumped on the bandwagon were attracted to Ron Paul’s anti-establishmentarianism, rather than his libertarian philosophy.

      1. That’s the exact same thing with Bernie or Nader, yet I doubt Democratic Socialists or the Green Party are bemoaning the impact that Bernie and Nader had in exposing their ideas to a broad swath of people.

        1. Nader destroyed the Green Party. There was a mass defection after his failed campaign. They still haven’t recovered.

        2. Let’s keep going. It was the same thing with Ross Perot and even John Anderson. Heck, no one really knew what John Anderson was running about, except that he wasn’t Ronald Reagan or Jimmy Carter. I still blame him for sucking some of the air out of the campaign of Ed Clark (the finest Presidential candidate the LP ever had).

      2. Exactly. Freedom means freedom from the state, from coercion. At the very least it means a small state with limited power. Yet we see time and time again, when we get down in the weeds and dissect what all the hyphenated qualifiers to libertarianism actually mean, that often they don’t mean much except folks wanting the freedom to smoke a doobie or fuck their chihuahua. The want freedom from corporations, from hunger, from bad taste. They want their big state and their big freedom, too.

    2. Sad but true.

  2. It also shows that a growing number of Americans are rejecting the D.C. consensus on many issues.

    It would be nice if this was better reflected on Election Day.

    1. That’s not going to happen without a lot more candidates that reflect it.

      1. Well apparently there’s a market for them.

  3. My own informal polling shows that the majority of Americans are also in favor of losing a few pounds by eating less and exercising more. A quick check of my kitchen cabinet reminds me I need to pick up more Doritos and Twinkies next time I go to the store.

  4. The only poll that matters is next week.

    1. ^ DING DING DING … We have a WINNER! ^

    2. ^^ Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a WINNER! ^^

  5. Listening to the media, one would be forgiven for thinking that the “Libertarian Moment” has passed.

    We don’t say the “Libertarian moment” has passed because of “the media”. We say it because Libertarian voters never materialized.

    1. Hey, 5 million of us (give or take) materialized.

  6. I agree with this and another reason to be hopeful is that while socialists will clamp down on civil liberties, the fact is, many of them are free speech absolutists. They actually think that socialism can be enacted without infringing on freedom. Yes, they really are that naive. So while progs may win the midterms, the fact is, we can still hammer them when they try to restrict freedom and expose their hypocrisy. Of course, some commies are unashamed about their tyrannical fantasies, but this is America so I’m not worried about them.

    1. “while socialists will clamp down on civil liberties, the fact is, many of them are free speech absolutists.”

      In what world do you live in?

      1. Oh, I agree that many of the radicals are openly advocating for shutting down speech. But I follow several socialists on twitter and fb, and many of them actually think they support free speech even as they advocate for medicare-for-all and college loan forgiveness. They ridicule the ‘regressive left’ and its straw bans and political correctness.

        1. You have got to list who these socialists are because every major figure who identifies as a socialist in the US cries “Chaplinsky!” any time they want to ban someone else’s speech.

          I don’t abide by the Fonz’s ethos of “be better to socialists”. There is no historical or recent incident to suggest that socialists are any less mass censors and murders as they’ve always have been.

          1. True. But the same goes for conservatives.

            1. That talking point just isn’t holding true anymore considering that they are often the victims of censorship attempts.

              Something tells me no one would say “but also socialists” if they were the main people that others were trying to censor. In fact, I know that wouldn’t be the case because it wasn’t the case in the past.

              And I am really not getting why so many people are so defensive toward socialists. It’s rather dumb.

              1. Ok, so your main argument is that conservatives are more pro-free speech than liberals? What is the metric you want to choose to measure this? Number of news articles published about some liberal dumbass calling for free speech restrictions v. number of news articles published about some conservative dumbass calling for the same? For every article you find about a liberal, I will find you one about a conservative, especially when we bring in “national security” concerns.

