If youve routinely endorsed conservative policies and candidates, but now find that rightwingers have become chauvinistic, fiscally irresponsible and intolerant, consider the libertarian alternative.
If youve previously embraced liberal policies and candidates, but now find that leftwingers have pushed identity politics and socialist bromides, consider the libertarian alternative.
Libertarians have praised President Trump for progress in the Middle East, success against ISIS, reduced troop levels abroad, lower taxes, less regulation, and the confirmation of judges who appreciate individual rights and limited government. On the other hand, we have criticized Trump when he derides our intelligence agencies, cozies up to dictators, alienates our allies, and exacerbates global tensions. Weve also been troubled by his xenophobic immigration policies, protectionist trade barriers, punitive drug policy, excessive focus on the culture wars, and exploding federal spending.
Libertarians will support PresidentElect Bidens plans for criminal justice reform, immigration liberalization, civil rights, social permissiveness, revitalizing American diplomacy, reducing our military commitments, and nonproliferation. On the other hand, we will vigorously oppose higher taxes, more regulations, affirmative action, Medicare for all, the Green New Deal, expanded welfare, free college, ballooning entitlements, ahigher minimum wage, and judges who think the Constitution is amalleable document that courts can exploit as an alternative to legislation.
In essence, libertarianism is the political philosophy of personal and economic freedom. We believe that capitalism is the most efficient and morally defensible means of allocating scarce economic resources. Philosophically, we subscribe, as did Thomas Jefferson, to the idea of unobstructed liberty within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. Governments role is to secure those rights, applying sufficient coercive power but no more than the minimum necessary to attain that objective.
Put somewhat differently, we should be free to live our lives as we choose, as long as we dont interfere with other people who wish to do the same. Of course, individuals can never be completely selfsufficient. Thats why we sometimes need rules, enforced by government, to make peaceful cooperation possible. The risk, however, is that rules too extensive will produce asystem of special favors that extracts largesse for the politically connected at the expense of the rest of us. By contrast, libertarianism relies on spontaneous ordering minimizing the role of acommanding power that might preempt freely chosen actions.
Libertarians are not opposed to reasonable safety regulations, selective gun controls, or sensible restrictions in other areas. Moreover, we recognize that markets are not perfect. But neither is government. The relevant standard against which to compare our current framework is not autopian world in which justice is ubiquitous and all inequities have been systemically purged. Instead, we have to look at the current environment versus one in which regulations would be more pervasive meaning that some problems might be solved, but other problems would no doubt multiply.
Among those other problems: disincentives to innovate, favors to special interests, increased cost, reduced growth, governmentconferred monopolies, anticompetitive barriers to entry, restricted consumer choices, higher prices, overlapping and confusing laws, abuses of public power, and excessive resources devoted to politicking and lobbying.
How, then, can someone who views the left as excessively collectivist and the right as excessively authoritarian join with libertarians in advancing socially liberal and fiscally conservative goals? One way is to vote for candidates who come closest to promoting proliberty policies. Given the current political mix, those candidates will not be pristine libertarians. But its not necessary to agree with libertarianism acrosstheboard in order to move public policy in the right direction.
Second, alibertarian movement might be buttressed by supporting legislation and other political actions that foster personal autonomy and limited government. Such support policyspecific rather than candidatespecific could be in the form of lobbying, communications with government officials, letters to the editor, or donations to likeminded organizations.
Finally, theres the outside prospect of forming aviable third party. Two obvious hurdles complicate that approach. First, campaign contributions are presently limited to $2,800 per candidate per election. Effectively, that precludes all thirdparty candidates except those who can selffund. Second, 48 of the 50 states award presidential electors on awinnertakeall basis. Only Maine and Nebraska assign electors, in part, district by district. Consequently, candidates who have no chance of winning astatewide popular vote will not be able to garner any electoral votes.
Regrettably, therefore, fashioning an undiluted libertarian alternative will take time and effort. But incremental progress toward favorable public policy is practicable, opportune, and indisputably worthwhile. Lets get the ball rolling.
- Were the Capitol Rioters Really Libertarians? - Foundation for Economic Education - January 29th, 2021
- A Florida Senator Wants to Exclude People With Felony Convictions from the State's Minimum Wage Increase - The Appeal - January 29th, 2021
- A new Chatham Elections Board member was sworn in last week. This week, she resigned. - Savannah Morning News - January 29th, 2021
- The political beliefs of the Class of 2024 by race, gender and other factors - Duke Chronicle - January 29th, 2021
- Livorno, the Rebel City Where Italy's Communist Party Was Born - Jacobin magazine - January 29th, 2021
- HB79 Allowing Minor Party Members To Vote In Primaries Passes Government, Elections And Indian Affairs Committee - Los Alamos Daily Post - January 29th, 2021
- Mostly libertarian demonstration gathered outside of closed, guarded Texas Capitol Sunday - WJTV - January 23rd, 2021
- Groups across Texas head to Texas Capitol for "mostly libertarian" demonstration - ArkLaTexHomepage - January 23rd, 2021
- Wikipedia 20th anniversary | The libertarian internet dinosaur has become the worlds largest encyclopedia - Inspired Traveler - January 17th, 2021
- Marshawn Wolley: Like the tea party, Trumpism will die - Indianapolis Business Journal - January 17th, 2021
- How the right claimed liberty and made it a toxic word - New Statesman - January 17th, 2021
- What is a libertarian? | Libertarianism.org - January 9th, 2021
- 5 things the Libertarian Party stands for | TheHill - January 9th, 2021
- We all bear the responsibility to come together - Williston Daily Herald - January 9th, 2021
- Libertarian and Green parties cry foul over ballot change - Niagara Gazette - January 7th, 2021
- Libertarian, Green parties file injunction in lawsuit aimed at state efforts to quell third parties - The Daily News Online - January 7th, 2021
- Yellow Gadsden flag, prominent in Capitol takeover, carries a long and shifting history - The Conversation US - January 7th, 2021
- 17,000 Onondaga County voters have a decision to make: Should I enroll in another party? - syracuse.com - January 7th, 2021
- Sue Lani Madsen: End this madness of brother against brother - The Spokesman-Review - January 7th, 2021
- What everyone needs to know about 2020 | OUPblog - OUPblog - January 7th, 2021
- Boris Johnson's lockdown rebels have gone quiet. But it won't be for long - The Guardian - January 7th, 2021
- Letter: Libertarian Party has the answers - Times Herald-Record - December 6th, 2020
- Libertarian Ron Paul: Legalize Bitcoin and Abolish the IRS - Decrypt - December 6th, 2020
- Why conservatives in the US today are really libertarians - Business Insider - Business Insider - December 6th, 2020
- Be Cool Like Kennedy! Donate to Reason, and Help Us Spread #HotFreedom - Reason - December 6th, 2020
- The Libertarian Argument Is the Best Argument Against Immunity Passports. But is it good enough? - Practical Ethics - December 6th, 2020
- From Libertarians To Nationalists, Millennials Are Shaping The New Right - The Federalist - December 6th, 2020
- Pinecone: The fringe political party saving the youth from political nihilism in Georgia - New Eastern Europe - December 6th, 2020
- 'We're Gonna Need a Bigger Website' - Reason - December 6th, 2020
- The Trials and Tribulations of Third-Party Candidates - University of Georgia - December 6th, 2020
- The Libertarian, Progressive, and Conservative Constitutions | Cato @ Liberty - Cato Institute - November 29th, 2020
- A record 3 million Hoosiers voted in the 2020 election - IndyStar - November 29th, 2020
- Final thoughts on the election - The Republic - November 29th, 2020
- Cobb County and the 2020 General Election: Part 1 - Cobb County Courier - November 29th, 2020
- Charles Koch and Brian Hooks: Believe in People - Reason - November 29th, 2020
- By the Numbers: Local communities were Biden country in Nov. 3 election - Reporter Newspapers - November 29th, 2020
- Opinion: Please don't let me bleed to death in the street - easternnewmexiconews.com - November 29th, 2020
- The Libertarian Moment That Never Comes - The New Republic - November 7th, 2020
- Meet Marshall Burt, Who's About To Become the Libertarian Party's Only Sitting State Legislator - Reason - November 7th, 2020
- Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate puts a wedge in a race that is too close to call - WCNC.com - November 7th, 2020
- Newly Launched Chicago Thinker Aims to Promote Conservative and Libertarian Views on Campus - The Chicago Maroon - November 7th, 2020
