Libertarianism is in vogue — again

The first is legalizing marijuana. For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the subject, an April Pew Research Center survey found that a majority of Americans (52 percent) favored legalizing it. Among millennials — those born after 1980 — the numbers were significantly higher, with 65 percent supporting legalization.

The second is same-sex marriage. In a March Washington Post-ABC News poll, 58 percent of all respondents said that gay marriage should be legal, including a whopping 81 percent of those ages 18 to 29.

Polls aside, an analysis of actual votes in the 2012 presidential election also suggests that libertarianism is on the rise. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s 2012 presidential nominee and the former Republican governor of New Mexico, received nearly 1.3 million votes on election day — the first time the party’s nominee had ever taken more than a million votes. (Johnson won .99 percent of the overall votes cast, the all-time second-highest for a Libertarian candidate, behind Ed Clark in 1980, who took 1.06 percent.)

More telling, however, was then-Rep. Ron Paul’s showing in the 2012 Republican presidential primary.

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