By Michael Mandeville ’11
The motif for political parties in the United States is to up the other, or so it seems, and it’s been that way since the foundation of our country.
Based primarily on a two party system, American politics has been a competition between the Democrats and the Republicans, though every so often we hear something about a third party.
Recently I have noticed a rise in a new party: the Libertarians.
As a part of the most popular third party affiliation in the United States, Libertarians have been attracting attention from the masses, as well as politicians.
Libertarians believe in conservative economics and support free market capitalism, while enforcing personal freedoms – the ideals America was founded on. But the trend I notice only fulfills a part of that principle.
People of conservative political backgrounds, mainly Republicans, are beginning to call themselves “Libertarian” as an alternative to their customary association, calling for a “reaction to the times where liberals are becoming more liberal,” said Joe Skoog ’13, who lists himself as a libertarian.
Traditionally conservative-minded individuals believe in the separation of economy and government, and recently liberals in charge have supported the intertwining of the two more and more, a heart attack for Republicans.
So being the tax-cutting, small-government advocates they are, some Republicans feel the need to beat out the Democrats by further conforming to decentralized economics. This is similar to how many Democrats have jumped on the Green Party bandwagon when they believed the Democrats where no longer liberal enough.
Ironically, Libertarians are advocates for the personal rights Republicans rail like same-sex marriage and the war on drugs, feeling that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in such personal matters.
Some genuine Libertarians call these newcomers “developing Libertarians.”
Personally, I believe this is all just another gimmick by some Republicans to prove superiority by adopting the beliefs of our founding fathers.
If you don’t agree with what Libertarians stand for, personal and economic freedom, then you aren’t Libertarian. Call yourself something else if you are so ashamed of your prior political affiliation, and let the Libertarians maintain their reputation.