Female? Give libertarian a try.

Author’s note: I am a man and make no claims I fully understand women’s issues or what it is like to be a woman in America. However, I do understand liberty, equal rights, and the concept of gender egalitarianism through private action.

Abortion. Birth control. Equal pay. Prostitution. Sexual violence. Today, these are common issues discussed when it comes to the popular phrase of “women’s issues” in the United States. It is commonly assumed that ‘the left’ wants to make women equal and ‘the right’ wants to keep women where they are at – at best.  This has led to an explosion of Democrat Party popularity among many females since before I was born. While some women still vote Republican – they either do it out of religious reasons, the belief that fiscal freedom is more important than social freedom, or a myriad of other reasons, I want to speak to the women who feel their social freedom is very important to them.

Democrat politicians will tell women that voting Democrat is in their best interest. But, is it really? Let’s examine several issues and consider the evidence more closely to prove that voting for more government is truly the best way to promote women’s equality in our society.

Abortion. It is a libertarian ideal that all women have the right to choose – whenever, however, regardless. Why?  Democrats claim “it’s safe”, but a libertarian believes that it is your own body, and who is the government – or anyone else – to tell you what you should do with it? A libertarian’s primary concern is freedom – your freedom, my freedom and everybody’s freedom.  Your body is your own, end of story. A democrat will impose rules upon your abortions, even if they are relaxed rules – but a libertarian will not. If you value your right to choose – you should consider the libertarian philosophy.

Birth control. On this, libertarians win the freedom battle, hands down. Why? Both libertarians and democrats support birth control (including Plan B), but libertarians take it a step further.  Libertarians would like to remove restrictions on oral contraceptive (the pill).  This would save millions of dollars for millions of women and make it more affordable than ever before. Again, it is your body, why do you have to see a doctor for refilling a prescription again and again? Especially when the statistics for the safety of “the pill” are indisputable.

Equality in the work place. This one is a bit more difficult to address and doing so in a paragraph, when volumes of research exist on the subject (some conflicting), seems absurd. That being said, I believe women are becoming acutely intrinsic to our nation’s future as a superpower as more and more businesses embrace technology and highly-skilled positions within an organization. The problem: the complexities that exist with employment and discrimination law encourage businesses to “hedge their bets” before interviewing women for high skill positions. I firmly believe laws that give special standing to individuals in the work place only lead to furthered inequality. The ‘pay gap’ exists due to legitimate reasons beyond just bigotry: chosen profession, more women in lower paying jobs, fewer women with engineering degrees, fewer hours worked, taking time off for children, and the like. Time has a great article on it: http://ideas.time.com/2013/03/07/the-pay-gap-is-not-as-bad-as-you-and-sheryl-sandberg-think/

Truthfully, preferential treatment of any kind is wrong and leads to women’s economic disenfranchisement. It was wrong with women, it was wrong with blacks – it is always wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  If we truly wish to embrace the concept of women’s equality in the work place – we need to start treating them as they are equals, not a special protected class.

Libertarian philosophy demands just that: no employment coercion of any kind. When you make it to a prestigious university or get that dream job, no one can tell you it’s due to ‘the system’ giving it to you. You earned it, regardless of the challenges present, and that is how we must begin treating women: as a person worthy of respect and an individual who does not need a patronizing parent to ‘protect’ and treat women as a protected class? Do away with the patriarchal society telling you what you should and should not do: be your own person and let’s start treating each other with respect – that’s the beauty of liberty.

Prostitution.  Prostitution in most places is illegal, and therefore, operated by criminals, pimps, and fueled by human trafficking that entraps women into a life of slavery outside our lawful society. These dark holes that trap these women are dangerous lifestyle – but we can change that. Legalize prostitution. If it is no longer a crime to be a prostitute, it will make pimps and human traffickers obsolete over-night. Now, sex can be bought and sold on an open market with government regulation of the industry. When a prostitute is raped, she can now go to the police without fear of being charged with a crime. If you believe your body is your right and no one else’s, advocate for the legalization of prostitution even if it is something you personally oppose.  Free women (and men, as well) can do with their bodies as they please – is a basic right and one that isn’t supported by the Republican or Democrat platforms: if you want the right to your body, libertarian is the way to go.

