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Rise of Libertarianism


If you tried to gauge American politics from blogs, you'd think everyone in America was a Libertarian, but that's not true at all. Something about their personalities makes them more likely to blog. Or it could just be that the mainstream media doesn't represent them at all. As a liberal, I think their emergence on the net is the best thing to happen to American politics in quite some time, and I'm interested in helping their cause.

You see, for the most part, Libertarians are just Republicans who don't hate gays and like to get high. Since that's an improvement over prevalent conservative thinking, I'm all for it. All of the rest of their ideas come straight from the GOP (gun fetishism, tax avoidance, etc.), which is why so many Libertarians are ex-Republicans who have gotten sick of the radical right movement of the party (P.J. O'Rourke, for example). The funny thing is, they actually think that they are presenting a third alternative and do not want to align themselves with Republicans directly--therein lies their appeal.

Libertarians are to the GOP what the Green Party was to the Democrats. They will grow at the expense of the Republican party--and, if they are really successful, they can splinter the conservative vote so much that it will be impossible for each of them to win an election. Their penchant for advocacy and the emergence of the blogosphere (and their seeming dominance of it) separates them from other third parties. Also, unlike most third parties, they appeal more to reason than their closest alternative. It doesn't hurt that they also appeal to those with more hedonistic beliefs.

The next milestone for this party, one they must achieve to have any success, is large corporate donations. This should be a lay up considering their beliefs. The only reason they don't have it now is because they haven't shown they can win elections (so I guess the real next milestone is to win some elections). It's a chicken and egg problem. To solve it, get independently wealthy individuals to become Libertarians and run for something. This is essentially what Ross Perot did, and it almost formed a viable third party. In the end he realized he was a Republican and backed off. As a public service, here's a starter list of rich conservatives who are not obviously aligned with the radical right: Donald Trump, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, and gun nut numero uno: Charlton Heston.
9/17/2002 01:47:00 PM [Link] |