"Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right...."
I am a Libertarian. I voted for neither Hillary nor Donald. I voted for Gary Johnson, who was an imperfect candidate, but most of his stated positions on the big issues were in line with my beliefs. I believe most Americans are centrist and resent the takeover of the so-called major parties by extremists. The Democrats are beholden to Progressives whose intolerance of differing opinions borders on fascism. The Republicans, at least until the rise of Donald, were dominated by Tea Partiers who would purge all who don't pass litmus tests on issues such as abortion and bathrooms rather than try to grow the party and win elections. Donald, who knows what he believes in other than the Trump brand?
I believe core Libertarian beliefs are centrist, perhaps a bit to the left on social issues and a bit to the right on economic issues. And I believe many Americans are Libertarian at heart but don't identify themselves as party members because (a) the party has an undeserved perception of being "out there," (b) the party by its very nature does not pander to voters by promising huge spending programs, or (c) the party just hasn't attracted their attention.
Here's a list of Libertarian Party positions on various issues.
- Free market approaches are the most effective at improving people's lives.
- All people have equal rights.
- There should be a free market in education in which parents, teachers and students, not government, would makes their own choices.
- Libertarians seek a U.S. at peace with the world.
- Healthcare should be freed from government meddling and control.
- Every person has the right to arm themselves in self defense.
- Peaceful individuals should be allowed to immigrate to the U.S.
- The justice system needs to be reformed. Sentences for many non-violent crimes are too harsh and inadequate rehabilitation leads to recidivism.
- The war on drugs is a failure and unduly punishes minorities.
I agree with this broad outline, but the devil is in the details of course. I'm not going to rehash the wedding cake controvery but there was concern that candidate Johnson seemed willing to trample on religious freedom in certain circumstances. This and other issues caused some to label Johnson "not Libertarian enough."
But I voted for him. The other choices were a racist, sexist buffoon and a pandering, corrupt opportunist. I would like to believe that even in this era where a game show host can get elected president, a growing number of Americans will discover they really are Libertarians at heart.