                1. I think all sides are pretty bad on free speech, just like on foreign policy. But one side is usually better than the other at different points depending on the circumstances.

                  When liberals had to defend “piss Christ” and Howard Stern types from religious censors they were better than conservatives in terms of free speech. Now that the outrage has moved on from “piss Christ” (which would hardly raise an eyebrow nowadays with the mainstream media) to Breitbart and how literally everyone is a Nazi who is not a progressive, conservatives are naturally better in terms of free speech.

                  It’s a very situational position, much like how the out party is usually the more non-interventionist party at the moment (although this trend is not holding true this time around).

                  Your assumption is that labeling conservatives as being better on free speech is somehow an endorsement of their position on free speech, when it is instead an acknowledgement that they’re more pluralistic in allowing for a diversity of speech right now, because of the situation of ostracism and de-platforming that they find themselves in.

                  Free speech is very much a situational position in our politics.

    2. ??

      You’ve missed the whole “hate speech is not free speech” mantra going around. FYI to the lib “hate speech” is speech they disagree with.

  7. Ron Paul publishes an article on Reason.

    I look forward to the upcoming Hihn screeds about racism, federalism, nobody offering any answers to the problems that plague us, Ron Paul being the snake in the Eden that is libertarianism, cyberbullying, aggression, Left – Right = Zero, proto-fascism, him being the sole guardian of true libertarianism, everybody who disagrees in any way being a goober, and any other Hihnsanity I might not have anticipated.

    1. Michael Hihn is a valuable contributor to libertarian discourse. I especially like his frequent explanations that common sense gun safety legislation in no way violates the Constitution.

      #LibertariansForGunSense
      #BanAssaultWeapons

      PS ? Is Mr. Hihn not around as much these days? Did something happen?

      1. Hihn’s main got banned, so he now mainly posts from sock accounts that have names similar to those of various characters from Atlas Shrugged. I’m personally waiting for him to use Cheryl[sic] Taggart or Lillian Reardin[sic].

        1. Hihn’s main got banned

          That’s terrible news.

          1. I agree with this. Hihn was easier to deal with when he was just Hihn. Also, he had that enemies list, which provided hilarity and was an unofficial leaderboard.

            It’s still up, but he hasn’t added to it since his main got banned.

            1. Awww, I made the list.

            2. Ha, I am still number one on the list.

  8. How did this get published? There are a lot of writers right now who can’t even

    1. Maybe just in your head.

  9. The idea of liberty might be popular. Unfortunately in this country there is a radical anti-liberty minority that managed to seize power with the help of Russian hacking, the Electoral College, and the indefensible way the Senate is structured. (Did you know California and Wyoming have the same number of Senators, even though California has far more people?)

    To establish a more liberty-friendly government, libertarians need to vote Democrat next month. No, the Democrats aren’t perfect, but they agree with us on our two non-negotiable issues: unlimited immigration and unrestricted abortion. These are the two fundamental manifestations of human liberty, and we currently have a white nationalist Handmaid’s Tale regime actively undermining both.

    #OpenBorders
    #SaveRoe
    #SUPER-PRECEDENT

    1. So the folks you claim have “seized power” were the founding fathers. Because most of the stuff you list was their creation.

    2. “Did you know California and Wyoming have the same number of Senators, even though California has far more people?”

      That is amazing, can you tell me a little about the House of Representatives?

    3. So, what you are really upset about is the United States Constitution and all of the government structures therein. And, you encourage voting for Democrats because you believe they will disassemble those structures and get around the Constitution.

      Seldom, I have I seen such an open admission of the desire for a coup. Are you this clueless, or are you this honest?

  10. After all, few candidates are running on a platform of limited government, individual liberty, and a non-interventionist foreign policy.

    So-called “conservatives” gave up on the notion of a non-interventionist foreign policy when they accused Dr. Paul and the younger Dr. Paul of being “isolationist”, which is quite the irony considering these same “conservatives” helped put a man in the White House that proved to be the quintessential economic isolationist.

