For a long time, I've felt torn whenever elections come along. I never lean strictly Republican, nor Democrat. I've always felt like I'm voting for the lesser of two evils. After learning more about political philosophy, I've realized this conflict comes from my convictions as a Libertarian. Libertarians are the black sheep of our two-party system. There are few libertarians in elected office, because they never get mainstream party support. Most Americans don't even know what a libertarian is. The two party system is a contradiction, but supports itself nevertheless by polarizing people: godless collectivist democrats vs. religious capitalist republicans. The problem with both sides is that they would have the State force their ideals upon the individual.
Libertarians have one purpose: personal liberty. Some would call this anarchy, and while libertarians are on the spectrum of anarchy they don't believe in no-government, just minimal government. You need basic government to protect individuals from oppressors, both foreign & domestic. The libertarian asks only two things from government: 1) Justice 2) Defense. If someone robs, scams, or breaches contract with you - they have violated your liberty because your property is an extension of your self. So, a justice system serves liberty. Defense protects our liberty from the Hitlers and Stalin's out there who would invade us & burn the constitution that guarantees our liberties.
Libertarians are the furthest away on the political spectrum from authoritarian oppression, whether it be communism, fascism, or democrats or republicans. The U.S. constitution and the ideals of our founding fathers were based on libertarian values. We have lost our way. The fiat currency system and 16th amendment (ratified 1913) have allowed government budget & size to grow obscenely. The political-right would regulate your personal choices it deems immoral, and the political-left would regulate your economic choices it deems unfair.
Neither republicans nor democrats are the friends of libertarians. Our only hope is that we infiltrate these parties with liberty-minded individuals, such as Ron Paul in the Republican party. Speaking of republicans.... they have truly lost their way. These "neo-conservatives" or as I like to call them, "Zionist Oil Mafia", have become as much big-government spenders as the left! Meanwhile, the democrats are trying to "stabilize" the economy. These "representatives" all forget - the economy is the aggregate of our individual labor, production, and trade... not something to be protected by the government. The government would not exist if not for our individual productivity.
This is a great country, but it could be greater. This election past November called for "change". I know that Americans desperately want a new vision and leadership. They want ideals they can grasp and find inspiration in.... they just don't know where to look. There is little or no enlightened leadership in Washington or our culture today. Americans won't find enlightenment on E! or American Idol. Perhaps it's time we rediscover those who were enlightened in our past: John Locke, Thomas Paine, Henry David Thoreau. Perhaps, that is the silver lining in the cloud of an economic depression. All major political upheavals happen after depressions, when hard times force people to re-evaluate everything. Perhaps this keynesian-stagflationary-armageddon that congress is brewing by printing hundreds of billions of dollars will awaken the American yearning for revolution. (They should be reading Friedman, not Keynes). Or perhaps it won't happen until World War 3 begins if the depression leads to government upheavals and idealogical splits (if it happens, I'm betting it'll be around 2013).
All we, the enlightened libertarians, can do is try to spread the ideas and remind fellow americans of these essential truths...