I’m a secular, french-existentialist literature reading, academic. So it’s not too much of a surprise that the group of folks I hang out with usually do not own a shotgun, pickup truck, and/or a ranch. Put another way, outside of grappling (my “hobby”) I think only a few of my friends are members of the Republican party.
That said, I have been noticing ever since 9/11/2001 (when I started paying attention to politics) that a lot of my friends are not admitted members of the Democratic party either. They vote Democrat for the most part, but admit it slowly and with a sad far-away look in their eyes. There is a natural inclination toward the libertarian ideology among the younger generation. I don’t know if that has to do with them being young, or with the changing values of society. Politics has made people cynical it seems, and the idea that freedom of choice and personal responsibility is an option appeals to more and more people. I think many of these ideas are a bit naive in their optimism, but I often catch myself drawn to them as well.
I wonder if the Republican party will move in that direction in this decade to try to win over the young vote. Ron Paul was an early representative of that movement, and perhaps others will pick up where he left off. I don’t think I would vote for a Libertarian any time soon, but I would very much like to see their voices welcomed in debates, interviews, and C-SPAN-type educational programs in the years to come.