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Libertarians?

shawn1172shawn1172 Senior MemberPosts: 588 Senior Member
I generally consider myself a Republican but I don't particularly like the party. More like I dislike them less than the Democrats. Usually vote Rep out of picking the lesser of evils.... as in "hmmm which of these professional liars do I think will screw us less?"

So what I'm looking for is an explanation of the Libertarian party. I just don't know much of anything about them and want to be enlightened. I know we have some members here who call themselves Libertarians so I was hoping someone would chime in. Thanks.

Replies

  • QuinianQuinian Senior Member Posts: 707 Senior Member
    I'm not too good at splainin stuff :tooth: Their website would be a good place to start

    http://www.lp.org/introduction/what-is-the-libertarian-party

    Libertarian Party:

    As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

    We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.


    Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.


    from another part of their site
    http://www.lp.org/blogs/andrew-davis/libertarian-party-vs-constitution-party
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,912 Senior Member
    Look at Ron Paul. He is the closest thing to a Libertarian as we have currently running for office.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 12,073 Senior Member
    shawn1172 wrote: »
    I generally consider myself a Republican but I don't particularly like the party. More like I dislike them less than the Democrats. Usually vote Rep out of picking the lesser of evils....

    If we keep ordering Evil, they are going to keep it on the Menu.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,982 Senior Member
    Libertarians hold a LOT of value on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. A LOT more so then the other 2 parties do. They believe in a very strict separation of church and state (Far right Reps and Tea Party), and don't think amending our rights to fit their own philosophies (Dem's).

    The Lib party is really a middle of the road party, and we are gaining more and more support from the dissenting ranks of the Rep and Dem party, especially the moderates (who actually carry the most pull in an election).

    Most Lib (Libertarians, not liberals, mind you) are in favor of personal gun ownership, especially because it is a Constitutional Right.
    Also big on their beliefs, is personal freedom/responsibility. Smaller government, more accountability of the people, help when help is needed but not entitlement.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,982 Senior Member
    The Libertarian Party, in a sense, is about civil liberties and personal accountability. Basically a do what you want, don't hurt other people philosophy. If the Constitution doesn't specify it, then the choice is to remain with the states and the people.

    MileHighShooter hit the nail on the head pretty well. I personally agree with the Libertarian Party on almost every issue (I am stubbornly against Abortion, which Libertarians take no solid stance on).
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Libertarians generally believe in laissez-faire (leave it alone). That is, the government has no authority being involved in your daily affairs, whether personal or business, so long as it does not affect or disturb a third party.

    Much of Libertarian philosophy can be seen in both the right and the left. For example, the right believes that government should not meddle in educating your children -- you should be able to determine their schooling. Conversely, the left believes in "body freedom" such as no limits to abortion. So both the left and right today have certain topics that are "not the government's business" and also topics that are. Libertarians would back away from ANY interference at all. They are at least consistent. Right wingers for example believe the government has no authority to limit firearms (2nd A notwithstanding -- let's say it doesn't exist), but that the government DOES have authority to limit abortion. Left wingers believe just the opposite. Both views are inconsistent if you consider whether to give government authority over some aspects of your life. Why for example are guns sacred but women cannot choose to have abortions?

    It's a sliding scale of course. Do Libertarians for example believe in levying taxes to build public roads? I'd guess yes. Same for public sewage or water plants.

    "That government is best which governs least." (either Thoreau or Tom Paine) pretty well describes the Libertarian ideals.

    Much of what they say on a domestic basis sounds pretty good, and to a great degree parallels conservative beliefs. Where they differ are usually on religious-based points, such as abortion.

    Where I strongly differ from Libertarians is on international issues, especially military intervention. Their idea of "fortress America" and not dealing with any conflicts that don't directly impinge on our soil may have held merit 200 years ago but not now. Libertarians would for example have greatly admired the Brit PM Neville Chamberlain, who got off the plane after deep discussions with Mr. Hitler, waving the signed agreement in the air as proof that there would be no further military conflict from Germany after Austria. Or was it Sudetenland? Or Poland?

    Sometimes it's necessary to go to war. If we had sat idly aside for another 3-4 years, I'd be a lampshade now.

    Ron Paul's idea on how to deal with Iran is to talk with them nicely. Maybe he could have a cyborg of Chamberlain that would wave a signed promise that there is no harm planned to Israel? And the problem that Israel is surrounded and outnumbered 20:1 by people and governments which have sworn (and have it as part of their actual written charter) to destroy Israel and kill all Jews? Can't we just all be nice to each other?

