The article begins:
As the Republican Party abandons its commitment to small government, how politically impotent are libertarians? Let me count the ballots.
Ryan Sager wrote a halfway good article on what libertarians need to do to actually win elections. Here’s his assessment of the Bush race:
But here’s one measure of how libertarian-leaning voters voted in the last presidential election: While George W. Bush gained 10 points between 2000 and 2004 among voters who thought government should “do more,” he stayed essentially even among voters who felt government should not do more or should “do less.”
The writer seems to be suffering from some distortions about what the word libertarian means beyond this point. To begin, he seems to miss the point that libertarians are fiscally conservative while being socially liberal.
Perhaps the most interesting fact in the Pew survey, however, was that less than 6 in 10 libertarians voted for Bush in 2004. While few libertarians seem to have deserted the president between 2000 and 2004, they are split roughly evenly between the two parties. The Pew survey finds 50 percent of libertarians identifying as Republicans, 41 percent as Democrats.
Further proof of his conservative bias comes here:
The challenge, then — for those who don’t want to see the Republican Party succumb once and for all to big-government conservatism and who don’t want to see it become overrun with populists lacking in respect for taxpayers’ money and individuals’ right to be left alone — is either to organize existing libertarians more effectively to vote and contribute time and money as a bloc or to identify new constituencies with an overriding interest in remaking the time bomb we call the New Deal (everyone under 40 comes to mind).
Other than playing lip service to the Second Amendment, when has the GOP been sensitive to individual rights? Is big-government conservatism the economic equivalent of the compassionate conservatism practiced by the GOP on homosexuals?
There is but one natural home for libertarians: the Libertarian Party. However, it’s understandable that many libertarians avoid the LP because of frequently embarrassing election results.
So, libertarians: It’s time to get out of that hot tub! Put down that wrench! And start thinking about how you’re going to reclaim your rightful place in the conservative coalition.
He’s half right. It is time to reclaim our libertarian roots, but the GOP is clearly not the answer. The time is now to form effective third-party and independent coalitions to get liberty-minded people elected to public office.
Update by Stephen VanDyke: Commenter john had a request for us to use the word LIBERTY more. Here it is: