A Libertarian Strategy for a Statist World
This subreddit is home to a lot of dogmatic individuals and while I respect the passion and unwavering confidence they have in their beliefs, there is a lot wrong with the way they approach political discussions that ends up turning off the average person. There are two points I read in an article recently that I believe will help the more stubborn of libertarians understand the reception that they often receive from others and how they can improve their rhetoric to be more convincing.
(1) Temper our Policy Expectations. Until some political tectonic plate shift occurs, radical libertarian policy change is not in the cards. Repealing the Great Society, much less the New Deal, is unlikely. Business regulation of some sort is not going away. The EPA, FCC, SEC, etc. will not be abolished.
Less radical improvements in public policy are possible. But to do that, we need to stop making “the better” the enemy of “the best” and cease complaining that the former commits the unpardonable sin of “compromising on principle.” By definition, advocating anything short of the night watchman state “compromises on principle,” and the night watchman state—for now anyway—is a fantasy.
(2) Consequentialist arguments > Ideological arguments. We are sometimes tempted to make “the moral case” for this or that policy initiative. While those arguments are tremendously appealing to libertarians, libertarian moralizing often leaves non-libertarians cold … and non-libertarians outnumber libertarians at least 20-1.
The overwhelming majority of Americans have no coherent ideology. They embrace what seems to work. Selling the practical merits of our policy ideas gives us the best chance of success.
What are your thoughts?
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society