    Libertarian ideals are pretty attractive, on paper. They assume everyone is nice and reasonable and willing to listen to good, honest talk. They also assume that everyone else is well educated and somewhat a pacifist. That's just not the way it is, gang. And Libertarians maintain this Sesame-Street wholesome philosophy about people who want to kill us. For me, that's a deal breaker.

    Big problem is, and this is the Libertarians' right to do this, and the Republicans' fault if they let them, the Libertarians tend to bleed off conservative votes in tight elections and shift wins toward Democrats. Thank you Ross Perot legacy. Some say that the Libertarians are gaining strength. Okay, tell me, name ONE Libertarian governor, or ONE state legislature with a Libertarian majority.

    Libertarians essentially have Ron Paul and a handful of other national-level electees. And this hasn't changed a bit in the last 20 years.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,982 Senior Member
    Sam the party is only what, 40 years old? Versus parties that have been around in some form, possibly by a different name, for several hundred years.

    A local city government here (Aurora, CO) has a strong Lib presence in the city gov, including the mayor. On the Lib page, they have a list of elected officials by each state. It isn't huge, but it is always better then none. And changing the system the way we want to, has to start from the most local places and gain strength going up.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Oh, well, Aurora Colorado. I take it back. Libertarians are the next big thing, right after the Bullmoose party.

    I worked for the Republican party in Missouri and Kansas for quite a few years, and then "interned" two summers for a Missouri lobbying firm in Jefferson City (Mo state cap). Also worked on campaigns for quite a few Republicans, both local and statewide. In my experience, 3rd parties in the USA have ZERO chance of succeeding beyond an occasional mayor or US Rep. There is essentially no chance of any 3rd party candidate carrying more than the rare situation of maybe winning the home state.

    Our national political system is based on 2 parties and all machinations occur within the parties. There is no trend otherwise, none at all. Ross Perot was a fluke and how many states did he carry? How far did his "party" go after the election?
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    Libertarians are insignificant until the republicans lose an election. Then WE cost them the election.

    Nominate a smaller gov't candidate and earn our support. Until then, piss off.
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod


  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    CaliFFL wrote: »
    Libertarians are insignificant until the republicans lose an election. Then WE cost them the election.

    Nominate a smaller gov't candidate and earn our support. Until then, piss off.

    Hope you are looking forward to another 4 Obama years because that PO attitude will get exactly that.
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    John Stossel has a pretty good article on what a Libertarian is:

    What Am I?
    By John Stossel

    I used to be a Kennedy-style "liberal." Then I wised up. Now I'm a libertarian.

    But what does that mean?

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    John Stossel RealClearPolitics
    economy John Stossel

    When I asked people on the street, half had no clue.

    We know that conservatives want government to conserve traditional values. They say they're for limited government, but they're pro-drug war, pro-immigration restriction and anti-abortion, and they often support "nation-building."

    And so-called liberals? They tend to be anti-gun and pro-choice on abortion. They favor big, powerful government -- they say -- to make life kinder for people.

    By contrast, libertarians want government to leave people alone -- in both the economic and personal spheres. Leave us free to pursue our hopes and dreams, as long as we don't hurt anybody else.

    Ironically, that used to be called "liberal," which has the same root as "liberty." Several hundred years ago, liberalism was a reaction against the stifling rules imposed by aristocracy and established religion.

    I wish I could call myself "liberal" now. But the word has been turned on its head. It now means health police, high taxes, speech codes and so forth.

    So I can't call myself a "liberal." I'm stuck with "libertarian." If you have a better word, please let me know.

    When I first explained libertarianism to my wife, she said: "That's cruel! What about the poor and the weak? Let them starve?"

    I recently asked some prominent libertarians that question, including Jeffrey Miron, who teaches economics at Harvard.

    "It might in some cases be a little cruel," Miron said. "But it means you're not taking from people who've worked hard to earn their income (in order) to give it to people who have not worked hard."

    But isn't it wrong for people to suffer in a rich country?

    "The number of people who will suffer is likely to be very small. Private charity ... will provide support for the vast majority who would be poor in the absence of some kind of support. When government does it, it creates an air of entitlement that leads to more demand for redistribution, till everyone becomes a ward of the state."

    Besides, says Wendy McElroy, the founder of ifeminists.com, "government aid doesn't enrich the poor. Government makes them dependent. And the biggest hindrance to the poor ... right now is the government. Government should get out of the way. It should allow people to open cottage industries without making them jump through hoops and licenses and taxing them to death. It should open up public lands and do a 20th-century equivalent of 40 acres and a mule. It should get out of the way of people and let them achieve and rise."

    David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, took the discussion to a deeper level.

    "Instead of asking, 'What should we do about people who are poor in a rich country?' The first question is, 'Why is this a rich country?' ...

