Saturday, May 24, 2014

Why a "libertarian" can win the GOP nomination

Why a libertarian can win the GOP nomination - David Harsanyi, The Federalist:

May 20, 2014 - "Commentary’s Seth Mandel poses a question: Should GOP presidential hopeful Rand Paul embrace the 'libertarian' label or not?...

"For starters, Republican voters aren’t exactly turned off by Paul’s politics.... According to a FreedomWorks poll, a quarter of Republicans already self-identify as 'libertarian' or 'lean libertarian.' A 2013 poll from the Public Religion Research Institute found that only 7 percent of voters could be considered 'consistent' libertarians, but another 15 percent could be said to sympathize with the broad tenets of the philosophy. That’s 22 percent of all Americans. And those who did identify with libertarian beliefs are more likely to vote for the GOP (43 percent) than the Democratic Party (5 percent), though half identify with neither....

"In its Randian incarnation —  a highly watered-down version — libertarianism syncs up quite well with growing sentiments of many grassroots conservatives on an array of fronts.  It’s a comfortable anti-establishment position that offers a measure of ideological consistency often missing in politics. But it’s worth remembering that libertarianism isn’t inherently offensive to secular and independent voters, either. When government fails, people grow cynical about the state, and libertarian instincts kick in."

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