    Instead, both parties push expansions of government power, whether nationalized health care, increased surveillance, or tariffs.

    Or immigration restrictions, regardless of Market demands.

    1. I mean I would agree with you if it weren’t for the fact that most neocons have migrated to the Democratic Party now. I’d say the Republican Party has marginally more non-interventionist voices now than the Democrats. Which was not the case ten years ago.

      Although, ten years ago, Jim Webb was a rising star in the Democratic Party and now he’s worse than Hitler or something.

      1. I do think it’s fascinating how the only defense that people have for the Democrats of 2018 is to pretend as if they are the Democrats of 2006. I think that speaks to how absolutely terrible the party has become

  11. “a poll last month… shows that liberty is still popular.”

    Sure, just not as popular as… “nationalized health care, increased surveillance, or tariffs.”

    1. Free retirement… Free college… Muh childrenz… PoundMeToo… Politician who “do something”…

  12. Politicians ignore this growing pro-liberty constituency at their, and the country’s, peril.

    Not really, if there is one thing that the D’s and R’s agree on, it is stifling political competition. As long as they are the only two on the ballot, it will continue to be business as usual.

    1. What alternative party offers anything outside of this dichotomy? In all honesty, beyond the Green Party there isn’t one. Let’s stop pretending like the LP is an alternative to the two party when its presidential nominees have run as the status quo candidate since 2008

      1. EVen if they didn’t, that likely woudn’t make them any more popular. Do you really think that a LP candidate who was a strict libertarian on every issue would command much of the vote? I don’t.

        1. He would if he was lavished with the same amount of media coverage that Gary received in 2016. So basically you just need Republicans to nominate Trump or some other crazy guy so that the media will focus on the LP hoping that they’ll steal Republican voters away.

          So, of course the LP is poised to nominate Weld in 2020

          1. Yes, here we go with the LP poised to nominate Weld. So the LP is pursuing an ex-Democrat who spend money like water as governor, raised taxes, and even pushed and got income taxes legalized in a state with a constitutional ban on them. A man, that as the LP vice-presidential candidate last time did a television interview where he praised Hillary Clinton.

            Tell me again why anyone should take the LP seriously?

      2. In all honesty, beyond the Green Party there isn’t one.

        With all due respect, as a former long-time Green Party member, I disagree. I think you’re letting your “Woketarian Derangement Syndrome” lead you to reject heretics and embrace heathens.

        Consider how often you shriek in outrage that Nick once said maybe socialists should be engaged rather than insulted, and so you want to reject Nick’s brand of libertarianism and embrace the Greens who are full-blown card-carrying, out-and-proud Socialists?

        1. “lead you to reject heretics and embrace heathens”

          I do like heathens.

          Fine. That’s fair. We’ve gone back and forth on this several times, Square. You have points that I can’t refute. I still like the heathens, though, for certain positions that I don’t think they waiver on.

  13. Surprised this got printed here. I always got the impression there was tension between the Paul camp and Reason.

    1. Trying to balance the lefty staff a bit with an op ed or two

  14. First step towards making libertarianism mainstream-ditch Ron Paul and his cult. He is problematic with a lot of the stuff he has said and makes it too easy to dismiss being pro-liberty as a fringe movement.

    1. For the record, I was involved with his campaign in 2008 and C4L for a few years after that

    2. For the record, I was involved with his campaign in 2008 and C4L for a few years after that

    3. Absolutely. Then we should ditch Rothbard (that’s a given). Then let’s ditch Milton Friedman too, because of his association with Pinochet. And then let’s ditch the Kochs, since their father helped found the John Birch Society.

      And then let’s just ditch everyone that the media has decided is problematic. And then there will be no one left. Super smart idea.

      1. A couple of other people that should probably be ditched too:

        Lysander Spooner who had the audacity to think that slavery was wrong, but that the South should have been allowed to peacefully secede

        Ayn Rand for remarking on the Israeli- Palestinian conflict that we should side with “civilization over barbarism” (guess which is which)

        1. And, of course, we should ditch Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, and every single writer at Reason because they sometimes use phrasing that echos other people’s phrasing whom we don’t like.

