Libertarian (noun) - a person who advocates liberty, especially with regard to thought or conduct.
Does America know what it wants anymore? At this time in our history the United States citizenry get more information, more readily, and with an immediacy never before seen in the world. We know about scandal only hours after police make arrests, we know about foreign government interventions live as they are announced, we see politicians on CSPAN not as sage statesmen, but as poker players telegraphing their [lack of] knowledge and their special interests. Our society has grown denser, until entire coast lines become masses of sprawl, yet our identities, as always, are defined by the web of personal relationships we share. We share similarities but enjoy one another for our individualities. At such a point are we, now that New World outposts, became colonies, became a Nation, became a World power, that our individualities outnumber our common bonds. What should one want from a government unifying our land and people? A thousand times asked, a thousand times answered in a thousand different ways. But isn't there an answer given in the founding documents of this nation? Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.
Am I getting what I paid for? While tax season still lingers fresh on everyone's mind now is the perfect time to consider the Government and the results it produces. The unedited version of my sentiment the very hour of check cutting and mailing can be found here. Crass, maybe, but couldn't it be said that everyone has some form of contempt for the choices being made in DC? I will not waste time discussing temporary solutions like term limits, salary limitations, and campaign contribution caps. These limited-view answers presume that a country as large as ours can be legislated by a few hundred people completely disconnected from their contingencies. No, the real solution is to handicap the willingness of few to govern the many by simultaneously cutting federal and raising local taxes, rolling back numerous (onerous) daily-life federal statutes, and empowering States' electorates to choose for themselves how, where, and why their money gets spent. With this power comes the answer to all problems, culpability.
Solution through dilution and committee. Consider that I feel like the United States Federal Reserve should be audited. I cast my vote for local House and Senate representation. A person who has some semblance of my ideals wins and heads East. Once there they might sit on a committee where the "politics" of selling out some ideals, in favor of what's really wanted takes place. If enough money was spent in Iowa that term, it doesn't really matter what happens next because there's no chance that my wants are recognized, even if next term the opposite is true. Shouldn't the government that I pay for give me what I want all the time? If they don't, what's my alternative? Who is the one person that can be held accountable for failing to deliver?
Through diffusion of responsibility, the easy answers (excuses) are both plentiful and frankly, honest. Underpinning everyones' frustrations an institution exists that tries to satisfy everyone, all the time. No tough choices get made. And if they do, and I don't agree with them, there's nothing that can be done for at least 2 more years. These are the struggles anyone who genuinely cares about the direction of this country face.
Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness. The transformation of our country from telegraphs to emails highlights the speed of change, yet our government moves slower than ever. Though it may seem counterintuitive, I would like the federal government to fall back on its founding principles, and cease with futile efforts to legislate minutiae. It should collect the minimum amount of taxes required to defend our freedoms and let states collect taxes to spend how local voters see fit. Unfair, and not right is it to collect taxes only to bail out fiscally irresponsible idiots at banks, or in California, much less Greece. So long as no willful harm is done to my neighbor, I should be free to live as I choose to. No government should incentivize, or disincentivize, things like gay marriage, or marriage at all. It makes no matter what another's relationship status is so long as the individuals therein feel free to enjoy their lives. Everyone should be taxed as individuals. Our identities should extend no further than our social security numbers in the eyes of the Nation.
A Tea Party Republican by any other name is a Libertarian. The Tea Party Movement is a blessing and a curse for the revitalization of sensibility in America. Tumult in the ranks rewards loud mouths first, but their psychotic rants distract from the message as showmanship prevails. Once attention has been garnered, explaining the frustrations that people have in a way that organizes their feelings must be the second step. Tea Party Republicans have capitalized on the fact that a growing percentage of the population feels disenfranchised by present government machinations. To crib a name doesn't lend credence to the cause, the ideology takes care of itself provided it is explained in a way that everyone identifies with.
In sum, as a Libertarian I advocate:
- A decrease in the size and breadth of Federal government;
- A greater focus on State and Local representation;
- A greater level of culpability across all government programs;
- A reversion to living under founding principles, without effort to legislate minute details;
- A migration away from the notion that to fail is to be a failure.
The Bill of Rights, a paragon of practicality and a credit to the brilliance of our forefathers can still serve our needs today, if only we allow it. For all other matters, let the Peoples' vote and money count. Let locals make local decisions. Let their representatives shop in the same grocery store with the guy who pulled up in a new Chrysler 300, only to pay for his Cheetos with food stamps, and his beer in cash.