By the Left Coast Rebel
Nate Silver at the New York Times points to polling that shows some pretty shocking news: more and more Americans consider themselves libertarians these days (and that is bad news for both progressive-statist political parties):
Silver provides a graph showing the libertarian surge:
Since 1993, CNN has regularly asked a pair of questions that touch on libertarian views of the economy and society:
Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view?
Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?
A libertarian, someone who believes that the government is best when it governs least, would typically choose the first view in the first question and the second view in the second.
In the polls, the responses to both questions had been fairly steady for many years. The economic question has showed little long-term trend, although tolerance for governmental intervention rose following the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The social libertarian viewpoint — that government should not favor any particular set of values — has gained a couple of percentage points since the 1990s but not more than that.
But in CNN’s latest version of the poll, conducted earlier this month, the libertarian response to both questions reached all-time highs. Some 63 percent of respondents said government was doing too much — up from 61 percent in 2010 and 52 percent in 2008 — while 50 percent said government should not favor any particular set of values, up from 44 percent in 2010 and 41 percent in 2008. (It was the first time that answer won a plurality in CNN’s poll.)
Wielding total control of the media, entertainment and academia, they do their best to hammer it out of us decade after decade but most Americans still believe in the simple Jefferson adage, "the government is best which governs least."
Nearly every ill that our nation faces today has been caused by the heavy hand of an out-of-control government, far astray from the limited constraints of the Constitution. That's why we see such a huge paradigm shift to the libertarian way of thinking -- I speak for myself as a former table-pounding G.O.P. partisan (years and years ago).
Via Memeorandum. More discussion @ Points and Figures and Cato @ Liberty. Cross posted to Libertarian Patriot.
UPDATED: How ironic is it that this NYT article pointing to America's surging libertarian outlooks stands next to a libertarian hit piece at Memeorandum by Stephen Metcalf at Slate Magazine, "The Liberty Scam"