Editor's note: Yahoo News asked young libertarian-minded voters to share why they're drawn to the either the Libertarian Party or to libertarian political principles in general. Here's one first-person account we received this week.
FIRST PERSON | Although I have only considered myself a libertarian for a little over a year, I have never been more certain about one of my personal beliefs. This realization came about as a result of an equal level of disillusionment with both major parties.
Ever since I became interested in politics at a young age I had associated myself with the Democrats, mostly due to my strong opposition to the Republicans' social conservatism and interventionist foreign policy. However, when I began college almost two years ago, I realized that not only could I not continue to associate with a party that held completely opposite views than mine in terms of fiscal policy, it became apparent that the Democratic Party was not the party of peace that it had so proudly claimed to be, particularly during the 2008 presidential election.
The turning point in my ideological conversion came about in early 2012 when I began following the presidential campaign of Ron Paul. I disagreed with Paul on several social issues, however I felt that he was the only candidate with ideological integrity who truly believed the words coming out of his mouth. I was particularly drawn to not only his steadfast non-interventionism, but also his unwillingness to appease the religious right by taking strong stances on social issues. When Ron Paul said he would end the wars immediately, I believed him. When he said he would keep the government from meddling in our personal lives, I believed him. For the first time, I legitimately trusted a candidate for public office.
When Paul's candidacy came to an end, however, I found myself an even better option in Gov. Gary Johnson. Running on the Libertarian ticket, Johnson not only echoed my support for fiscal conservatism and military non-interventionism, he was also a social liberal, expressing support for marriage equality and an end to the war on drugs.
As a 20-year-old San Jose, Calif., resident, I can honestly say I have never agreed with someone more completely than I agree with Gary Johnson and I was proud to mark his name on my first presidential ballot.
Sometime between the Republican National Convention and the general election, it became apparent to me that the so-called libertarianism being pushed by those attempting to infiltrate the GOP was not libertarianism at all -- the more appropriate term would be paleoconservatism, or as some prefer, constitutional conservatism. At this point I realized that liberty could no longer be pursued via the two-party system and the Republican Party was certainly not the appropriate vehicle. I am now a proud member of the Libertarian Party; I believe it will best serve liberty through education, electing candidates to local offices as well as causing the two major parties to change their positions through spoiling state and federal elections, thereby effecting the implementation of libertarian policies.
- Politics & Government
- Libertarian Party
- Ron Paul