When people I know ask me which political party I consider myself a part of, many are surprised to hear that I do not consider myself a Republican because I own guns. As if gun ownership is the exclusive domain of the Republican party. However, I have done a lot of soul searching and decided that there is no political party for me.

I cannot be a Democrat, because I do not believe in taking money from one person and giving it to another, for no other reason that the rich have more than the poor, and because I am a gun owner who believes that gun ownership should be far less restricted than it is.

I cannot be a Republican because I believe that people should be able to marry whomever they choose, and that includes bigamy, homosexuality, and incest. As long as you are an adult, it should be your choice. It is none of my business what other adults do with their lives.

It is at this point in the conversation that many friends will thoughtfully say to me, “It sounds like you should be a Libertarian.”
I cannot be a Libertarian, because because they think that immigration should be free and open, and there should be no borders. Libertarians also believe that services like police and fire should be private subscription services, but I would counter that these services are a part of the defense that causes mankind to form communities in the first place. (Although I will admit that many police and fire departments are much larger than they have to be.) In fact, I think that many people who attempt to claim to be Libertarians are actually confusing anarchy with that particular philosophy.

That brings to mind that anarchy will not work for me, either. I still think that we need police, fire, courts, and jails. We need national defense, but nowhere near the levels that we have now.

I do have to say that I really like the thoughts here, and they mirror many of my own beliefs. In short, I think that I am going to have to say that I am very Jeffersonian in my beliefs. I have read Adam Smith and John Locke, and I have come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter what niche I fit into, because I am a political black swan.

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Aaron C. de Bruyn · July 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm

There are different stratta of libertarians–just like every other political party.

I personally believe that *limited* government is necessary. An army for example.

I do disagree that we *need* public sector police, fire, and EMS though.

But it's not against 'Libertarian beliefs' to have them. You are free to contract with whomever you want–including moving to a town where the residents have voted to have a public fire, police, and EMS service.

It's entirely against beliefs though to *force* people into it.

In my county, I can't opt-out of any of those services, yet they do *nothing* for me and never have.

SiGraybeard · July 4, 2012 at 1:57 am

I share pretty much everything you said there, and call myself a small L libertarian, where the big L means registered to the party. I think I'm too pragmatic to be a Libertarian because most of those I read are overly idealistic.

As Aaron says, there are many strata.

Take the (never-ending) Obamacare debate: I don't believe we have a "right" to health care because that means we have a right to the time, and life experience of someone else. But one's life's experiences and life's knowledge are the essence of who they are, and to say I have a right to that is to say I have the right to another person. I strongly believe no one has the right to another person.

Where the pragmatism comes in is that I am willing to vote for candidates who don't share all of my views – because no one ever will. It requires I try to move the parties to a position I find better.

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