With recent scandals, public trust in leaders of both major parties continues to droop ever lower. So much so that people are taking more about libertarians. Consider Chris Cillizza’s June 9 effort for Washington Post’s The Fix, “Libertarianism is in vogue. Again.”
Is he right? I hope so.
Amidst the current scandals, the reason to say this L word, and not the C word of “conservatism,” is that, deep down, we know that conservatives in power tend to support the kind of spy program that now dominates the headlines. Just like the Obama administration. Those moved mainly by the news of current scandals will perhaps cast their eyes and ears to more consistent critics.
Cillizza points to two other factors, though: legal marijuana and gay marriage, support for both being extraordinarily high amongst young folks, and both quite compatible with libertarian ideas, to say the least.
He also points out the successful political “failures” of Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, and the cautious Sen. Rand Paul, who, Cillizza says,
has been careful to avoid being labeled as a flat-out libertarian. . . . Instead, Rand Paul has sought to create a sort of Republicanism with libertarian principles that fits more comfortably within the bounds of the GOP.
Cillizza concludes with a suggestion: “for a party badly in need of finding new voters open to its message, embracing libertarianism — at least in part — might not be a bad avenue to explore.”
It would actually be an old idea, familiar to Goldwater and Reagan supporters.
Is that in vogue, yet? Again?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.