June 14, 2024
They can drop the dogmatic theory and stand up for free-market pragmatism instead.

Libertarians can stay relevant by defending the middle class

In the era of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, libertarian ideas about de-regulation and personal liberty were ascendant. Even if they had little direct power, the free market ideologues had access to the highest levels of government and business.

Today the libertarians are increasingly the odd man out. As Donald Trump rightly pointed out at their recent convention, to a chorus of boos, the libertarians have become a fringe group with little chance of influencing anyone. When he claimed they would be the party of “three or four per cent” of the vote, he was overestimating their influence. In 2020, the Libertarian candidate received a rollicking 1.2 per cent of the vote, less than half their paltry 2016 performance.

This year, in which the electorate is restless and disgusted with their main awful party choices, the libertarians are playing a very small role. They are likely to be overwhelmed not only by the candidacy of Independent Robert Kennedy Jr., who was disdained at the convention despite making a strong case against the censorship regimes of President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They may not also beat pro-Hamas candidates Cornel West and Jill Stein.

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