Libertarianism: A State of Mind First, A Party Second.

Over the past election, I told people time and time again that I was a Libertarian, and much to their surprise (that is, if they were even aware of the other candidates), voted Constitutionalist.  They often asked me why I broke away from my party lines; was Bob Barr that bad that I’d desert my party?  Time and time again I found myself explaining no, that there is just a difference in being a Libertarian and being a member of the Libertarian party.  Unfortunately, many people are under the false impression that the actual party and its namesake are simply one and the same.  This is far from the truth, I would argue.  The Libertarian Party arose in 1971 as an interpretation of those ideals (and a decent one; this blog is not to trash the party, merely point out a discrepancy of terminology); but there is a vital difference of which I think there ought to be more awareness.  A political body is created to play the legal game in Washington for us under a certain set of rules according to the political bent.  A philosophy is a way of life; a set of standards with which to guide our decisions each and every day.  Next time you vote – define your state of mind first, then find the party that fits it; do not assume that the name will tell you which this is.  This may sound obvious, but I’m afraid that its not so.  Take a moment to consider if you’ve evaluated your candidate; rather than supported the party with a title you trust to fit your ideals.  I did in the 2008 election, which is why I know that Libertarianism is a state of mind first, and a party second.

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