With fewer than 100 days till the presidential elections, I find myself involved in more than the usual number of political conversations. At some point in every one, I reveal myself as a Libertarian, and have to hear the attendant ridiculousness about "wasting" my vote, and do I want Soandso to win? Because if I don't vote for Suchandsuch, Soandso is guaranteed a victory.
Please. I know there are many people whose concept of "principle" is shaky at best, and downright slippery most of the time. But I refuse to vote "against" someone, or to cast my lot with the "two" major parties in this country simply because they're expected to retain power. I want to vote for things. I want to be a principled participant in my country's governance.
I'm a Libertarian for a few reasons. One is that I believe passionately in the Constitution, just as it was written. I believe very little else is necessary for governing these fifty states, and that most of the ammendments made to it have been completely unnecessary.
I also believe small government is the best government, and the less the state is involved in my life, my body, my family, or my home, the better it will run for everyone involved. The same goes for the economy: the less the state is involved in business, the better the businesses run, the more money we all make - and get to keep.
But what led me to Libertarianism wasn't such a crystal-clear summation of my political philosophy. It was realizing that the two major parties are almost exactly the same. They both want to take and spend my money on things I don't want to pay for. Democrats want to spend my money on institutionalized racism and killing babies; Republicans want to spend it on institutionalized religious fundamentalism and making sure gay people don't have any rights. There are entire television and radio networks devoted to screaming angrily at the other side. The two major parties - Democricans and Republicrats - do nothing to advance the ideals of our Founders, and everything to turn this country into another Rome, sated on bread and circuses while we burn and Washington produces a thousand fiddlers.
So you go ahead and kill the gay babies. I'll be over here, wasting my vote on principle.