There has been something on my mind for the last few weeks and I felt like today would be a good day to discuss it, it has to do with my evolution from dyed-in-the-wool Conservative, to right-leaning Libertarian. It has happened at a measured pace over the last 10 years or so... In High School I fought passionately for the causes of the Young Republicans, in college I began to transition to Constitutional Conservative but realized that my beliefs on the Constitution sometimes slammed up against my Republicaness! In my early professional years as I have met more diverse groups of people, I have begun to realize that many of the "truths" I have long held dear can be misused by others of the same political mindset (for example; anti-welfare = racism, anti-gay adoption = homophobia, etc., etc.). I am not attempting to imply that this is the case for everyone (as I myself am still anti-welfare and it has nothing to do with the color of your skin), but that there are elements of both parties that hold certain beliefs (that may be right) for the wrong reasons.
This progression (or you may see it as a digression) has led me to where I am today. A right-leaning Libertarian. I am still pro-life because of my belief that life begins at conception and that all of the rights of man should be given to the weakest of us. I truly believe that is the ultimate measure of a society, how it treats those who are its most helpless. I generally lean right on most other issues because the Left just annoys me so much...(is that vindictive?)...I am a Christian but against faith-based government initiatives because government involvement with any religion is worrisome. I am against the war on drugs because it just hasn't worked. I am on the fence over gay marriage and gay adoption...but suspect I am on the fence only because the pro-gay groups seem so hateful and scary. I am for civil unions and am for a much easier adoption process in America. I am for (almost) anything that broadens and protects our individual civil liberties, and am against (most) things that would limit our rights for the greater good. I believe that the greater good is better served by protecting our individuality. My general belief of government; spend less, tax less, fight less, do less...
All of this said I have run into a problem. I thought that with what I saw as mostly Libertarian Orthodox beliefs, I would quickly be accepted into their ranks...not so. As I have said about the only thing I disagree with the Libertarian Party on is abortion (and maybe anarchy), which is why I voted for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party (who I personally believe is more of a Libertarian than Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party was). I read strike-the-root.com, lewrockwell.com, and reason.com as well as several other libertarian sites daily...and the more I read the more I realize that because I lean right...they don't really like me. The more I get into Libertarian issues and discussions the more I realize...they don't want me around.
Just a couple of examples:
And these are the mild examples. Surf over to the left-leaning Libertarian pages or the anarchist pages and the vitriol and disdain are almost perverse!
I recently discussed this with another Libertarian-right friend of mine, and here was his response:
"I agree with you there. My experience with the LP (Libertarian Party) has been mixed, yet mostly I felt shunned. I got to know the state party chairman of Florida, yet he was the only one who accepted me as part of the party. I tried to get involved with the Broward Party, but they knew I was a conservative coming over from the GOP, and didn't quite welcome me with open arms. They looked at themselves as the only "true believers". I argued that they will never be able to grow the party at any level, let alone be successful with that attitude, which they basically said they would rather be pure than be diluted with "outsiders". So I am now a man without a party, yet may go back to the GOP and work with the GOP Liberty Caucus. I won't just support any GOP nominee for President (hint no Palin), but I am happy that Jeb is considering running for senate in 2010. The CP (Constitution Party) here in FLA is extremely weak, considering their nominee is from Florida."
I completely agree with his assessment. The Libertarian Party should take note of us and accept us because we right-leaning Libertarians can help. Perhaps it is time you stop shunning us.