Ann Coulter’s televised smack-down of Libertarians is still stinging.

University of North Carolina student Angelina Johnston reports the remarks from one leading member of the party, who recently discussed the perceptions offered by conservative pundits.

If you went to the (fantastically successful) ISFLC 2013 [International Students for Liberty Conference]  two weeks ago, you probably noticed that a lot of people think that Libertarians have a branding issue. Ann Coulter thinks we are “pussies,” “nerds,” and “stoners.” Glenn Beck recently compared Libertarians to Nazis and fascists and called Libertarians ‘jerks.’

Magatte Wade, a TED Global Africa Fellow and a Libertarian, thinks Libertarians are uncool, buttoned up, and read too much.

Wade, who was one of the keynote speakers at ISFLC 2013, believes that Libertarians have a branding problem. She spent a lot of time during her speech emphasizing the lack of ‘coolness’ surrounding Libertarians, especially among young people. She argued that, on college campuses, it is cool to be a Democrat and to want to help others and that, by emphasizing complex economic issues and philosophies, Libertarians are alienating their peers. While her general message of spreading liberty beyond the borders of the United States and remember that liberty lifts people out of poverty was certainly uplifting, her insistence that Libertarians should focus on seeming cool and fashionable to the rest of the world drew criticism from myself and others.

Of course, Wade was arguing that Libertarians need to change how the world sees us in order to be more successful in spreading our message. She insisted that no one is drawn to the Libertarian Party because we know so much about philosophy and that that sort of insistence on intellectual study can sometimes be off-putting to people interested in the Libertarian Party.

However, I don’t understand why it is an issue to be knowledgeable about Libertarian philosophy, which is obviously important to most Libertarians. I would reckon that many Republicans could not identify Barry Goldwater if they tried.

I think Wade is underestimating people outside of the Libertarian Party. Should Libertarians, as Wade suggests, try to wear fashionable clothes or worry less about learning about Libertarian philosophy? Should Libertarians try to be cool?