Saturday, February 7, 2015

Libertarianism on verge of political breakout: TIME

Libertarianism Is on the Verge of a Political Breakout | TIME - David Boaz:

February 5, 2015 - "Rand Paul’s leadership in the Senate – on the budget, regulation, privacy, criminal justice, and foreign policy – and his likely presidential campaign are generating new attention for libertarian ideas.

"'Libertarianism is hot,' headlined the Washington Post in 2013. From an almost-forgotten part of American political culture, libertarianism has grown into a respected and much-discussed political faction and a compelling set of ideas that challenge the conventional wisdom. Tens of millions of Americans are fiscally conservative, socially tolerant, and skeptical of American military intervention.

"The growth of the libertarian movement is a product of two factors: the spread of libertarian ideas and sentiments, and the expansion of government during the Bush and Obama administrations, particularly the civil liberties abuses after 9/11 and the bailouts and out-of-control spending after the financial crisis. As one journalist noted in 2009, 'The Obama administration brought with it ambitions of a resurgence of FDR and LBJ’s active-state liberalism. And with it, Obama has revived the enduring American challenge to the state.'

"That libertarian revival manifested itself in several ways. Sales of books like Atlas Shrugged and The Road to Serfdom soared. 'Tea party' rallies against taxes, debt, bailouts, and Obamacare drew a million or more people to hundreds of protests. 'Crony capitalism' became a target for people across the political spectrum. Marijuana legalization and marriage equality made rapid progress. More people than ever told Gallup in 2013 that the federal government has too much power."

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