Why Don’t True Liberals Just Call Themselves “Libertarians” Nowadays?

Shortly after the first episode, a few people asked me why I don’t just call myself a “Libertarian” now, given that the term “Liberal” means “Democratic Party Progressives” to so many people.  To them, the word “Liberal” conjures up images of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Charles Schumer, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.  These folks and those like them are not Liberals, but rather, “Progressives”.  It is true that the Libertarian Party was formed out of a direct response to that misuse of the noble word, “Liberal”.

Back then, I promised to address that in a future episode.  That time has arrived.

This is defiintely an “out of the frying pan and into the fire” episode.  It’s sure to tick somebody off.  I try not to, but it’s probably unavoidable when one takes on a topic like we do here in this case.

Here is my view on the difference between Liberalism and Libertarianism, and why I continue to refer to myself as a Liberal.  I don’t share all of their beliefs, and I consider that the philosophy doesn’t account for certain real-world problems–problems that my Dad, Colin Powell, and Oscar Robertson know well–but there is definitely some overlap.  We Liberals need to start hanging out with the Libertarians more; while we disagree on some points, still, in a lot of ways, they are our natural allies.

Libertarian listeners, my understanding of Libertarianism is by necessity less than encyclopedic.  I am willing to revisit this topic if you can give me a good case to do so; fair is fair.  This episode is to help start that conversation that really should’ve been taking place years ago.

2 thoughts on “Why Don’t True Liberals Just Call Themselves “Libertarians” Nowadays?

  1. I actually found you contradicting yourself in a strange way. You first correctly list the first tenant of libertarianism: “Be free to do what you want as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others” and then go to list the ways that big businesses and cartels can infringe on the rights of others. Which is why libertarianism is bad. To that I would have to say “See number 1”.

  2. You have called out that which prevents me from being 100% libertarian, and said it more eloquently than I could ever begin to. Well done!

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