Sexual violence. This one is the worst of all the topics I’m going to address. Rape. It is an ugly, terrible word that denotes a violent and evil crime perpetrated by criminals against people. More often than not, it targets women and women represent the majority of victims making. If you are a woman, understand the police cannot stop rape from happening, nor will any amount of ‘sexual violence walks’ or ad campaigning.

Rape is not committed by misguided male lovers. Rape is a crime of violence and dehumanization, treating the other person as an object, against their will, to satisfy personal lust, or worse, the need to hurt and humiliate someone deeply. Regardless of emotion or intent, the crime is still violent. There is no ‘gentle rape’ or ‘kinda rape’. Rape is rape and these violent criminals must be stopped and persecuted. Women must stop being treated like children after the incident and empowered to seek justice against their assailants. But even more so: we need to empower women to protect themselves.

I’ve heard that women should not fight rape – instead, “go along with the rape”or they will “make it worse”. No. No. NO NO NO! This is absurd and only serves to promote rape culture – fight to the last breath and do everything in your power to resist every step of the way.  Guns give women an advantage against their male assailants.  Unfortunately, many states enforcing strict gun control laws and waiting periods before the lawful purchase of a gun – as if a man who intends on raping his girlfriend will wait until his victim possesses a gun to protect herself.

Want to curb violence against women?  Let’s level the playing field.  Support the right of all women to carry hand guns, tasers, mace, and switch blades.  Did you know that 2/3 of all rapes occur by someone the victim knows? A flick of the wrist from the switch blade in a pocket can make an unwanted assault short-lived, indeed.  If sexual violence against women concerns you, libertarian freedom is the solution.

Vote libertarian for women’s rights; for everyone’s rights.

You might be a Libertarian, if…

Libertarianism is not an exclusive club.  In fact, Libertarians are perhaps the most politically-welcoming group of people left in the United States of America.  The Libertarian philosophy is about giving people the freedom to choose, without exception.  Libertarians do not pick and choose when our freedoms apply.  How much more welcoming can you get?

Even though you may not call yourself a Libertarian, you probably hold very Libertarian beliefs on an increasing number of today’s issues.  As Republicans and Democrats continue their strangle-hold over Washington D.C., you might even find that your Libertarian leanings are strengthening.  As more of our liberties get removed by the long arm of unaccountable politicians, the stronger we need to fight to get them back, and admitting how Libertarian you truly are is a good first step.

How do you know if your belief system has changed enough over the years that you might, just might, be a real flesh-and-blood Libertarian?

  • If you believe that both Republicans and Democrats are equally complicit in the corruption of American government, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you understand that people deserve economic and social freedom at the same time, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you reject the idea that government knows best, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe that the rightful owner of a taxpayer’s hard-earned money is the person who earned it, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe any two consenting adults deserve to be treated equally under the law, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe the War on Drugs has not only enhanced the availability of extremely dangerous drugs, but has also resulted in expensive and wasteful incarcerations of non-violent offenders of “crime”, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe that our military has been exploited and used by our own government in questionable wars and “humanitarian” missions, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you have ever cursed and thrown objects against the wall trying to figure out your taxes, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe that April 15th (tax day) needs to be recognized as a day of mourning, you might be a Libertarian.

If you believe in true freedom and liberty for every man, woman and child in America, you are a Libertarian.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing… Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky)

After observing several interviews with Senator Rand Paul, it has become apparent to me that he is willing to go as far as using his father’s name, as well as the principles that his father believed as a member of the Libertarian Party, to gain political power. As you may know, Mr. Paul is running under the title of Libertarian Republican.

While this may sound like an oxymoron to those who know bullshit when they see it, this can actually be the demise of the Libertarian party before it even has a chance to become what it stands for; “… to implement and give voice to the principles embodied in the Statement of Principles by: functioning as a libertarian political entity separate and distinct from all other political parties or movements…” (LP News, “The Purpose of the Libertarian Party”).

The Libertarian Party needs to stand up and speak out against Mr. Paul and let him know that it is not alright to drag the Libertarian name through the dirt in order to gain votes.

According to a September-October 2013 survey conducted by the Public Research Institute, 22 percent of Americans now lean Libertarian. This may be because they don’t agree with the socially conservative right or with the fiscally liberal left. Either way, the numbers show more and more voters lean Libertarian.

