One of the great things about libertarians is that, constituting a trivial share of the electorate but a non-trivial share of the political intelligentsia, they are constantly coming up with outside-the-box proposals to increase their political power. So Bryan Caplan proposed (on Facebook, via Will Wilkinson) that libertarians take over by boosting their fertility rate. Wilkinson rejects the plan but gives it some thought:
Now, the evidence for the heritability of personality is mixed. If it turns out to be low, the logic of Bryan’s libertarian eugenics is busted. But let’s go with the assumption that when we breed, we do produce little mini-mes.
The evidence that ideological dispositions reflect personality is pretty good. The gist of Jost et al’s study correlating Big Five personality traits to ideology is that “openness to experience” (liberals are) and “conscientiousness” (conservatives have lots of it) are where the action is. “In general, liberals are more open-minded, creative, curious, and novelty seeking, whereas conservatives are more orderly, conventional, and better organized.”
Actually I think most babies, regardless of their parents' beliefs, are fairly libertarian. They have a strong belief in private property -- "Mine!" -- and an aversion to coercion, especially efforts to coerce them into nap time, leaving the zoo, and so on.
As for the heritability of ideological beliefs, my anecdotal impressions suggest it is very high. A while ago, my wife and I were reading "Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor" to the (young) kids. Amedlia Bedelia's campaign opponent at one point promises to cut taxes. One of my kids -- I won't say which in case he/she ever wants to have a political career -- asks, "What does 'cut taxes' mean?" I explained that taxes were the money we paid the government to build schools and roads, hire police officers, and things like that, and cut taxes means we give the government less money and get to have more ourselves. I thought I was providing a fairly neutral description of the idea. My kid looked puzzled and asked, with genuine incomprehension, "Why would anybody want to cut taxes?"
I am willing to bet that conversation goes a little differently in the Stephen Moore household.