    "Five hundred years ago, there weren't rich countries in the world. There are rich countries now because part of the world is following basically libertarian rules: private property, free markets, individualism."

    Boaz makes an important distinction between equality and absolute living standards.

    "The most important way that people get out of poverty is economic growth that free markets allow. The second-most important way -- maybe it's the first -- is family. There are lots of income transfers within families. Third would be self-help and mutual-aid organizations. This was very big before the rise of the welfare state."

    This is an important but unappreciated point: Before the New Deal, people of modest means banded together to help themselves. These organizations were crowded out when government co-opted their insurance functions, which included inexpensive medical care.

    Boaz indicts the welfare state for the untold harm it's done in the name of the poor.

    "What we find is a system that traps people into dependency. ... You should be asking advocates of that system, 'Why don't you care about the poor?'"

    I agree. It appears that when government sets out to solve a problem, not only does it violate our freedom, it also accomplishes the opposite of what it set out to

    From:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/04/07/what_am_i_105075.html
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,887 Senior Member
    Ohhh, goodie. A Republican vs. Libertarian sniping match.



    Ever wanna know why we get gridlock in this country? This. Both sides spend more time trying to run each other down, condescend, and snipe without figuring out what they might be able to do to accomplish their mutual goals.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,391 Senior Member
    My take on it:

    Current Republican Party - People who think God should run government.

    Current Democratic Party - People who think Karl Marx is God. . .and that he should run government.

    Libertarian Party - People who view the entire concept of government as a 1960's British automobile that should be run as little as possible.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • shawn1172shawn1172 Senior Member Posts: 588 Senior Member
    So far I'm liking what I'm hearing and reading. Not exactly ready to jump in and declare myself a member but I'm interested. Thanks for all your input guys.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    CaliFFL wrote: »
    Libertarians are insignificant until the republicans lose an election. Then WE cost them the election.

    Nominate a smaller gov't candidate and earn our support. Until then, piss off.

    Perhaps you need to take a long walk on a short pier.
    Or pound sand.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Stossel, I think, states the Libertarian philosophy pretty accurately. And much of what Libertarians believe is parallel with what most conservative Republicans think. I've essentially got 3 problems with "pure" Libertarian philosophy:

    1- Some people really do need a government-sponsored safety net. Right now, we see terrible corruption and mismanagement in that, which understandably turns people off from supporting government help. Regardless, I do think there's a place for a smart, efficient way for government to help folks at the bottom.

    2- I just cannot agree with decriminalization of street drugs. Doing so will create a lot more problems than it solves.

    3- I object to the isolationist view that the US should avoid all international conflicts. The consequences of not getting involved can be far worse than mistakes made when getting involved. This is of course only true on a case by case basis.
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Hope you are looking forward to another 4 Obama years because that PO attitude will get exactly that.

    How is four more years of BHO any worse than four years of Romney? There is little difference between the two.
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod


  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Stossel, I think, states the Libertarian philosophy pretty accurately. And much of what Libertarians believe is parallel with what most conservative Republicans think. I've essentially got 3 problems with "pure" Libertarian philosophy:

    1- Some people really do need a government-sponsored safety net. Right now, we see terrible corruption and mismanagement in that, which understandably turns people off from supporting government help. Regardless, I do think there's a place for a smart, efficient way for government to help folks at the bottom.

    2- I just cannot agree with decriminalization of street drugs. Doing so will create a lot more problems than it solves.

    3- I object to the isolationist view that the US should avoid all international conflicts. The consequences of not getting involved can be far worse than mistakes made when getting involved. This is of course only true on a case by case basis.

    What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results.

    People do not need a hand out. They WANT a hand out.

    War on Drugs...Another failed Prohibition that breeds bigger gov't and more gun control.

    Isolationism...you have no idea what you are talking about because America has NEVER avoided any conflicts. We just jump in to every conflict and spend lives and money.
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod


  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Perhaps you need to take a long walk on a short pier.
    Or pound sand.
    '

    Do you have a candidate that wants to shrink the federal government? Even just a little?
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod


  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,912 Senior Member
    CaliFFL wrote: »
    'Do you have a candidate that wants to shrink the federal government? Even just a little?
    Rick Perry claims he wants to do just that, but there's no way he can win.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,912 Senior Member
    CaliFFL wrote: »
    What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results.
    I think you meant different results.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    My take on it:

    Current Republican Party - People who think God should run government.

    Current Democratic Party - People who think Karl Marx is God. . .and that he should run government.

    Libertarian Party - People who view the entire concept of government as a 1960's British automobile that should be run as little as possible.

    That about sums it up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    Ohhh, goodie. A Republican vs. Libertarian sniping match.