The problem?  Mr. Paul’s insistence that he embraces the Libertarian cause, to the contrary of many of his spoken words and personal beliefs, taints the Libertarian party’s image and may negatively impact true Libertarians across the electoral circuit.

Mr. Paul has said that he is a Republican “with a twist”. “… but truthfully Mr. Paul, you are going to have to do something different than the cookie cutter Republican.

“I am offering something different and the Libertarian twist to that I think has appealed to both ethnic minorities as well as the youth and independents. It’s really a message that gets beyond just our hardcore Republican but it’s not antithetical to what a hardcore Republican stands for. It is enough of a twist that i think it has a chance to resonate in areas where we have not done very well.(2013 interview on “Uncommon Knowledge”).”

In the same interview, he is quoted as saying, “I am 100% pro-life. I believe abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being.” To explain this in the interview, he uses a few incidences by sick human beings who took the life of actual flesh and bone newborns. Upon further inspection of the numbers, as laid out by the Guttmacher Institute (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html), one percent of all abortions are performed at 21 weeks or later. Only 11% of all abortion clinics even offer the service at 24 weeks. As of 2006, 88% of all abortions occurred in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

He opposed same sex marriage stating, “I believe in the historical definition of marriage. That being said…I’m not for limiting contracts between adults.” He basically bats this question away by saying it should be up to the state to decide. Should it not be up to the individual to decide whether or not they would like to be married? Shouldn’t the government just get out of marriage all together? Does a Libertarian not believe the proper role of Government is to protect against assault, theft, and foreign attacks?

If Mr. Paul continues to exploit what the Libertarian name has to offer, we need to hold him accountable and call him out, when necessary, so he may not ruin it for true Libertarian candidates. Further, it would demonstrate to all Libertarian candidates that if they choose to run under the Libertarian Party platform – that platform means something – and all candidates will be put under a microscope because we are sick of being lied to and value our liberty.

Libertarian Laura Delhomme to end state income tax, rules on marriage, drugs

969899_10151613204987726_2031601185_nLibertarian Laura Delhomme, who is running for delegate in Virginia’s 47th district, aims to end the state income tax, enact marriage equality, end the failed War on Drugs and remove state restrictions on means of transportation.

“Taxes are too high,” Delhomme said in a debate with her opponent, Democrat Patrick Hope. “That’s because Virginia’s state spending is too high. I want to reduce both.”

Earlier this year, the legislature and governor passed a massive tax increase with the support of both Republicans and Democrats, including Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.

“If elected, I will file a budget bill that cuts state spending immediately by 25 percent or more,” she said. “That will allow us to end the income tax and give back, on average, more than $3,400 to each Virginia household — every year!”

Delhomme vows to file a bill to end marijuana prohibition in Virginia.

“By establishing drug prohibition, our government has taken a modest problem and turned it into a huge problem,” she said. “Now we have to deal with drug gangs and black markets, and taxpayers have to pay to keep thousands of people in jail. I want to end this nonsense. Ending marijuana prohibition will make our neighborhoods safe; respect the rights of peaceful, responsible marijuana users; and keep taxes down.”

Delhomme said that unnecessary state involvement in transportation drives up costs, reduces choice, creates congestion, and provides opportunities for corruption. The solution, she argued, is more free-market initiative.

“I oppose regulations that restrict the supply of taxis and restrictions against private buses and jitney services,” she said. “More transportation alternatives will make it easier and cheaper to get around, and it will create much-needed jobs.”

Delhomme aims to fund any necessary transportation projects, such as new roads or rail systems, by cutting government waste, not raising taxes.

“If elected, I would not raise any taxes, including fees, to pay for transportation solutions,” she said. “If more money is to be spent on transportation, I would get those funds by cutting spending on other programs.

“The state has more than enough money, and taxes are already too high,” she continued. “We need to end the habit of dumping high costs on taxpayers. This will keep more money in their pockets to take care of their families and will force lawmakers to cut government waste.”

To learn more, visit Laura Delhomme’s campaign website or Facebook page.

