Listening to the Libertarian Party   2 comments

So I’m working my way through conservative political parties in an attempt to find one that meets me most of the way. I’m told by all sorts of people – this being Alaska – really all sorts – that I’ve just got to check out the Libertarian Party because Ron Paul used to be a Libertarian and it’s just so Alaskan.

The Libertarian Party isn’t really a conservative party. It’s a fiscally conservative party that advocates for leaving the other guy alone. On the surface, I like that idea, but I’ve got some reservations. When I scratched beneath the surface of the Republican Party I did not find a party committed to republicanism as I understand it – and I understand it in a Jeffersonian way … more or less. When I scratched beneath the surface of the Constitution Party, I found a few places where they aren’t all that constitutional. So, I have reservations about the deeper structures of the Libertarian Party. I’m a small l libertarian.

I agree that government exists to protect the rights of every individual and should not be engaged in choosing groups of individuals for special protection.

First, I have some good friends who were strong members of the Libertarian Party for over 20 years who withdrew several years ago because of the LP stance on the legalization of drugs and abortion. As a Christian who believes that murder is murder even if the victim is pre-born, I don’t think I can vote for people who say it doesn’t matter. I don’t find the constitutional argument for privacy holding any water in this instance. Our founders never would have agreed that murder was okay so long as it was private. The taking of human life is murder. Maybe I wouldn’t be comfortable with women and doctors who perform abortions being prosecuted as aggressively as people doing driveby shootings, but I still hold with the moral concept that abortion is murder and that the Constitution doesn’t give us a special right to commit murder under special circumstances. “All men are created equal” except if “they’re a black person living below a certain geographical line and then they’re not.” That was a special right granted white southerners by the Supreme Court and it was still wrong.

I agree that the military is way larger than it needs to be and that the United States should not attempt to act as global police officer, but when researching the LP, I also believe we must maintain our ability to wage war on foreign soil and not just react after the fact to aggression that comes against us. I believe that stance will leave us at the mercy of our enemies, fighting on Main Street USA instead of “over there”.  I don’t think that makes me a progressive, but it may make me a realist.

I strongly disagree with allowing an open-borders immigration policy on the grounds that the United States has a right and obligation to its people to protect them not only from military foreign invasion, but also from cultural foreign invasion. The United States of America will not remain the United States of America if we allow ourselves to be overrun by citizens of other countries who have no interest in assimilating to our culture. While we should strive always to be welcoming to those who wish to immigrate to our country, we should remember and they should be reminded that it is OUR country. If they want to join us, they should do it in an orderly and legal fashion. Even legal immigration needs to be measured to allow for assimilation of new immigrants without overwhelming the existing culture. Immigrants should add to our culture, not transform it.

So, while there are parts of the LP platform that I agree with, I cannot agree with enough of it to feel comfortable with it.

Onward in my search.

2 responses to “Listening to the Libertarian Party

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  1. Perhaps you should choose issues and vote for individual candidates who share your views on those particulars.

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    • I do, which is why I say I’m a non-partisan. The problem with that, however, is that individuals — under the system we currently have — do not win elections. Parties do. This has to do with ballot access laws.

      Thus, millions of conservatives who might vote for the candidate with the right values on the issues they care about would probably vote for that person, but instead felt that they had to vote for Mitt Romney or not vote at all. In 2008, many conservatives voted for John McCain because they felt they had no choice. In 2012, many conservatives simply stayed home and allowed Barack Obama to win.

      The ballots need to be opened up to more than just the Democrats and the Republicans. Existing third-parties are one way to do that.

      Personally, I’d close the ballot to all political parties. Parties could endorse candidates and help fund campaigns (you can’t constitutionally restrict association), but all ballots would be non-partisan and candidates would have to run on their own merits.

      The odds of that actually happening — do you have a microscope?

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