A brief article in this week's issue of the Economist makes a case for libertarians as an underappreciated swing vote in American politics. Since so few people self-identify with the geeky term "libertarian", David Boaz and David Kirby of the Cato Institute use positive answers to the following questions as proxies for libertarian sentiment:

According to a recent study by Boaz and Kirby, 13% of Americans agree with those statements. While that's not a majority or a plurality, it's at least a sizable percentage that is being mostly ignored by Republicans and Democrats alike. It's also a lot more than the miniscule percentage of people who vote for the traditionally feckless Libertarians Party (there are many problems with the LP, not the least of which is its geeky name -- wouldn't something like the Founders Party be more palatable?). In any case, it's true that those of us who trend libertarian are in essence politically homeless. And as the Economist article hints, it doesn't help that liberty-lovers tend to be independent cusses who don't flock together for joint (read: collective) action.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal