Politics, or the Libertarian Party

I used to think I was a Democrat. I was probably really a Republician, but the Moral Majority (remember them?) scared the heck out of me.
So I started looking around for a party that fit what I believed and wanted.

It took a lot of searching and thinking, but I've found the party for me: The Libertarian Party.

I've spent enough years as a somewhat vocal member to have gotten my explanation of "what is a Libertarian, anyway?" down pat. Recently, however, I read an article by Sharon Harris, published in the Oct/Nov 2007 national party newsletter, giving a different way of explaining "Libertarian".
From "The Libertarian Denominator" by Sharon Harris:
When asked who they are, " ... Libertarians sometimes [say] 'Libertarians are conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues'". (which is exactly what I used to say.) Sharon says that answer has several problems. 1) not clear - too broad to be an effective message, 2) makes us sound wishy-washy like we are confused about what we really are, and 3) forces us to define ourselves in terms of the other parties. She suggests making Libertarianism the focus instead: "...try something like this: 'To the extent that conservatives favor the free market, they are libertarian on economic issues. When liberals favor civil liberties, they are libertarian on social issues. Libertarians favor liberty on both social and economic issues.'" This neatly turns the tables, defining the Libertarian party in terms of the more familiar parties.
She continues "... liberals and conservatives are shown as being inconsistent on liberty. It becomes immediately clear to your questioner that liberals and conservatives want to control huge area of our personal and economic lives. An added bonus is instant rapport: just about everyone sees that they agree with libertarians - at least half the time!"
This is now officially my new favorite description of being a Libertarian. There is more, of course, but this explanation might just get my audience thinking about politics and not just in terms of Republican or Democrat.

For a little more on Libertarianism: This is the statement of principles of the Libertarian Party:
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

If you are one of the many people who don't vote because you think 'nothing will ever change, so why bother', I strongly encourage you to visit the websites of all the parties, even those strange "third" parties (terminology I really object to, who wants to be third place?).

And, if you think that voting for a third party is a waste of time, read my short piece on voting for third parties.

If after exploring various party sites and trying on some different political clothes, you still think that politics are just hopeless, then I guess I'm out of ideas.

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Last revised November 8th., 2007. Comments to: E. A. Young