          1. Well, no. I actually don’t think anyone should be exiled or whatever we want to call it. Other than someone who has actively advocated for violating the NAP

      2. I generally like Rothbard, but let’s face it. His arguments were terrible and they set back libertarian ideology back a few decades. I generally find David Friedman to be more convincing.

        1. “I generally find David Friedman to be more convincing.”

          I’m not going to argue the point, because I haven’t read enough David Friedman to have an opinion. But, I do take issue with the notion that Rothbard’s arguments were terrible.

          At the very least, I think the arguments for exiling or ditching him or whatever we want to call it are very flimsy and entirely founded upon the need to appear more respectable and less radical.

          1. Well, read Zwolinski’s series of critiques on Ethics Of Liberty and let me know if you don’t think he has many valid points. There are huge holes in Rothbard’s logical arguments. We can’t just ignore those.

          2. And to clarify, I am not calling for exiling or ditching Rothbard. He is an essential part of the libertarian canon. Rather, I am critical of the unquestioning worship of Rothbard from certain parts of the libertarian movement.

            1. Well what I was trying to say in my response was that ditching people like Ron Paul would open up a can of worms for a lot of libertarian writers and thinkers. I wasn’t just referring to Rothbard, but I do think there is a large contingent of people who do want Rothbard to be ditched or exiled or whatever we’re going to call it.

              I’ll take a look at the Bleeding Hearts Libertarian article.

              1. I wasn’t just referring to Rothbard, but I do think there is a large contingent of people who do want Rothbard to be ditched or exiled or whatever we’re going to call it.

                I think that’s because, right or wrong, there’s a perception that the “paleo” end of libertarianism has a racist streak where libertarians are boxed into arguing that their founding thinkers and leading figures aren’t racists rather than advancing the actual principles.

                Ron Paul was really, really popular with youngins’ on the Left until those newsletters from the 80s came out. “I didn’t write those, I just allowed them to be published in my name” was pretty weak tea as a defense, and it made discussion about Paul revolve around whether or not the newsletters were disqualifying rather than about his actual philosophy of government.

                1. I don’t know. I think Paul has still had a pretty profound impact within the Republican Party and the libertarian movement at large. I think it’s hard to imagine Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, or Rand Paul winning election if it were not for Ron Paul. He’s made non-interventionism acceptable among conservatives to a certain degree, I’d say.

                  Also, labeling Rothbard as simply “paleo” is rather weak tea, considering that he made numerous odd alliances for the better part of forty years.

                  And I’ll express again that it’s rather telling that Rothbard defending Che after his death is barely ever mentioned in criticism of him, but a single article written by him should forever ostracize him. I don’t buy that.

                  Purging your ranks thinking that the mainstream media or progressives will somehow give you a fair shake now is a fool’s errand. And as I listed, there are multiple libertarian thinkers that should probably also be purged if that’s the route we want to go. They will never like you. Just ask the author of “Democracy in Chains” who smeared Buchanan (perhaps the most bizarre smear in recent history).

                  Either buck up and accept that they’ll always hate you and ignore them or just continue to abide by their rules.

                  1. I think it’s hard to imagine Thomas Massie, Justin Amash, or Rand Paul winning election if it were not for Ron Paul. He’s made non-interventionism acceptable among conservatives to a certain degree, I’d say.

                    Agreed.

                    Also, labeling Rothbard as simply “paleo” is rather weak tea, considering that he made numerous odd alliances for the better part of forty years.

                    Yet, he’s one of the standard-bearers. Same way it’s not really fair for right-wingers to focus on some racist comments Che made as a very young man and ignore his retractions of same later in life – that’s politics.

