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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.