What is a Libertarian?
I often get this question from individuals and the media alike. And what I have learned is a short simple answer doesn't always seem to work. But I will try again.
Libertarians by nature are seekers of individual rights protected by limited governmental laws from both fraud and aggression here and abroad, with government's only role being to enforce the contracts made between people.
Now you can, if you are like some, extrapolate that to the Nth degree and say we want anarchy or lawlessness. But nowhere in there did I say that. Often times, I think it is easier to say what we are not.
For example: We are not hypocrites. We are not asking for money from the government for some pet project while denying someone else the fruits of their labor by forcing them to give to my project or idea, etc. This is denying the individual their liberty for the benefit of another or a group. You see your efforts are an outcome of your work with your environment and, as such, a product of your liberty. You see politicians do this often enough to carry favor for the people who put them in office. By doing such, though, they are using and abusing the role of government. Worse yet: It is unconstitutional to do. But I fear as of late that concept is a dirty work.
You see, Libertarians see government as the last resort to settle disputes - because it is a blunt weapon. It always relies on force and you have little or no recourse to protect yourself. Try to tell the IRS next time that you don't want to pay. Or that you don't want your tax dollars going to foriegn countries, etc. You will quickly find that you have no say so and, worse yet, you have no choice.
In our world, that is a bad thing. In the wrong hands, government is a thing that we have to protect ourselves against and our founding fathers designed a document that limits the powers of our government, not expand them, just to ensure that very thing. Which I'd like to point we as Libertarians couldn't agree more with.
Another is we are not all drug dealing or, for that matter, drug using members of society. But that comes back to the hypocrite thing. We are not about to tell someone you can't do this drug or that drug because we don't like them, all the while drinking caffeine or smoking tobacco or alcohol, etc. You say those are legal. And I say so...your idea is some drugs are okay versus others. Or is it that you can be responsible with this drug or that? That in our book is a conflict of interest. As we believe, you are of the freedom to choose that which you put in your body. Whatever the substance. We believe you own your person. But with that freedom to choose comes the consequences of that choice. Good or bad.
I think at this point you are starting to get the idea.
In closing, there are many things we are not and many that we are. And as I write here week after week, my goal is you introduce you to them. Until then, visit the state's website or contact me on Facebook. I look forward to you getting to know and understand us.
In Liberty for the Republic,
James H Lewis II
Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Michigan