These days, more people than ever before have heard of the Libertarian Party, but too few seem to know what its tenets are or what ideology its subscribers follow. Thus, the general public often mistakenly concludes that Libertarians go hand-in-hand with Republicans or the Tea Party.
However, I have not heard anyone even mention the words “Libertarian” and “Democrat” in the same sentence, and wonder why. This article aims to change that.
First off, some necessary clarification. One might hear talk of small-l “libertarians” and capital-L “Libertarians.” The difference? Well, libertarianism is an ideology, and those who adopt it will often identify themselves as small-l “libertarians.” The political party which claims to best embody and represent libertarianism is—wait for it—the Libertarian Party, members of which capitalize the “L” in their “Libertarian.” For the balance of the article we’ll use the more generic “libertarian,” but just keep in mind that those libertarians who join the political party are also registered Libertarians.
While the great majority of libertarians stand on their own and do not align themselves with other groups, some do. And I feel that there is just as great a likelihood that a person can have both libertarian and Democratic views as libertarian and Republican, or libertarian and Tea Party.
I believe that no one needs to identify with only one political party if they share views from two of them, or even from several of them. When it comes to politics, I am going to risk being unpopular and state my beliefs that the United States would be a more open-minded place, and our government might even run more smoothly if we all cherry-picked our stances from different political ideologies.
For example, in my estimation, the federal government is too centralized and too powerful, the dollar should be backed by gold, the US spends too much on defense (such as maintaining military bases in foreign countries, for which we have no Constitutional authority), and I enjoy and exercise my right to responsibly own and operate my Beretta M9 with its 15-round clip—all libertarian viewpoints.
Do I think that background checks to obtain guns and conceal and carry permits should be much more stringent? Yes. Do I find federal funding for many social programs absolutely necessary? Yes. Both Democratic views.
Then there are the issues where libertarian and Democratic positions are identical, such as in the support of same-sex marriage, in the view that huge government bailouts are essentially theft from the country’s people, and in the endorsement of responsible pro-choice legislation.
Thus, I am a libertarian—not, liberal, mind you—Democrat. Yes, such a classification exists (since we’re all so fond of classifying things), and get used to the term, because I’m sure there are more of us.
Feel free to contact me at wbindependentgazette.com/LibertarianDemocrat with any questions you’d like answered or any topics you’d like to see discussed. I look forward to some lively discourse in future columns!