Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election 2012: The Libertarians won

My observation that the Libertarians won the 2012 election may seem counterintuitive, given that Gary Johnson performed only slightly better than most past  Libertarian Party nominees, but nonetheless it is true. Libertarians won stunning victories on several important ballot initiatives.

Marijuana was legalized in two states, Washington and Colorado. It's hard to say whether that's more amazing than the fact that same sex marriage was legalized in three states. (A ban on gay marriage that would have been placed in a state's constitution lost in a fourth state.)

Libertarians didn't win every ballot initiative, but won more than their share; Reason's Hit and Run blog is keeping a running account.

I got interested in the  Libertarian movement in the 1970s, not coincidentally perhaps about the time I was reading Illuminatus! for the first time. Libertarians have long supported gay rights and opposed the "war on some drugs." I am here to tell you those were not mainstream positions in the 1970s.

5 comments:

supergee said...

I can give a selective account of my libertarian views of 40 years ago (which I still hold) and sound like a contemporary progressive.

Bobby Campbell said...

Another possible winning point for Libertarians is that it seems increasingly obvious that US has become perhaps too diverse for the Republicans to win w/ their neocon version of the "Southern Strategy"

If Republicans ease back from their social policy pandering to intolerant white people, mightn't they start to slide towards libertarianism for their new identity?

I'd love that. I don't seem libertarian myself, but I can at least respectfully disagree w/ someone like Gov. Johnson, and I can't say those ideas aren't at least worth a shot!

Cleveland Okie (Tom Jackson) said...

Republicans have hit the wall. They can't continue to be the party of white men and succeed at the polls.

Progressives have been a real ally on civil liberties issues, as supergee points out.

Anonymous said...

Just as GWBush begot BHObama so to BHObama may beget a Libertarian. Look at Ron Paul.

LJ said...

Ron Paul is no more Libertarian than Obama is a liberal.