Libertarian: naive, idealistic, and proud of it

The recent government “shutdown” has made some folks realize how little we need the federal government to control our everyday lives.  It also reinforces the notion that more government in your life isn’t always the answer, but also, it  reminds me of why we are libertarians – we believe in people over governments.

First, I want you to think of all the times that you have tried to talk to someone about your political viewpoint.  Think about the dialogue you had and how the other person reacted to your libertarian beliefs. I find, often, when I mention to someone that I am a libertarian, I generally get one of two responses from well-reasoned, rational individuals:

“You are too naive and the world doesn’t really work that way.”
OR
“You are being too idealistic about people and  humans need rules, regulation, and restriction to function.”

I am sure you have as well. Even as a teenager, this reaction always bothered me.  It seems to come from both the left and the right – in equal proportion – and it seems to engulf every aspect of political debate. Whether it is the economy, welfare, gun control, third parties, foreign policy, or any other hot button topic of the week – I’m always too “naive” and “idealistic”.

If I say that heavy taxation causes a deadening effect upon the economy, then I do not understand that people need the services the government provides to survive – and therefore taxes, even when exorbitantly high, are necessary.

If I state that social programs (welfare, medicaid, social security) are all government handouts that “give a man a fish, but do not teach them to fish for themselves”, I am too idealistic to assume that people can make wise financial decisions in their lives or maintain skills that make them desirable on the job market.

If I suggest that foreign intervention in other people’s lives for our profit leads only to resentment and aggression against us, I am being yet again too naive and we must fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.

And the list goes on, and on, unfortunately.

I am always, and consistently, dumbstruck by this argument. It is gleefully uttered, usually with a condescending  and dismissive tone, as if it somehow denigrates my reasoning to that of a child or some other simpleton unable to comprehend the vast complexities of human behavior. At every turn, the notion that humans must be controlled in all aspects of their life (financially, socially, and religiously) is creeping into our government, slithering into our homes, and no one seems to care — as long as their political party sponsored it. It seems that these individuals do not mind trampling on the rights of the people as long as they inflict on others their will “for the greater good”.

And it hits me: both left and right genuinely believe people are evil, dishonest, and will trespass against their neighbor without constant supervision and control. They believe the people must be controlled, whether through something as obvious as gun control and forced subsidization of social programs or less obvious like the war on drugs, abortion and religion in schools — it’s obvious they believe their way is the only way. Not only is it the only way, but you will obey and accept it by the force of the gun.

However, to be a libertarian, one believes that people regulate themselves without government involvement in virtually every facet of our lives.  In order to do that, you must believe that people are inherently good. You must believe that the vast majority of people will not mass murder hundreds of innocent people with firearms, will not rob banks, be greedy and avaricious, and find their own religious path in life. Sadly, this is a scary notion to most who believe in either political party.

Truthfully, it should be scary to them - you have just announced that their party is not needed.

What a terrible world these individuals live in.  People are not inherently evil regardless of what the religious right wants us to believe. People are not too stupid to take care of themselves regardless of the self-aggrandizing left tries to force us to support.  So, I have come with a new response to those who believe I am too naive or idealistic about my fellowman: good, I am glad I believe in humanity, if I didn’t believe that most people were good  and capable of reasoning, why would I choose to live in the same society?  Why not return to caveman days, for civilization has clearly bred degenerates and miscreants, unfit to share space with one another.

So join with me in staying naive and idealistic. It might be the only shot for a better tomorrow we have left.

Time to stop the madness with a third party?

two-partiesThose who follow the nation’s politics understand that the creation of a viable and effective third political party in the US is the LAST thing Washington wants.  The dems and repubs will fight a third party with all the power, energy, zeal, vehemence, vigor, cunning, and skulduggery they can manage – and then some. 

Look.  Our political system was designed for multiple political parties … not just two parties such as we have today.

Having only two parties is extremely risky.  Over the years we have seen the two parties switch positions and recently we have watched as the Republican Party, supposedly the home of those of the conservative persuasion, adopt the liberal and progressive positions of the Democratic Party on a scale that has rendered the GOP as something of a pale reflection of the party that has been the traditional home of Socialists, Marxists, and Progressives– the Democratic Party.

What that means to Americans is simply this: We actually have two branches of the same party trying to govern in Washington today … the Democratic Party and the Democratic Party LITE. The GOP (the Republican Party) exists in name only.

