Jeremy Medley September 14, 2017
What comes to mind when you hear, “I’m gluten free” or “Yeah I do Crossfit?” If you’re like 99% of Americans you tune the person out, regardless of what may come after. They have touched a nerve. You don’t want to listen to them even though what follows may hold some value.
This is what the libertarian movement has become. From its meteoric rise with the 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns of Representative Ron Paul to the “What is Aleppo?” Gary Johnson moment; which in my opinion is when he became dead in the water, even though Google experienced a huge increase in searches regarding Aleppo following this. When did we allow the party of liberty and individual choice to become cliche? Was it when we became meme warriors? Where all you saw was “I just want to smoke pot, carry my gun, at my gay friend’s wedding?” Was it when few libertarians couldn’t offer a concise solution to the argument when they heard, “What about the roads?” Comical at best I give you, but we can cover this in another article.
As a party we face an uphill battle. We need to focus on our core principles. Even though we may have differing opinions on some issues, we are the party of truly limited government. We believe that you as an individual know what choice best suits your needs, not the government. You wouldn’t want your neighbor coming in your home telling you how you need to live your life. Why would you allow elected officials do this?
The biggest issue within the libertarian movement is libertarians themselves. We can’t go a day without someone saying “You’re not a real libertarian.” This is the difference between the party of liberty and the Republican and Democrat parties. They can rally their base while we have constant infighting. They also have the privilege and curse of being so at odds with one another their bases never side with the opposition. They look at themselves as uniting against the common enemy. Where, regardless of how our views differ from both major parties, we have the opportunity to appeal to both sides of the proverbial aisle. Remember just because you and another member of the party have some small disagreement on an issue doesn’t make you more libertarian than them. They have their ideas; you have yours.
If you’re brave enough to discuss politics with someone without mentioning the Libertarian Party, just focusing on the issues, chances are they will see the awe inspiring light. When you hear them talk about the failures of the establishment, show them an alternative.
Following the 2016 election, the Libertarian party gained ballot access in all 50 states. This is nothing short of amazing for a party that began in 1971, especially with the duopoly political system where we are lumped into groups of conservatives or liberals. Why can’t you just be the individual? In a time when identity politics is all the rage, remember the individual is the smallest minority.
The seeds of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have been planted into each one of us, regardless if our ancestors landed upon these shores with the Mayflower or we are first generation Americans. Let us nurture these ideas to grow and flourish in a newly awakened America.
The revolution has just begun.
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The author’s views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the entire Ask A Libertarian Team or its followers.