                    Either buck up and accept that they’ll always hate you

                    See – this is where I think you have a tendency to slip into “Us and Them” thinking. Good politics says “find the guy who doesn’t have his name on a bunch of racist screeds from the 80s.” It’s not about making Them like you. It’s attempting to broaden your base by not setting yourself up to fail.

                    And to clarify – I’m not arguing these people should be “purged” – just pointing out the reasoning behind not necessarily foregrounding some of these guys.

                  2. Purging your ranks…

                    I think it is less putting a media friendly face on your brand (libertarians will always lose this battle), but addressing the contradictions and ramifications of ideas within your group and holding them to account.

                    For instance, there was nothing within the Ron Paul newsletter that hasn’t been thought before by people across all manner of socio-economic and political divides, however libertarianism specifically endorses discrimination for any reason. You don’t get to wash your hands from it by simply stating but Paul isn’t racist. You’ve already legitimized that point of view. Accept the consequences of having the political clout of the KKK, or maybe you need to rethink your position and arguments.

                    Too much of libertarianism is obsessed with the minutiae of making sure every fart is doctrinally pure , which is grand for the theorists, but makes the real world application of building coalitions to effect even modest reforms all but impossible. Libertarians will always be fringe, but you don’t have to make your oozing pustules front and center of your ideology.

                    Maybe the critiques of libertarianism are less people hate liberty, but the ideology has serious deficits it refuses to address.

                    1. Maybe the critiques of libertarianism are less people hate liberty, but the ideology has serious deficits it refuses to address.

                      Well put. You have to face the fact that race relations are a major issue in our particular historical moment, and the libertarian position has always been understood in the mainstream as “this is not a problem we’re that concerned with, really. In fact, we’d like to see a world where we can refuse service to Black people if we want to.”

                      There’s ideological purity there, and if you can get people to stop screaming in shock long enough to hear your reasoning you might be able to convince them that your views are not motivated by racial animus. But what most people hear is “libertarians are against all the progress that has been made in race relationships and want to legalize discrimination.”

                      I firmly believe that this is what is behind Reason’s lurch toward “Woketarianism” – it’s a deliberate attempt to re-frame libertarian thinking in a way that is less easy to dismiss as “White Supremacism in disguise.”

                    2. Of course, the problem is, if you are going to become “woke” and put those ideas ahead of your principles or the constitution (the idea of a nation of laws rather than a nation of men), then Libertarianism has no identity at all.

                      As things stand, Reason careens along trying to be “woke” but yet applying libertarianism to void the very concept of a nation. And in the context, I suppose Bill Weld fits in well. The LP is just another vehicle for supporting progressivism.

                    3. Libertarianism has no identity at all.

                      And I’ll disagree.

                      There are at least 57 different varieties of libertarianism, from ancaps to geolibertarians, each with their own take of how those principles manifest. There is no holy book of libertarianism from which all policy prescriptions are derived, beyond what the believers of The One True Libertarianism might say.

                      And even the “woketarianism” is little more than a nod to libertarianism’s roots.with some feathers being ruffled that their hegemony is being challenged. Aren’t ideas to be discussed? Has Reason really advocated for authoritarianism when I wasn’t looking?

                      And in practical matters, libertarianism should be the the most adroit in advancing the cause of liberty, with multitudes of schools and thinkers to draw upon. All manifest from the same group of principles. Instead lately it is a straightjacket of ossified policies that haven’t much chance of being realized anyway.

  15. If people wanted more liberty than the major parties were giving them, one of the major parties would be giving it to them. Voting is an exercise in revealed preference. You can only vote for one candidate and unless that candidate is you, it if very unlikely you will agree with them about every issue. It is also very unlikely that you will disagree with any candidate on all issues. So, you have a choice between two candidates that you disagree with to varying degrees. You choose the candidate to vote for based on how much you value the things that you agree with them.

    Does everyone want more liberty? Sure in the abstract. But not everyone can agree on just what that liberty should be and values other things just as much or more anyway. Reason can’t seem to comprehend that there are other values besides liberty that people might hold dear and vote on.

