Libertarian Values: Not Mainstream Just Yet

no more hateFrom Chris Stirewalt’s piece titled “Hating the government finally goes mainstream”  at the Washington Examiner. Emphasis added to illustrate libertarian values aren’t described as mainstream in the mainstream media.

Three years ago, the Republican establishment piled scorn on the presidential candidacy of Ron Paul.

Today, he is in a statistical tie with President Obama in 2012 polling. His son, an ophthalmologist who has never run for elective office, is well ahead of not only the GOP’s handpicked candidate for Senate in Kentucky but also both Democratic contenders — all statewide officeholders.

What happened? Did America sudden develop an insatiable appetite for 74-year-old, cranky congressmen from Texas? Is the gold standard catching on?

Paul will not likely be the next president. And his son still faces the most arduous part of his journey as Democrats spend millions to paint him as soft on defense, lax on drug enforcement and too radical on welfare programs.

But there’s no doubt that hating the government and the powerful interests that pull Washington’s strings has gone from the radical precincts of the Right and Left to the mainstream.

…Libertarian sentiment has finally gone mainstream.

Libertarian values haven’t gone mainstream just yet. You’ll know when those values have hit mainstream when they aren’t described with negative connotations. Once a political perspective goes mainstream, it’s described with positive adjectives.

With abortion, the sides are generally described as pro-choice and pro-life. If the sides in abortion were described as baby-haters or choice-haters, it would sound as if they are against something rather than for something. Part of the reason for using the pro-adjectives is both positions are mainstream, in that both groups represent a large number of people.

It’s polite to refer to these groups in a positive sense of what they favor rather than pointing to what they oppose. Referring to others in the positive terms they prefer shows your respect, even when it’s a view you don’t share.

Libertarian values are often not shown the same respect as other views, because they are described as haters, radical or cranky. If others valued or respected those views, they would be framed in a more positive light.

For those who are not trying to alienate others, here are a few suggestions for how to refer to those with libertarian views in a more respectful and polite manner.

  • Liberty-minded
  • Pro-freedom
  • Libertarian
  • Limited government advocates
  • Individualist
  • Fiscally Conservative – Socially Liberal

To other liberty minded individuals out there, if there are other terms you prefer, just leave it in the comments and I’ll update the list; thanks.

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