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A Little Anti-libertarian Gloating

I can't help but feel a bit of schadenfreude at the dismal showing of Ron Paul in last night's New Hampshire primary. He received about nine percent of the vote, good enough for fifth place. Interestingly, the warm feeling I am getting does not have much to do with the fact that Paul is worse than a kook (you should click and read Jamie's piece). Rather, it is always satisfying to see a libertarian candidate crash and burn--something which forces libertarians to face the reality that their philosophy has almost no appeal. Now, it's certainly true that Paul was far from the ideal libertarian presidential aspirant, but he did raise an obscene amount of money and garner an insane amount of publicity. Moreover, he was running in the Live Free or Die state in an open Republican primary (against a weak GOP field). And he still couldn't get 10 percent of the vote!

But back to the Schadenfreude. Again, what happened to the appeal of libertarianism? Where were the great and good American people irate over the Federal Reserve and smoking bans? Do we not care about liberty anymore? Whither freedom?

I am, alas, still feeling secure about the prospect of opening up a newspaper and being faced with an article on "The Increasing Appeal of Libertarians" or "Why the Democrats Should Embrace Libertarians" or whatever. Those pieces are as inevitable the sun rising. But, for the time being at least, hooray for the two-party system and the Democratic and GOP platforms!

--Isaac Chotiner