Yesterday I wrote about “The Rise Of The New Libertarianism” and today I read an article that makes a lot of the points I discussed, and then some.

Specifically, it talks about how more and more libertarians are speaking out

The lefty Internet titan Markos “Daily Kos” Moulitsas penned a widely read manifesto last year pegging the future of his party to the “Libertarian Democrat.” The conservative pundit Jonah Goldberg declared this year that he’s “much more of a libertarian” lately. Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchens, Tucker Carlson, “South Park” co-creator Matt Stone — self-described libertarians all. Surely it’s a milestone when Drew Carey, the new host of that great national treasure “The Price Is Right,” becomes an outspoken advocate of open borders, same-sex marriage, free speech and repealing drug prohibition. As Michael Kinsley, an arch purveyor of conventional wisdom, wrote recently in Time magazine, such people are going to be “an increasingly powerful force in politics.”

Kinsley is hardly alone in recognizing this trend. In April 2006, the Pew Research Center published a study suggesting that 9 percent of Americans — more than enough to swing every presidential election since 1988 — espouse a “libertarian” ideology that opposes “government regulation in both the economic and the social spheres.” That is, a good chunk of your fellow citizens are fiscally conservative and socially liberal; in bumper-stickerese, they love their countrymen but distrust their government. Anyone looking to win elections — or to make sense of contemporary U.S. politics — would do well to understand the deep and growing reservoir that Paul is tapping into.

Don’t let that last sentence from the Wash Post pass you by. Ron Paul isn’t the catalyst. He’s merely tapping into a growing movement. I started to see it a couple years ago when I started this blog and now the growing discontent in this country with the two-party, pro-government system is giving rise to a Libertarian candidacy, even if Paul doesn’t want to admit he’s really a Libertarian.

And let’s also not forget that while that Pew poll may have only exposed 9% as having a libertarian ideology, 19% voted for Perot in ’92. That’s more than enough to create a viable third party in this country and take away the swing vote from the R and Ds.

So to sum up…

More than at any other time over the past two decades, Americans are hungering for the politics and freewheeling fun of libertarianism. And with the dreary prospect of a Giuliani vs. Clinton death match in 2008, that hunger is likely to grow even faster than the size of the federal government or the casualty toll in Iraq. Ron Paul may lose next year’s battle — though not without a memorable fight — but the laissez-faire agitators he has helped energize will find themselves at the leading edge of American politics and culture for years to come.


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