Image credit: AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File
A common stigma associated with libertarians is that they are weed smoking hippies. Libertarians are the party that supports legalized prostitution, marijuana, gay marriage, abortion among other things. While many in the party may disagree with some of these, to a large degree these are “libertarian” ideas. According to the party itself, these should be legal.
While libertarians may support the legalization of these things, they certainly shouldn’t encourage them. However all too many libertarians not only say these should be allowed, but that they are good.
To distinguish between these ideas, I will refer to the desire for legalization of these things as “social” liberalism, and the usage as “cultural” liberalism. Even the Libertarian Presidential candidate from 2016, Gary Johnson, said marijuana was a good thing, admitting to using it himself. This is not who Libertarians should be running. It is hard to take a party seriously which openly condones prostitution and use of even hard drugs.
While it may be Libertarian to be socially liberal, Libertarians should distance themselves from these things personally. It may be okay to support some of these ideas as a matter of principle, but you don’t have to indulge yourself.
When defending these positions, a Libertarian may say something along the lines of “Well, in a free market, usage of drugs or prostitution would be restricted by societal repercussions and potential monetary consequences in the marketplace, possibly including higher insurance premiums or the inability to maintain employment if you fail a drug test.” or something along those lines.
This is a reasonable conclusion, but would you listen to that coming out of the mouth of someone who does those things without real restriction today? Not many people would, so it follows that Libertarians need to figure out how to sell their message in a new way.
Stop the cultural liberalism in the Libertarian Party.