Creation of another political party, as a third political party, is something of a misnomer.  In fact, it would be the creation of a SECOND political party as we currently have only one political party — with two branches — in authority in the Congress today.

I mentioned at the beginning of this piece that our Founding Fathers actually meant us to have multiple political parties and not just the two we have come to think were bequeathed to us by The Founders.

President John Adams, one of the most intelligent presidents this country has had the good fortune to have, said this:

   “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

George Washington, the first President under the constitution,  agreed.  Washington said this in his farewell presidential speech:

  “The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind, (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight,) the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration. It agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion, that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the Government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of Liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in Governments of a Monarchical cast, Patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in Governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And, there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.”

I have come to believe that the current two-party system in America is — UNAMERICAN.  Here’s why I say that:

Above I mentioned the two parties had merged their  ideologies effectively blurring the lines between them.  But what troubles me even more is the feeling I get that, between them, the two parties have created a “ruling class” in America and THAT is absolutely un-American. 

I fear I would not be welcome in any political party these days.  See, I don’t like compromise… period.  Compromise is NOT honesty — therefore compromise cannot be a virtue.  If one believes one’s political philosophy, one’s core belief,  is correct, then why compromise? Why LIE?  Seems to me that if a man truly believes that WHAT he believes IS THE TRUTH,  he will hold fast and not budge one iota from that position — for any reason.  That used to be referred to as “having the courage of one’s conviction.”  Sadly, few, these days, have such conviction — or courage.

We have become so used to compromise — going along to get along, group think, being good little socialists — that when a person who has the courage to stake out a position and refuse to give it up to those who disagree and stands pat and defends his position against all comers, he is pilloried, said to be a mental case, cursed, metaphorically spat upon, and made an outcast of our hypocritical society. 

I must tell you, there is something dead and rotting at the core of any society that treats a courageous citizen in that manner.   Look. I may not agree with that person’s conviction, but I admire his courage, his honesty. 

In the meantime, get used to the mess we have in Congress today.  It WILL get worse.  

There is no constitutional answer to this particular problem.  We can’t recall them and we can’t dissolve the Congress and hold national elections and send a new crop to DC.  (Would that we could!) We can only lawfully do it — a handful of seats at a time in both houses — every two years.

The title to this piece was posed in the form of a question.  My answer to the question is:  “I don’t know.”  Believe me, that is not meant as some sort of cop-out.  I REALLY don’t know.  I cannot escape the feeling that there is something basically, fundamentally, WRONG with the government today.  Not JUST the government, but society, as well.

Like so many Americans today, I am frustrated to the nth degree.  No matter our protestations, the government isn’t listening, therefore nothing is resolved — no matter how hard we try to get our message through to them and acted upon.  It is as though we are racing in a circle, at an ever increasing speed, in an ever decreasing circle.  Only disaster awaits us. 

I fear the old constitution-based America is in a death spiral from which it will not, nay, cannot, escape or recover.  

History tells us that when a democracy crashes and burns it is followed by a dictatorship – every time.  Already, we see evidence of the encroachment of a dictatorship in America today as many of us are convinced we have already entered the “police state” stage of devolvement. 

If my assessment proves correct, then another political party won’t make much difference now, will it?

Poll finds new popularity among third parties

A new Gallup poll indicates that more Americans than ever recognize the need for a third party to threaten the political monopoly that Democrats and Republicans clearly represent in our country.

According to Gallup, 60% of those polled believe that the United States needs a third party – that is the highest percentage of Americans answering in the affirmative since the polling organization began asking the question 10-years ago.  The poll also found only a quarter of those surveyed believe the Democrats and Republicans are doing an adequate job at representing them in government.

Gallup Poll

While encouraged by the findings, it still remains unclear whether Americans will remember their disgust of Democrats and Republicans when it comes time to pull the lever in the next election cycle.  Historically, Americans have resisted electing anyone other than a Democrat or Republican at the polls, putting into question whether many in our nation are prepared to put their money with their mouth is and refuse to re-elect inferior incumbents.

Still, the poll gives comfort to third parties in the nation who hope to make some kind of impact in national elections.  The Libertarian Party is the largest third party in America, but continues to only win single-digit support in presidential elections.