Matt Welch On Liberaltariansby Doug Mataconis
Former Reason writer Matt Welch gives three reasons why he thinks a libertarian-liberal alliance wouldn’t amount to anything:
1) There’s rarely such a thing as a libertarian in local politics (where most politics are practiced), because it’s awful hard to grant favors (or jobs) to either labor or business while cutting the size of government.
Generally true, I think. Every now and then, you hear the LP touting about a Libertarian being elected to a Water Board or some such other local government body, but, for the most part, Libertarian success at the local level is even more dismal than it is at the national level.
2) Self-described libertarians over the age of 40 who don’t belong to the Libertarian Party (which is to say, most of them) are overwhelmingly likely to consider the GOP their default home, because of taxes, the memory of anti-communism, and hatred of all things McGovern/Carter (even though Carter was arguably the greatest deregulation president … though that’s a rambling essay for another time).
Well, I’m not over 40 but this is certainly true of me. All of my problems with the Republican Party notwithstanding, I just can’t see myself voting for a Democrat any time in the foreseeable future. That party has been so co-opted by socialism that any hope they’d be palatable to someone who believes in free markets seems slim indeed.
3) Libertarianism just ain’t that popular to begin with.
By which Welch means that the left doesn’t need to worry about gaining libertarian support. Sadly, I think this is true as well.