Monday, July 18, 2005

Libertarians in the duopoly diaspora

As a libertarian Democrat, one of the chief arguments I've had to contend against is that "Republicans are more libertarian than Democrats." Having conducted my own evaluation (here, here and here), I reached my own conclusions which contradicted that notion, so here I am.

Of course, the argument persists.

Here's my latest salvo from the "libertarian" Republicans Yahoo! Group, with respect to some interesting Google search results:

From: "Thomas L. Knapp"
Date: Mon Jul 18, 2005 12:26 pm
Subject: Re: Libt. Republican kills Libt. Democrat 14 to 1

Quoth Eric Dondero:

> "Libertarian Republican"........... 14,400
> "Libertarian Democrat"............. 537
> So much for the Thomas Knapps of the world who believe that
> the "libertarian Democrat" strategy is the "wave of the future."

When and where did I say that "the 'libertarian Democrat' strategy is the 'wave of the future?'" I don't recall doing so ... but as the case may be, I'll destroy your specious claim right now.

"pro-choice Republican"...........8,850
"pro-choice Democrat".............839

"pro-life Democrat"...............9,940
"pro-life Republican".............5,650

The relative prevalence of the terms indicates that the term which produces more results indicates the EXCEPTION, and that the term which produces fewer results indicates the RULE.

Thank you for establishing that Democrats perceive themselves more as, and/or are more generally perceived as, libertarians than are Republicans. It's a nice datum to have at hand, especially when someone else does most of the work for me.

Tom Knapp

Now, I'll admit that I didn't expect to get those results, but they are interesting. It seems that in many cases, partisans feel it necessary to label themselves within their parties ... and that when they do so, they are doing so to distinguish themselves from their fellow partisans, not to identify themselves with those fellow partisans.

Does the average Democrat decline to label himself or herself "libertarian" because he or she believes that to do so would be ... redundant? A preponderance of Democrats do seem to label themselves "civil libertarians," but they don't attach "Democrat" to that label because they seem to assume that of course "civil libertarians" are Democrats.

Stay tuned. This little teapot tempest may be going places.

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