Kevin D. Williamson is a prominent libertarian who writes for National Review and Politico, among other publications. A little over a week ago, he asserted in Politico Magazine that “Americans hate libertarianism,” even if they don’t realize it at the moment.
Williamson’s article, which centers around Ken. Sen. Rand Paul’s (R) widely speculated presidential ambitions, begins:
Rand Paul’s admirers, and more than a few of his enemies, believe the country is having a “libertarian moment”—from Tea Partiers in Topeka to Silicon Valley techno-separatists who dream of going Galt. We’ve had these moments before, but each time they come and go without the elevation of a libertarian to high office or the advancement of libertarian ideas. There’s a reason for that, and Sen. Rand Paul is just learning why now.
According to Williamson, many Americans today care more about Social Security and minimum-wage hikes than they do about individual liberties. And while they may say they’re in favor of balanced budgets, when questioned about how it should be done, they almost always reject any substantive action, he explained.
“It gets to be, I think, a very difficult road forward for someone like Rand Paul, who is intellectually honest and actually wants to go out there and pursue these policies in a credible way,” Williamson explained on the Glenn Beck Program Monday.
Many have speculated that Paul will run for president in 2016, and while Williamson says Paul could win, his “libertarianism makes it more difficult for him than it helps him in a lot of ways.”
“I think for a long time libertarian-leaning people have done a very poor job of explaining why we believe the things we believe,” he said. “I think as a broader movement we have to talk differently than we do.”
Of the existing field of likely 2016 candidates, Williamson said: “I think [Wisc. Gov. Scott Walker] is a very strong candidate. I think [Texas Sen. Ted Cruz] is a very strong candidate. I think Paul is still a pretty strong candidate, although I think he’s got some difficulties.”
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