John, fair enough that there were 10 Bush voters in that informal Reason poll, but I also counted 47 participants. So, with only 10 votes out of 47, I’m willing to stand by my statement that “most everybody” did not vote for Bush (I didn’t mean to imply everybody).
Shawn, I totally agree that libertarianism (to the extent that it means a principled defense of small government) is central to the Republican Party. There was a time when I would have referred to myself as a libertarian. But, since 9/11, there has been a clear split among libertarians over fighting terrorism. There are those, such as myself, who have sided with the administration on Iraq and civil liberties issues such as wiretapping, and those who are indistinguishable from the left on these issues. There are those, such as myself, who see the fight against terrorism as a defining issue of our time, and as I recently wrote, there are those libertarians, such as Reason‘s Ronald Bailey, who say that terrorism “doesn’t really matter.” As a pre-9/11 libertarian, I may still believe that marijuana should be legalized, but it’s just much lower on my list of important issues these days, whereas for orthodox libertarians (for lack of a better term) it’s still a central issue.
I have done a lot of writing about how frustration over spending may hamper turnout among conservatives and swing control of Congress to the Democrats (see the March issue of TAS and also here), but my basic point earlier today was that the type of libertarians Tierney found in Amsterdam already defected from the Republican Party. So, I don’t think Gillespie’s statement that, “Most of the libertarians I know have given up on the G.O.P” means much for November, because I’m sure he would have said the exact same thing two years ago.
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