The rise of Libertarianism

October 28, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Politics 

The Cato Institute takes a look at the Gallup poll Bill Kristol used for this claim.

The Gallup poll released Monday shows the public’s conservatism at a high-water mark. Some 40 percent of Americans call themselves conservative, compared with 36 percent who self-describe as moderates and 20 percent as liberals.

Cato’s David Boaz notes:

The word “libertarian” isn’t well known, so pollsters don’t find many people claiming to be libertarian. And usually they don’t ask. But a large portion of Americans hold generally libertarian views — views that might be described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or as Gov. William Weld told the 1992 Republican National Convention, “I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.” They don’t fit the red-blue paradigm, and they have their doubts about both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats. They’re potentially a swing vote in elections. Background on the libertarian vote here.

And note here: If you tell people that “libertarian” means “fiscally conservative and socially liberal,” 44 percent will accept the label.

As many self-described centrists (i.e. closet Libertarians :->) will tell you, the world is more than just black and white, or red or blue. There are people who are capable of independent thought and disagree with portions of what the two big political parties are trying to sell them.

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