Libertarian's Forum
Libertarian Forum to discuss politics and free market economics.
Libertarian's ForumLibertarian's ForumFreedom Forum › Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2  Send TopicPrint
Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Is America shifting towards Libertarianism? (Read 1471 times)
Unbiased America
Junior Member
**
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 19th, 2013
Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Aug 12th, 2013 at 11:27am
Print Post  
Are we seeing a libertarian political shift in America? Quite a few typically libertarian issues are suddenly becoming mainstream.

Marijuana acceptance is reaching a tipping point. The swing towards support of gay marriage was sudden and met very little resistance. The push for new gun control met massive opposition. Surveillance laws like the Patriot Act, which were overwhelmingly supported just 10 years ago, are being demonized daily. Turncoats like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning enjoy considerable public approval, with those happy that government surveillance was exposed outnumbering those against the revelations by 2-to-1. Support for cuts to military spending is on the rise. And there's almost no support for military action anywhere anymore. Neocons are on the defensive.

Polls show bipartisan support for smaller government. 65% think government should cut spending. Only 28% support bailouts. 56% favor deregulation. 62% favor free market reforms over Obamacare. More are pro-choice than pro-life. Two-thirds of the people now believe that a too-powerful government is a bigger danger in the world today than one that is not powerful enough. Only 25% say that government has our consent. [1]

In fact, when surveys ask people specifically about their political leanings, 59% of Americans said they are "fiscally conservative and socially liberal." [2] Which is the general description of a libertarian: fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

Democrats would be wise to understand the importance of this trend, but thus far have attacked libertarians, labeling them "far right" despite sharing many of their views. The Republican Party has been more inclusive of libertarians, but are wary of their growing political strength. Libertarians themselves have chosen to infiltrate the Republican Party rather than promote itself as a third party. Ron and Rand Paul have had good success engaging the party and pushing libertarian ideals.

Whether this is a real trend remains to be seen. But, with more and more youths embracing libertarianism, it may be the future of politics.

[1] http://www.rasmussenreports.com/

[2] http://www.cato.org/blog/how-many-libertarian-voters-are-there
  

Back to top
IP Logged
 
LibertariCAN
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Freedom Forever

Posts: 593
Location: Canada
Joined: Jan 25th, 2013
Re: Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Reply #1 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 11:53am
Print Post  
I think people are less into the actual politics of libertarianism, and more into the idea that the government should leave them alone; plus everyone hates taxes.

Having said that, I know lots of people that will, on the one hand, get upset about too much government, yet on the other hand, claim there isn't enough government involvement in certain areas.
  

Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
keauxbi
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 608
Location: Southwest Michigan
Joined: Oct 30th, 2012
Re: Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Reply #2 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 12:58pm
Print Post  
LibertariCAN wrote on Aug 12th, 2013 at 11:53am:
I think people are less into the actual politics of libertarianism, and more into the idea that the government should leave them alone; plus everyone hates taxes.

Having said that, I know lots of people that will, on the one hand, get upset about too much government, yet on the other hand, claim there isn't enough government involvement in certain areas.


I have to agree.  It's not that people are becoming more libertarian, it's that they want less government in their lives.  If you push the issue further they still want government to control other people's lives, just not their own.  They don't want a government mandate on health insurance but don't want government to allow to gay men to get married.  Democrats are just as hypocritical as republicans, the two parties just flip on what issues to be pro/anti government on. 

The sad truth is that too many Americans are psychologically dependent on government on way to many issues.  They want someone else to be in control of their lives and getting them to realize it is like telling them there is no Santa.
  

Keauxbi
"Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization..."--Edward Abbey
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Unbiased America
Junior Member
**
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 19th, 2013
Re: Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Reply #3 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 2:28pm
Print Post  
If we were seeing shift toward liberalism, we'd be seeing support for more government spending, more regulations, and bigger government.  Instead we're seeing just the opposite.

If this was a shift toward conservative/neocon ideologies, there'd be much less support for gay rights, marijuana legalization, abortion rights, military spending cuts, and much more support for military action against Iran.  Again, that's not what we're seeing.

The smoking gun for me that this is a libertarian trend is the poll showing 59% of Americans said they are "fiscally conservative and socially liberal."

I just think most people don't know what 'libertarian' means, even though they unknowingly support the ideology.
  

Back to top
IP Logged
 
LibertariCAN
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Freedom Forever

Posts: 593
Location: Canada
Joined: Jan 25th, 2013
Re: Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Reply #4 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 2:44pm
Print Post  
Unbiased America wrote on Aug 12th, 2013 at 2:28pm:
If we were seeing shift toward liberalism, we'd be seeing support for more government spending, more regulations, and bigger government. Instead we're seeing just the opposite.

If this was a shift toward conservative/neocon ideologies, there'd be much less support for gay rights, marijuana legalization, abortion rights, military spending cuts, and much more support for military action against Iran. Again, that's not what we're seeing.

The smoking gun for me that this is a libertarian trend is the poll showing 59% of Americans said they are "fiscally conservative and socially liberal."

I just think most people don't know what 'libertarian' means, even though they unknowingly support the ideology.


They may well support the ideology unknowingly on SOME issues. However, on other issues, they will act completely inconsistent. Today, most people lead with their emotions and cannot separate the terms government and society.

Sure, some people may claim to be more libertarian than anything else, but if they were to get deep into what the real philosophy and politics of libertarianism is, they wouldn't agree anymore.

It goes back to what I was saying before: People want to be allowed to do whatever they want because it suits THEM, but they don't want to extend to other people the same benefits. They want government off their back when it's in their way, but when something doesn't go in their favor, they whine for mommy and subsidies.

All of the above is addressing "America" or "Society" generally speaking. However, if we shift over to strictly people with political interest and leanings, then I would actually say yes. I believe people who are actually interested in political philosophy are finding themselves landing in libertarianism more than anything.

I would say this is because libertarianism supports reason and equality, whereas neo-conservatism and socialism requires some sort of faith or whim-worship (whether that be faith in God, or faith in government, it needs to be there).
  

Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Crystallas
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 2108
Location: R[̲̅ə̲̅٨̲̅٥̲̅٦̲̅]ution
Joined: May 4th, 2011
Re: Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Reply #5 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 2:55pm
Print Post  
This post reminds me of Larken Rose's recent vlog. It's all a game of perception.

Government isn't spending less.

It's a good 20 minute watch for the OPs questions and comments. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiAThxUM_Mg
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
chris105
Ex Member


Re: Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Reply #6 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 8:03pm
Print Post  
I have to agree with some of the other members, and that video Crystallas posted pretty much sums it up.

On certain issues, a majority of people might be joining the libertarian side, but not for libertarian reasons. Take the legalization of marijuana. One of the most popular reasons I've heard from the legalize it side is "alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana, so why not legalize marijuana?" Sure, this may be true, but this is not a libertarian argument for the legalization of marijuana. Ask the same legalize it people what they think about heroin or crack and all of a sudden they are all about the war on drugs.

Most Americans do self identify with the very general libertarian definition as being fiscally conservative and socially liberal, but to what degree? At what point do most people abandon the libertarian camp in favor of things like the perception of public safety or government sponsored equality?
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Unbiased America
Junior Member
**
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 19th, 2013
Re: Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Reply #7 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 8:26pm
Print Post  
Just because people aren't going from conservatism directly to anarchy, doesn't mean they're not becoming more libertarian, which was the point of the original post.

Libertarianism is one of the most varied ideologies, after all, kind of by definition.  There will never be an acceptance of full anarchy, but the idea of smaller government is more popular now than in many generations.  If ever there was an opportune time to educate and push full-on libertarianism, it's now.
  

Back to top
IP Logged
 
Crystallas
Libertarian Freedom Member
*****
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 2108
Location: R[̲̅ə̲̅٨̲̅٥̲̅٦̲̅]ution
Joined: May 4th, 2011
Re: Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Reply #8 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 8:49pm
Print Post  
The point is, there is no difference if we see a small trend in more people who call themselves libertarian, if they continue to support the very same problematic solutions.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Unbiased America
Junior Member
**
Offline

Libertarian's Forum

Posts: 12
Joined: Jul 19th, 2013
Re: Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Reply #9 - Aug 12th, 2013 at 9:31pm
Print Post  
Any excuse for inaction, eh?  Well, I don't see it that way.  NOW is the time spread the message, while people are at least trending in the right direction.

I want you to remember this moment.  Because, when the economy collapses, which it will, there is going to be a struggle between those who say there wasn't enough government, and those who say government was the problem.

THAT'S the battle we should be fighting right now.  Making as many people as possible understand that government is creating the coming collapse.  We don't need to indoctrinate purist libertarians, just plant the seed and nudge people in the right direction.

So you can wallow in your defeatism, or you can man up and do your part.  Because, trust me, we're gonna need every gifted soul to win this battle.
  

Back to top
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 
Send TopicPrint
 
Libertarian's ForumLibertarian's ForumFreedom Forum › Is America shifting towards Libertarianism?
Libertarian's Forum

Libertarian's Forum Information Rules, Agreement and Privacy Policy