Even its little mantra — "We're fiscally conservative and socially liberal" — meant something different then, because the definition of "liberal" has changed. "Fiscally conservative" is self-explanatory, but "socially liberal," back in the Nixon era, meant tolerant of different lifestyle choices. In the first place, there weren't nearly as many lifestyle choices, and most of our current sexual deviancies might have existed, but they certainly weren't anything anybody, even libertarians were inclined to be tolerant of. Tolerance of homosexuality was no big deal to libertarians, because everybody in Western Civilization had beee de facto tolerant of it as long as it was reasonably discreet. And while drug use was to be tolerated, even libertarians didn't think they were supposed to be tolerant of drug addiction.
And of course, again, back then, "socially liberal" meant "socially tolerant," And if even "tolerant" has changed its meaning in popular usage, at that time it meant putting up with something you didn't approve of, because you thought freedom was more important than your personal taste, and you expected the same courtesy from those who might disapprove of your idiosyncrasies. Now, of course, "socially liberal" has gone way beyond tolerance, and you don't have to just "put up with" homosexuality or Islam or pot smoking or whatever — you have to accept it, approve of it, and celebrate it. And appear in public with it, shaking hands and hugging.
You see, you have to call Bruce Jenner "she," because if you don't, you're not being socially liberal. You have to cheer on Muslim or any other kind of immigration, because that's what liberals do, and you have to emulate liberals on every social issue. And, of course, you have to march in lockstep with all the liberal enthusiasms, be it transvestites in the little girls' room or flag-burning, or you're no longer a good libertarian. You're a bigot.
And here's the acid test, the litmus test. Forty years ago, one of the great libertarian icons was Andrew Jackson. He was a patriot, and enemy of central banking, a champion of the common man, and about as brave a man as the country ever produced.
But now, if you check out all the libertarian sites on the net, you will see that Jackson is now said to be just what the liberals say he was. Some kind of racist, statist, bigot. And libertarians will have their licenses pulled and declared anathema if they don't agree with that, and band together with the liberal-neocon MAG (Media, Academia, Government) and insist that he be ousted from the twenty and replace by Harriet Tubman, who is now the new icon of the libertarian movement. In short, the left-libertarians, leftbertarians, liberals-who-think-they're-libertarians, or whatever you want to call them, are now the norm in the libertarian movement. The actual libertarians, the heirs to the Founding Fathers, are being slowly purged and replaced by fresh-faced little indoctrinated punks in Che T-shirts. And here's the illustration that seems to be required now on all libertarian sites:
Call me reactionary, but I'm still an Andy Jackson man.
Quibcag: The girl in the process of drying herself off is of course the adorable Akane Tendo of Ranma ½ (らんま½)