In 1988 I was finally able to vote. I wanted the Reagan agenda to continue, the 80's were some great times. George HW Bush was supposed to be the shepherd of the third Reagan term, so he got my vote. By 1992 I was already feeling my independent roots taking hold. Ross Perot was a candidate speaking frankly about important issues that the Democrats and Republicans didn't seem to really care about. Despite dropping out of the race only to return a few months later I stuck with Perot. I was a naïve young man believing an alternative to the Democrats or the Republicans could win. After that until 2016 it was a successive trail of uninspired GOP votes for president.
I just wasn't wired to vote for most Democrats. I didn't believe in ever expanding government, in ever expanding tax bills, in public sector unions. The GOP's three main pillars of principles seemed the better fit for me. Once described as a stool with three legs, the strong military and leadership role of the USA was one leg which I supported. The fiscal responsibility leg of lower taxes and less spending appealed to me. Then there was the morals leg which I found myself less enthusiastic about. It's not that I was in favor of debauchery and removing prayer from school. I just didn't really believe it was the government's place to tell us how to live. Credit the Democrats for having the artists and musicians, for staying out of people's bedrooms.
Over the years as the Democrats ignored the debt. I learned the GOP was really only paying lip service to it. I realized neither party really considers the blowback of the USA involving it self in everyone else's affairs. I increasingly noticed we're losing our liberties to an ever growing police state. With a legislature that believes there isn't an issue they shouldn't get involved in. Notice I didn't say anything about solving problems. Our elected federal government doesn't really care about solving pressing issues. They care about re-election, about continuing to enrich themselves off the backs of the citizenry. They care about pleasing donors.
My break up with the GOP was long, drawn out. First the GOP committed the greatest foreign policy blunder of my lifetime, leading us into Iraq II: Shock 'N Awe. Then they handed the party over to Trump, who isn't a conservative. He's a big government authoritarian. I was never a fan, he's uncouth, a braggart, he orders his steak well done with ketchup. Next the GOP had control of both houses of the congress and the White House but they didn't have a healthcare plan? Seriously, bitch about Obamacare for almost eight years then when you have the reins no healthcare plan? No market based plan rifted from Heritage? That was the last straw. Democrats, Republicans, a pox on both their houses.
I learned there was a movement, even a political party where civil liberties were of the upmost importance. In a sound bite, fiscally responsible and socially inclusive. I voted for Gary Johnson in 2016 and became a card carrying member of the Libertarian Party in 2019. Now no political party is perfect, not even the Libertarians. They can't win big national elections and too many in the party don't seem to care. Happy to be characters from the Mos Eisley cantina scene.
The Libertarian Party in my opinion seems too concerned with being a global movement. Don't get me wrong a world of liberty is a noble goal but I'm more interested in the Libertarian Party as a functioning alternative to our current two party system. If the people of Venezuela, Iran or North Korea want liberty they best work for it themselves. If one wants economic liberty from some failed government come to the USA legally. Immigration that is legal I support. Running an open boarder by effectively ignoring immigration law I do not support. I want a significantly curtailed federal government. Too many libertarians seem to want no government at all. While that impression holds with much of the electorate the Libertarian Party will continue to be challenged in gaining higher elective office.
Who or what is The American Libertarian? A citizen blogger wanting our government to find solutions through supporting liberty. This blog will examine the issues of our day through the lens of an American Libertarian.