    1. I like the market based argument, but that does fall flat sometimes.
      I was pissed about the supreme Court saying Obamacare was settled at the ballot box (more or less). I my vote every four/six/two years is more complex than that.

      But it’s pretty clear that people want freedom for me not for thee, unless you agree.

  16. If only Ron Paul were twenty years younger or even ten, so that he could run for president in 2024.

    1. He has a son, you know . . .

      1. Who has insisted, repeatedly, that he is not a libertarian.

        1. Shhhh.

        2. And is a registered member of the Republican party…

  17. Ron doth hope too much, methinks.

    However, a poll from last month conducted by Liberty Government Affairs and Gravis Marketing, shows that liberty is still popular. It also shows that a growing number of Americans are rejecting the D.C. consensus on many issues.

    Still popular. Wow, what a stirring, electrifying call to arms. Still popular. Well, at least that’s something, eh? Holding our ground. Yay.

    And then Ron goes on to cite, by way of example, issues that would have excited campus liberals back in the early 70s; the same inmates now running the asylum.

  18. Dear Dr. Paul, thank you for reminding me that Liberty is popular. Thank you for teaching us so much about liberty, for fighting for liberty, and for inspiring so many to fight for liberty and to run for office on a liberty platform. You were one of the main inspirations for my book, Liberation Day, which is a concrete plan to fully restore the Constitution in this nation. I’m recently giving it away for free, at least for now: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/900010 Thank you!

  19. It is a great idea to have smaller government and a government that is less intrusive in our lives but will the people actually accept less benefits from the government?

  20. The only way democracy can fully represent those who disdain bigger or more “active” politics and government is to include non-voters in results. In other words, for a candidate or proposition to succeed they need to get not just a majority of votes cast, but a majority of eligible votes (or the election is void).

  21. There is a disconnect wherever a politician–who wants men with guns to coerce doctors so that women have to reproduce against their will–speaks of individual liberty as though it meant individual rights. Republicans do this a lot. Libertarians write jurisprudence such as the Roe v. Wade decision, because women (all persons born) are individuals.

  22. Part 1
    I appreciate the enthusiasm and hope displayed, but I must disagree. I think the “idea” of liberty or rather each person’s own personal idea of liberty is popular. But actual liberty seems to be absolutely unpopular. You only need to look at this very site and other sites for libertarianism to see that they have been overrrun by statists no matter the sides. Others let their masks fall off completely. The different flavors of statism then proceed to argue and throw shade at each other, with little room for actual libertarian discussion . More and more people are willing to throw away their liberties if it means it hurts the other side. You have people fighting for in many cases the same things, but they act like somehow their version of it is different enough that it is good.

    As somebody said, the Ron Paul Revoluion showed that many people didn’t understand or truly care about what you said, rather they liked you because they saw you as anti-establishment. In 2016, many either supported Bernie. On the other hand, just as many became trump supporters instead. When Trump was elected, many claimed they voted for him because they saw him as the lesser of two evils, though only by a little. Now a days though, they would excuse pretty much anything he did. The same people that complained about Obamacare a few years back now love socialized medicine and think we need single payer. Why? Because trump supported the idea at one point.

    1. Part 2
      That’s not to say that things would be different or better under Hillary. I already saw the left do this very same thing when Obama was in office, and many on the right would mock them for their messianic treatment of Obama, but when Trump was elected, it showed that the right was not above treating their guy as some sort of messiah either.

      Now a days, politics is even more divided, and many just couldn’t be happier. But the beliefs are really not much different from one another. Where one might think people voted with who aligned witht heir beliefs, the reality is that people are perfectly willing to shift their beliefs to those they voted for. It’s not about your beliefs, but rather whether you are team red or team blue. And neither side tolerates dissent. Any difference in party thinking leads people to disown you, go back to the other side. But they don’t want you either. Actual liberty and libertarianism is not popular with either team, and both sides view it as a threat, Neither side is above the other on this, though both like to think they are.

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