Pundits have long been predicting a “libertarian moment” in which the ideas of individual liberty and accountable government become predominant in society and politics.
That moment has yet to arrive. To some minds, it has already passed. To others, it was never to be.
But with both the Democratic and Republican parties riven by faction and captive to their zealots, bringing us polarization and dysfunction in Washington, might we not be approaching a moment in which the stubborn political duopoly finally totters and falls?
And if so, might not libertarian ideas be the ideas around which the third party coalesces?
For those dismayed by our current politics and interested in a more representative and responsive system, the question becomes, “How might such a moment arrive? And what can I myself do to bring it about?”
The predictions for a libertarian moment go back to the mid-1990s, when the columnist David Broder wrote about the rise of political independents who exhibit libertarian sensibilities – endorsing personal freedoms while opposing governmental excesses.
More recently, however, the talk is that the elusive libertarian moment may have passed. After all, authoritarianism is on the rise domestically from both the left and the right, as evidenced by intolerance on college campuses and by demagoguery from the White House. Information technology has revealed its threatening side, and the triumph of libertarianism in the Republican Party never occurred.
But perhaps it was wrong to expect that the libertarian moment could and would arrive under the two-party system?
Maybe, instead, the moment can and will arrive only when the two established parties succumb to their respective internal contradictions, yielding to their intemperate wings and provoking exodus by the libertarian-ish voters who have remained in the parties, and provoking rejection by the independent voters who have supported the parties even if not enlisted with them?
For any such exodus and rejection to occur, voters will need a worthy alternative to the two established parties, so that the intolerant left, the resentful right and the libertarian-ish middle can each settle into their own intellectually coherent and politically consistent homes.
The Libertarian Party is that worthy alternative, even if the pundits tend to overlook it. It is the only party devoted to the principles of freedom and accountability for individuals and institutions, so as to preserve our liberties while continuing to advance justice and prosperity for all.
The LP is worthy is also the only party devoted to ideas instead of identity, and moral dignity and lawful equality for each and every person, regardless of race, gender, and sexuality.
So the LP is the natural home for those across the middle who are socially tolerant and fiscally responsible, and for those from the intellectual world who would describe themselves as classical liberals.
And while the LP has not always appeared from the outside to be entirely inviting, it is today an accepting and growing party with an open door to all who are libertarian-minded.
So, how does the libertarian moment arrive? It arrives by libertarian-ish voters experiencing their own personal moments, in which they recognize their irrelevance within the duopoly and in which they resolve to change their political affiliations and voting habits.
If and when these socially tolerant, fiscally responsible voters have their personal moments and coalesce into a new American middle, the libertarians’ anticipated moment will have arrived, while the duopoly’s extended moment will have expired.
At some point, the de facto disenfranchisement of the de facto libertarian-ish majority will no longer stand. And for those who would speculate on the timing, when has the duopoly’s moment more appeared or more deserved to be passing than today?
This article provided by NewsEdge.