By Robin Koerner
The only British political party that describes itself as libertarian is the United Kingdom Independence Party, or “UKIP”. Twenty years ago, it did not exist. Today, it has the support of anywhere between 7 percent and 14 percent of the British electorate. This rise from non-existence to a force in British politics so powerful that even the mainstream media have begun to identify it as the biggest threat to the governing Conservative party is all the more remarkable because the majority of the British electorate doesn’t actually know what the word “libertarian” means.
On our side of the pond, the much more robustly libertarian “Libertarian Party” of the United States, is more than twice as old as UKIP. Yet, even after all the unprecedented excitement for libertarian ideas that was generated by the extraordinary presidential run of Ron Paul, and even with the willingness of the American mainstream media to use the word “libertarian” (small “l”) to describe Dr. Paul and those who broadly agree with him, the Libertarian Party’s candidate, who has a very impressive executive resume, barely picked up 1 percent of the vote in November. The meager impact of the liberty movement looks even weaker when one considers that the USA is (arguably) the most libertarian country on the planet and (less arguably) the country with the most libertarian founding narrative.
Why, then, has the Libertarian Party — and more importantly, the much broadly based new liberty movement — failed to make a significant electoral impact, despite its recent tailwinds?
More specifically, why can’t a libertarian-leaning movement in the U.S., which is a libertarian-leaning country, have even one tenth of the success of a libertarian-leaning movement in the UK, a deeply social democratic country, despite working on the task for twice as long?The rest of the article can be read right here .