- Maybe Jo Jorgensen Finishing With 1% Would Actually Be Pretty Good? - Reason - November 7th, 2020
- Libertarian candidates share conversation and coffee - The Wellsboro Gazette - November 7th, 2020
- Cotton win good news, say parties of two rivals - Arkansas Online - November 7th, 2020
- Libertarian Free Will and the Kalam, Revisited | Jonathan MS Pearce - Patheos - August 17th, 2020
- Floating Cities and Sea-Level Rise - an unsinkable idea - Anthropoce - August 17th, 2020
- When Joe Biden Tried To Paint Clarence Thomas as a Crazy Libertarian - Reason - July 31st, 2020
- Libertarian Assembly candidate calls for line item veto to rein in spending, elimination of property taxes and more to get rid of 'tyranny' and bloat... - July 31st, 2020
- OPINION EXCHANGE | The last days of the tech emperors? - Minneapolis Star Tribune - July 31st, 2020
- Buchanan and Anarchism | Mises Wire - The Shepherd of the Hills Gazette - July 31st, 2020
- Trump Wanted To 'Throw Massie Out of Republican Party!' but the Libertarian-Leaning Congressman Just Won His Primary Anyway - Reason - June 24th, 2020
- Google's warning against the Federalist is why libertarians will lose fight over Big Tech - Washington Examiner - June 24th, 2020
- Texas-based conservative group funding 'green' PAC in MT - KTVH - June 24th, 2020
- Non-mask wearing fools - The Real Nurse Jackie - McKnight's Long Term Care News - June 24th, 2020
- Morelle with big lead over Wilt but absentee votes still to be tallied - WXXI News - June 24th, 2020
- Lockdown easing analysis: Boris Johnson's libertarian instincts returned... and he went further than anyone really expected - Evening Standard - June 24th, 2020
- How a fringe sect from the 1980s influenced No 10's attitude to racism - The Guardian - June 24th, 2020
- Radley Balko on George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the Libertarian Case for Criminal Justice Reform - Reason - June 17th, 2020
- While pro-marijuana parties thrive, other minor parties struggle - Southernminn.com - June 17th, 2020
- Letters: 'It is suggested that Boris's Libertarian beliefs were the reasons for delayed Lockdown' - The Northern Echo - June 17th, 2020
- OPINION EXCHANGE | At the center of that Supreme Court ruling were people - Minneapolis Star Tribune - June 17th, 2020
- The other Jo, wants your 2020 vote, if youre fed up with the two-party system or if youre not - WIZM NEWS - June 17th, 2020
- 'Where Are Libertarians on Police Reform?' Right Where We've Always Been. - Reason - June 13th, 2020
- Protests: Meet the Romney-Gary Johnson-Bloomberg voter embracing Black Lives Matter - Vox.com - June 13th, 2020
- What the Pandemic Revealed - Niskanen Center - June 13th, 2020
- Santa Cruz Shooting Suspect Preached Libertarian Ideals, Was Pushed Over the Edge By Police Actions Against Protesters, Friends Say - SFist - June 13th, 2020
- Libertarian Think Tank Praises Pelosis Call to Remove Confederate Statues from Capitol: Slavery is The Least Libertarian Thing Imaginable - Mediaite - June 13th, 2020
- How Not To Build a Transpartisan Coalition for Police Reform - Reason - June 13th, 2020
- Primary Election ballots are in the mail | YourHub - The Know - June 13th, 2020
- Scared for their jobs, Iowa Republicans are gaming the democratic process - The Gazette - June 13th, 2020
- 61 Quick Facts and Observations on Socialism, Jesus, and Wealth | Jon Miltimore - Foundation for Economic Education - June 13th, 2020
- Nelson lead up to 23 votes over Tarkanian - The Record-Courier - June 13th, 2020
- Amash decides against Libertarian campaign for president | TheHill - The Hill - May 19th, 2020
- Libertarian Group Sues Ohio Again On Behalf Of Closed Gyms - WOSU - May 14th, 2020
- The Libertarian Party Critique of Justin Amash - Reason - May 14th, 2020
- Third Parties Unlikely to Wreak Havoc in 2020 Election - New York Magazine - May 14th, 2020
- Modest meat reforms would help Americans stay fed during the pandemic - The Maine Wire - May 14th, 2020
- Senate votes to reauthorize intel programs with added legal protections | TheHill - The Hill - May 14th, 2020
- Drop off or in person, 8 p.m. is deadline to cast your vote in the primary election - North Platte Telegraph - May 14th, 2020
- Another ludicrous Thought of the Day from the BBC: The Bishop of Manchester assures us that we have libertarian free will - stopthefud - May 14th, 2020