Why I am a Libertarian

The problem with political parties are they are an abstraction. Rene Descartes wrote ‘ every abstraction is a distortion of the truth’.  Therefore, if you are like me you never fully felt comfortable wearing the hat of a Democrat or Republican.  A particular leader from one party might inspire you, but how often do Abraham Lincolns or Ronald Reagans come around? I would say once every 50 years max.

It is better to have a clear ideological vision, than a charismatic leader as a guideposts. The issue is the platforms of the political party you are registered to, represent 65% of your ideals, but run contrary to the other 35%. What to do, what can you do?

You become painfully aware of this as the 2012 US presidential election grows closer and you see the Republican and Democratic nominees. You take your hat off, scratch your head and say ‘is this the best this great country of American has to offer’? It would seem that fate is not without a sense of irony. The greatest nation on earth has mediocre leaders.  Therefore,  politics is the true breeding ground for discontent.

My registration to the Libertarian party of Florida

Why I change to the Libertarian party

I joined the Republicans during the second term of Ronald Reagan, as he was a leader and represented the spirit of self initiative better put, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, with the Bush wars and expanding debt and corporate bailouts, I do not think the Republicans have exactly been the champion of the founding fathers, nor respected the US constitution. I wrote an article on reasons to vote Republican here.

The Democrats have done no better mind you. In fact, as an American that has lived in Europe, from afar I can see only small differences in the action of the Democratic and Republican parties. I see only elephants and donkeys. Their words are strong, but their actions fall short.

Elephant, Donkey and Statue of liberty, political party symbols

Therefore, I decided to slide down the trunk of the elephant, buck the trend of the donkey and land on the Statue of Liberty, that is register Libertarian. I would be a hard argument to say that Libertarians are no different. I registered to the Libertarian party of Florida. To my surprise there are about 150,000 members.

I wrote an article on reasons to vote Libertarian.

Although when it comes to the Presidential election, partially in a key swing state like Florida, I will most likely vote Republican, however, I joined the Libertarian party. As a side note, one trivial

Why I did not want to join the Libertarians without hesitation

Admittedly there was some hesitation to switch political parties.

  1. I was thinking I will not be able to vote in the Republican primaries for example, which are arguably the most important part of the election.
  2. Also there are some ideas associated with the Libertarians, that might not sit right with some people. For example, the Libertarians on the right want guns, and the Libertarians on the left want legalization of some mind altering organics. I guess these are OK as long as the person with the gun is not the same person with the mind altering substance simultaneously. But the truth is these types of arguments fronted against libertarianism pale in comparison to Wall Street bailouts, crushing Federal debt and endless foreign wars.

I keep coming back to the idea that the government that governs least governs best, and this is why I change my party affiliation to Libertarian.

It is about personal liberties and a belief in the US constitution.

In the end, I felt is was more important to stay true to my political ideals. To have the courage of my convictions. My political economic ideals are closely aligned with my philosophical ideals, which are similar to the enlightenment ideas. That is,  each individual has the right to choose and make their own destiny in this world, and government’s role is to defend the liberties of the individual. That is your enlighten self-interest will result in a society which maximizes happiness, even for the poor.  Therefore, I said, why not change my political party? Why not be a Libertarian, it is only politics, and is not like changing your religion or loyalty to the USA.

P.s. one trivial advantage of being a “Libertarian” is it keeps one clear of the political mud-slinging. For example, when my acquaintances ask me what political party am I? I reply Libertarian, and the most I get is an ‘oh’, rather than scorn from a hipster riding Democrat or a pat on the back from a ‘Connecticut casual dressed’ Republican.

What do you think of the Libertarian party?

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4 Replies to “Why I am a Libertarian”

  1. There is a razor-thin line between libertarianism and anarchy. The problem is over population. Many people just demand services which they don’t pay for, because they don’t work.

    Look at Greece.

    That is exatcly what is happening. The EU is foundering. Germany runs it because they are the only country that works and creates a tax base. Poland also is hardworking.

    Libertarianism is good. However, like true democracy it is a untopian dream.

    The reason Libertariansism and true democracty can’t work is that there are just too many people in the world who want their government given entitlements.

    1. Mark Biernat says:

      Winston Churchill said ‘democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time’. And so it is with Libertarianism.

      We have tried Democratic and Republican rule and we know they are leading us down the road to serfdom, foreign wars and erosion of the private life. To me that sounds like an economic political system that was tried in the Union (Soviet).

      Dr. Zhivago the book and the movie made that point, during the Bolshevik revolution the private life ended. There was no need for personal privacy even for good, moral citizens, because the state needed the information to protect the people.

      Pasha the communist revolutionary said ‘I should find it absurdly personal. Don’t you agree? Feelings, insights, affections, it’s suddenly trivial now. You don’t agree; you’re wrong. The personal life is dead in Russia. History has killed it.

      Milton Friedman wrote the proper role of government is exactly what John Stuart Mill said in the middle of the 19th century in On Liberty. The proper role of government is to prevent other people from harming an individual. Government, he said, never has any right to interfere with an individual for that individual’s own good.

      If you consider how far we have come in history with. Ceasers, kings, dictators, czars and Presidents with ego problems that ignore the US consititution, what is so wrong with the ideas of the enlightment, John Start Mill, Adam Smith, John Locke?

      Therefore, for protection of a personal life, economic freedom and the values of the constitition, there is no reason Libertarianism should be ruled out as an ideal.

      Where is the danger in transferring responsibility from the state to the individual?
      Where is the danger in protecting individual rights from government abuse?

      Libertarianism is not anarchy at all. It is simply acknowledging that government is there to protect the rights and personal liberties. What is wrong with that? There are many things that are public good and other things like social benefits in a rich society like the USA, that could be done more efficiently.

      Libertarians are not anti-government, just more in line with the constitution and the founding fathers.

      It would be cool if 30% of the USA were to simply register as a Libertarian, it would send a message to both parties and would break the ridiculous two-party system and cult of the President we have right now. The Presidency is more about a popularity contetest, there is no reason Libertarianism should be ruled out as an ideal.

      Where is the danger in transferring responsibility from the state to the individual?
      Where is the danger in protecting individual rights from government abuse?

      Libertarianism is not anarchy at all. It is simply acknowledging that government is there to protect the rights and personal liberties. What is wrong with that? There are many things that are public good and other things like social benefits in a rich society like the USA, that could be done more efficiently.

      Libertarians are not anti-government, just more in line with the constitution and the founding fathers.

      It would be cool if 30% of the USA were to simply register as a Libertarian, it would send a message to both parties and would break the ridiculous two-party system and cult of the President we have right now. The Presidency is more about a popularity contetest every four years. The power should be more in the hands of the congress with the President acting as a leader.

      On one hand I know it would never happend, yet on the other, I do not care, I will act the way I think is right anyway.

    2. Mark Biernat says:

      How can you imply this? I think for the first 175 years of the USA, a time which brought us to greatness we had Libertarianism, no central bank, no Federal income tax, greater state power compared to centralized bureaucracy in Washington run by special interests etc.

  2. Mark Biernat says:

    On a lighter note, if your in college and you are fairly economically conservative, being Republican might not fly with liberal democratically dominated coeds. Therefore, to get dates you might want to just say you are a Libertarian. College girls find this cooler and more exotic as it is in some day connected with liberalism and could be equated with ‘light and breezy hip and cool’ rather than stuffy ‘Connecticut casual’ conservatives.

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