Libertarian is not “Conservative”

Why have these two often been mixed up together. Why they should not. And what we (Libertarians) can do about it.

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My Favorite Videos

Do you know what I love? I love watching those videos of soldiers returning home. You know the ones I mean. You’ve seen them pop up in your news feed. It is usually a football game, or a graduation, or maybe a birthday party. A marine or soldier in uniform sneaks in and surprises the unsuspecting youngster. The cheerleader at the halftime show had no idea their dad had been released early. The boy who is curious about the huge mysterious box in the backyard is overjoyed when his big brother pops out of it. And we are all brought to tears when mom, fresh from deployment, scoops up her tots.

Now that North and South Korea are reaching a peace agreement I am looking forward to even more of these videos! South Korea won’t need the U.S. forces there. Our military can close the bases and start bringing the approximately 30 thousand troops back stateside. We can have many more scenes of soldiers coming home and reuniting with their loved ones.

You know what? Maybe they could make a whole TV show out of it. Every week we can watch dozens of new homecomings! Keep your tissues handy because this is going to be drippy snot face love city! It will be so popular we will want to close more bases around the world. Everyday there can be an hour of troops coming home and hugging their families.  Never to be deployed for invasion and occupation of foreign lands ever again!

Let’s close all the bases and bring them all home. With over 200,000 forces in about 180 countries around the world, that should be enough to keep us celebrating for quite some time. We can have the video playing non-stop for a year. More hugging, more love, more crying tears of joy. Of course the military profiteers won’t like it. They will be crying tears of anger and despair. But there will be far less need to tax our incomes to pay for the bloated military. All those men and women returning home can spend their incomes here. The overall economy will thrive.

And without the U.S. military getting involved in civil wars of foreign states, and without the perpetual bombings and killing of people’s loved ones, there will gradually be fewer and fewer worldwide enemies of Americans. We will be vastly safer. There will be even more reason to celebrate. Once all the troops are home and all the reunions have been shown, let’s not make the mistakes of the past and send them abroad again. Let’s keep them here, and just watch reruns of them returning home!

Ridicule On the Road to Victory

First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win.

I have two new pieces of evidence that we are in the “ridicule you” or “fight you” stage. Last week I came across a video entitled “The Religion of Libertarians” by a youtube channel called Newsbroke. It’s snarky, not completely inaccurate, and I would even say witty. Yes, it is chock full of mischaracterizations of libertarians and Straw Man arguments against our philosophy, but it does portray the basic principles of Libertarianism. That being self ownership, nonaggression, and freedom – for All, socially AND economically. Many people who are leaning our way will be inclined to look into the Libertarian Party after watching that video. So thanks for the promo! But the main point is that someone took the time to make that video in the first place. They must be getting scared. We are being taken seriously. When you are enough of a threat that they don’t just ignore you, but they (attempt to) make fun of and attack you, then you are doing something right!

Ridicule to Victory

The other recent attack comes from Robert Reich in a video he published  on April 19th. He asks, “Should You Vote for a Third Party?” ** SPOILER ALERT ** His answer is NO. This longtime friend/advisor to the Clintons, and champion of BIG government, BIG banks, and BIG cronyism, is scared of the little third parties. Enough so that he’s decided to lecture us against the folly of trying to go outside the prescribed two party box. He blames people who voted third party for the loss of Hillary Clinton and the disastrous election of Donald Trump in 2016. Even though the biggest third party vote total was by far for Libertarian Gary Johnson. And most of those voters certainly would not have chosen Clinton as their second choice. In other words, third party candidates “stole” more votes from Trump. Although instead of saying it that way, I describe it as the exact opposite. The Democrats and Republicans actually tend to “steal” votes from the Libertarian, Green, and other parties. Those candidates, such as Jill Stein of the Green Party would be many voters’ first choice. But because they are afraid of wasting their vote they are often shamed into voting for the establishment status quo candidate whom they really don’t want but fear slightly less than the other establishment status quo candidate. Thus the establishment LOVES keeping the Red Team Vs Blue team animosity at full boil.

Which is why it shocked me to hear Robert Reich endorsing something new. In that “Should You Vote for a Third Party” video he advocated for ranked-choice voting. Instead of voting for a single candidate, ranked-choice voting has you put the candidates in order of your preference. If there is no clear winner from the first choice votes the other preferred choices get factored in. As Reich says this allows you to vote your conscience. (So I guess he realizes voting for R’s and D’s goes AGAINST your conscience.) What I don’t get is how he could possibly think ranked-choice voting would be good for the Democratic Party and the system he has fought so consistently to defend.

Personally, I love exploring new possibilities such as ranked-choice voting, and also proportional representation as another alternative. In proportional representation the legislature is made up of candidates from ALL parties in proportion to the vote total they received. If the House is made up of 50 representatives and the Green Party got 10% of the vote total in an election then the Green Party would have five representatives in the House.

I applaud any new system which allows for more choice and enables people to break free from old paradigms. I also encourage you on your journey (be it your political, spiritual, artistic journey, or all of the above) NOT to fear criticisms of your beliefs. Welcome those criticisms, explore and play with them. If someone goes to the trouble of trying to keep you down then you are probably on your way up!