The SFL [Students for Liberty] president tells Glaser, "Older generations may try to classify us by the bipartisan dichotomy through which they understand the world, but this just reflects their misunderstanding of who we are. We're more interested in advancing liberty than being restricted by the structures that others impose upon us." Admirable sentiments, but at most they can be but partly true. As long as libertarians define themselves as anti-statist, and as long as there exists a powerful party identified as statist, there will be a temptation to make common cause (or merge) with the next strongest party in order to save themselves from statism. While some libertarians now feel that "both sides, and Republicans in particular, suppressed and tried to rout the limited-government tendency," many may still believe that the GOP remains the strongest, if not the most reliable bulwark of limited government.It does indeed appear to be the case that many young, self-described libertarians believe the Republican party "remains the strongest, if not the most reliable bulwark of limited government," as Sam puts it. What remains unclear, however, is why anyone in their right mind would believe this. Aside, perhaps, from the voting record of Ron Paul, all the evidence points to the fact that the only thing the Republican party stands for is the endless expansion of the global warfare, corporate welfare, national security police state – and, by extension, the corresponding erosion of rights, liberties and the rule of law. In this regard they can hardly be distinguished from the Democratic party. The funny thing is, many young self-described libertarians appear to be intellectually aware of this fact but ignore it in practice in much the same way that young progressives like to pretend that the Democratic party stands for social justice.
Of course, Republicans like to pretend that they stand for limited government, and their rhetoric reflects this fact. Could it be that young libertarians have simply fallen for the rhetorical ploy and been taken in by the GOP's propaganda machine? Or is it perhaps the case that they are just not libertarians, but rather garden variety Republicans who like to pretend that they stand for liberty?