D. Robert Worley, senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Governmental Studies, has a new essay out on Huffington Post that posits that there are perhaps three strains of libertarianism in the United States, each with its own regional origins.
The argument draws explicitly on my latest book, American Nations, to identify the cultural regions at play, but you can also see the influence of Daniel Elazar's three political cultures: the moralistic, individualistic, and traditionalist. Those familiar with my thinking won't be surprised that I think Elazar's paradigm is handicapped by embracing state boundaries, but I if you apply his criteria to my map -- which Worley has -- it's far more compelling.
Worley's observation of the differences between the corporate libertarianism of the Deep South and Far West and the individualistic libertarianism of Greater Appalachia are fair enough, but from my perspective the most refreshing and provocative idea is that there is a "civil libertarianism" anchored in Yankeedom and the Left Coast that whose adherents "favor individual freedom and oppose all forms of unchecked coercive power, and...rely heavily on government solutions, specifically the Constitution's Bill of Rights and the federal courts."
I'd be curious what the rest of you think.
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