    Ever wanna know why we get gridlock in this country? This. Both sides spend more time trying to run each other down, condescend, and snipe without figuring out what they might be able to do to accomplish their mutual goals.

    Very well said breamfisher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will agree with you!!! Very good sir!!!!
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    Go back and read what breamfisher said! Our leaders and politicians ain't going to get nothing done if they don't quit arguing and fighting among themselfs about issues. Party politics and party advancement should not even enter the picture when it comes to "Doing whats best for America and it's people. This type of childlike mentality has got us nowhere, and it won't get us anywhere. One of the things I have always said is that when one goes to vote forget the politics, and vote for the individual who will do the best job in Washington D.C. and for the American people. Americans need to concentrate more on electing Senators and Representives as opposed to concentrating on Who will be the best President. Now don't get me wrong we need to elect a good President, but its our Congress who writes the laws, proposes the laws, passes the laws etc. Ya'll see what I am getting at here? I have been through a lot of elections during my stay here on earth, and it looks like to me that this year we are actually scraping the bottom of the barrel. The point being is this:
    Who ever gets elected they need to start now, on straighting out this country and start now or they ain't going to be a USA left in 4 more years.
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,391 Senior Member
    Our leaders and politicians ain't going to get nothing done if they don't quit arguing and fighting among themselfs about issues. Party politics and party advancement should not even enter the picture when it comes to "Doing whats best for America and it's people. This type of childlike mentality has got us nowhere, and it won't get us anywhere.

    Yes, but the reason we HAVE different political parties is difference of opinion in what IS best for America and its people. At the level of the individual voter, democracy will always be about "I Pledge Allegiance TO ME"

    The thing I like about the Libertarians is that they are mature enough to have wrapped their brain around the notion that what's best "FOR ME" might not be best "FOR EVERYONE ELSE", and they want to structure government around that notion as much as possible. Don't like guns? Fine - don't buy one. Don't like abortion? Fine - don't get one. Don't like drugs? Fine - don't do them. The rest of the political system seems to be largely about making the world "MORE LIKE ME", and that's how freedom dies, regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on.

    As to what is often regarded as the Libertarian stance of international isolationism, I would at least submit that we need more logic and less emotion in the overseas issues we wrap ourselves up in. The question needs to be asked - "Are we supporting _______because it's in the interests of national security or economic growth, or are we supporting ________ because my grandparents are from there, or those people have the same religion or race as ____% of our population?" If we accept that we shouldn't try to make our country a nation of people with identical world views, we also need to be careful about what we're trying to turn the world into as well.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • blueslide88blueslide88 Member Posts: 273 Member
    Ohhh, goodie. A Republican vs. Libertarian sniping match.



    Ever wanna know why we get gridlock in this country? This. Both sides spend more time trying to run each other down, condescend, and snipe without figuring out what they might be able to do to accomplish their mutual goals.

    Oh, boy, I just don't see that fighting for what one believes in is a destructive force. Healthy and vigorous debate should ALWAYS be encouraged. It is the voter who will ultimately make the decision, at least most of the time. We got Obamacare shoved down our throats by the Dems. And now the opposition party wants that law rescinded. Sure makes sense to me.
    Blame who you want, but the outrageous government spending has got to brought under control. BO and company have done nothing, zip.
    They want to tax the rich more and redistribute the wealth to the point of absurdity.
    I could go on and on, but to say we all should smile and work toward "mutual goals" is self-contradictory. Paul has some good ideas, but he also has some terrible ones. At least many, many people think so. Paul even went to the liberal Dems (like Barney Frank) to get his pro-pot bill rolling. Interesting that there were no Repubs cooperating, yet Paul is running as a Repub, and taking advantage of the public exposure on the debates. His foreign policy position is not one from the real world, either. So we debate, sometimes with harsh rhetoric, but the common goals are not there. Go back to the gold standard? Hard to get backers on that one too. And, if by some miracle of sorts, he got elected, it would be difficult, at best, to lead this country with the Dems and Repubs controlling the Senate and House.
    It is the Repubs who need to win the presidency and the Senate, in order to "straighten house", and bring sanity back to government.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,887 Senior Member
    I don't mind debate, but when both sides are just being ugly and not presenting facts, just emotions, no good comes of it. Why? Because no one is actually advancing ideas, just emotions and speculation without any supporting evidence. Then folks tell each other to take a long walk off a short pier and pound sand, and what does that get you? Nothing.

    If you want to discuss why one side is better than the other, I like to read that. If you're going to denigrate the other side with opinions and unsupported allegations, you're just wasting your time, in my opinion. Because in that case neither side is building a case for their side, they're just lobbing rounds without any clear aim.
    I'm just here for snark.
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