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In the context of the USA; what ideas would make a Libertarian go Democrat, and what ideas would make them go Republican? As Libertarianism fits more or less in this strange middle ground of ideas between the two; thus, I'm just curious what might drive them to lean a certain way.

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  • Is the Democrats' interference more or less obnoxious than the Republicans' interference? And probably who was king log when they started paying attention.
    – user9389
    Apr 18 '17 at 22:02
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    What do you mean by "go Democrat?" A Libertarian is by definition neither Republican nor Democrat. Apr 18 '17 at 22:37
  • What I mean is that, while there is a Libertarian party, it's still pretty much a two part system at this point; thus, if neither is fully libertarian, libertarians gotta pick a side to awkwardly stand with.
    – Tirous
    Apr 18 '17 at 23:55
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    No we don't....
    – discodane
    Jun 27 '17 at 19:14
  • Self interest usually wins. Would a straight, white libertarian care more (when forced to choose) about what helps his gay and black neighbors (e.g. affirmative action) or what helps him and his family (e.g. lower taxes)? My observation is that Libertarians will vote R before they'll vote D. Then there's the issue with lower case libertarians and classic liberals, which seem to be assumed affiliated with the Libertarian party.
    – frеdsbend
    Oct 6 '20 at 19:12
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As Libertarianism fits more or less in this strange middle ground of ideas between the two;

I find this to be a false statement. Libertarianism is more of a mix of ideas from the two than a middle ground. Middle ground suggests moderation, and there are very few moderate libertarians (perhaps Bill Weld, although he usually identifies as a Republican). In many areas, libertarians are more extreme than either Democrats or Republicans. Blue Dog Democrats are moderates, and they are often nearly the opposite of libertarian. They are right wing where libertarians are left wing and vice versa.

Some ideas that are commonly (but not universally) held by Democrats that also characterize libertarians:

  1. Marijuana should be legal for medicinal and recreational use.
  2. Consensual sexual acts should be legal.
  3. The US has no right to impose its moral standards by legal or military force.

Some ideas that are commonly (but not universally) held by Republicans that also characterize libertarians:

  1. Taxes and spending are bad, as they shift economic power from individuals to the government.
  2. Regulations are bad, as businesses are more responsible than government.
  3. Individuals should have unfettered access to weapons, including guns.

Libertarians generally choose Republicans over Democrats, about two thirds of the time. Exactly why is going to be up to each individual, but some common arguments include

  1. Libertarians often feel that all drugs should be legal, not just marijuana.
  2. While some Republicans may disapprove of certain sexual activity, there is very little that they do or could do to stop it given current court precedent.
  3. Democrats often try to impose their moral standards by force. E.g. Egypt, Libya, Syria, North Korea, and Russia.

On many of these issues, Democrats are generally more moderate than libertarians. Of course, the same could be said about the Republican issues.

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    I am really confused by "Democrats often try to impose their moral standards by military force. E.g. Egypt, Libya, Syria, North Korea, and Russia", because 1) I can't recall any serious use of military force in most of those countries? U.S. involvement in Syria and Libya was very limited, and 2) those actions were hardly to "impose moral standards", I think? But rather to oust a hostile dictator, and 3) the GOP has a much more hawkish reputation, I think? Especially after the W. Bush administration.
    – user11249
    Apr 18 '17 at 23:42
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    @Carpetsmoker Certainly the Republicans have a more hawkish reputation. My point is that the Democrats aren't that dovish in action, although many of their voters may agree with the libertarian position. The choice between "too hawkish" and "way too hawkish" isn't as obvious. Interventions in Egypt, North Korea, and Russia were more diplomatic/economic than military, but they were still more than many libertarians would support.
    – Brythan
    Apr 19 '17 at 0:00
  • I hadn't heard that libertarians (Libertarians?) choose Republicans 2/3 of the time. Where does this come from? Apr 19 '17 at 0:42
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  • "Libertarians often feel that all drugs should be legal, not just marijuana." I am confused why that would be a reason for voting Republican. Last I checked, legalization of currently-illegal substances other than marijuana is not a popular position in the Republican party either.
    – JAB
    Feb 5 '19 at 1:47

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