Surrounded by like-minded folks

Growing up in a red county in a purple state, I was about the only libertarian I'd ever heard of. At a university with a student body of more than 10,000, I joined the College Republicans and wrote for the conservative paper, because there were no libertarians that I could find.

So imagine my surprise to move to the land of leftist wackos, and find that I am surrounded by libertarians! I always made it a point to keep my politics a secret at work, because I assumed most people around me were leftists. But occasionally someone else brings up the subject, and it's amazing how often their politics are the same as mine: fiscally conservative, socially tolerant.

Maybe it's the software industry I work in, which is full of educated, well-paid, quirky individualists. But across the board -- men, women, young, old, married, single, gay, straight -- it's amazing how prevalent the libertarian philosophy is. These people don't want to be overtaxed, and they don't want the government telling them what to do in their personal lives.

Most vote Democratic, because the social conservatism of the Republicans is more threatening to them than the economic policies of the Democrats. And the last batch of Republicans was a fraud on fiscal conservative issues. But these people are potential swing voters. The Republicans should find a way to reach out to them.

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