Are you a Democrat or a Republican?
I hate that question. I always try to explain that I am partially both, but not really either. For example: Democrats hate the rich, and Republicans hate the gays. Well shit, these aren’t my views. I don’t think the rich should be penalized for being rich and expected to provide for everyone else. And hating gays is just, well, completely ridiculous (and laughably ignorant). So where does this leave me in terms of my political stance? Stuck somewhere in between and not really belonging to either.
A few years back I realized I’m almost perfectly compatible with the Libertarian party (see below if you are confused). The problem is that most people that I encounter with very strong political opinions also don’t believe that anything exists outside of the two dominant parties. When I answer with “Libertarian” I’m usually greeted with a blank stare and a repeat of the question “So which are you?”. Or someone that throws out a mildly condescending laugh and asks “Why? You know you won’t win.” Umm hello? This isn’t a horse race. You don’t win a prize for betting on the winner.
Am I registered Libertarian? No. I live in a very Republican state, and so I register as Republican. Why? So I can vote in the primaries: at this point I’m not voting for someone I want to win, but rather against the candidate that I think would do the most damage if elected. This is quite sad, I know. But the reality is that the odds of a Republican losing in my state are so small that this seems to be a logical play. Also note that when I lived in Los Angeles, I was registered as a Democrat for exactly the same reason (although the party bias is much less severe in California than it is here).
I also want to point out that while my political views are well aligned with the Libertarian party, this does not necessarily mean I vote Libertarian. During the primaries I vote against someone in the dominant party in whatever state I happen to reside in at the time. Once we pass the primaries, I’m voting for who I want to win, but to be clear, I’m voting for candidates not parties.
Does anyone else do this?
Are Libertarians liberal or conservative?
Libertarians are neither. Unlike liberals or conservatives, Libertarians advocate a high degree of both personal and economic liberty. For example, Libertarians advocate freedom in economic matters, so we’re in favor of lowering taxes, slashing bureaucratic regulation of business, and charitable — rather than government — welfare. But Libertarians are also socially tolerant. We won’t demand laws or restrictions on other people who we may not agree because of personal actions or lifestyles.
Think of us as a group of people with a “live and let live” mentality and a balanced checkbook.
In a sense, Libertarians “borrow” from both sides to come up with a logical and consistent whole — but without the exceptions and broken promises of Republican and Democratic politicians. That’s why we call ourselves the Party of Principle.