There Is No Third Party

Reagan-the-Libertarian

If one takes the time to study the official platform of the Libertarian Party, it becomes abundantly clear that at their core – Libertarians are not a third party. Rather, they represent the core economic values of the traditional Republican Party coupled with support for many core social values of the Democratic Party, borne from their belief in limited government.



Stripped down to its basic components, at best the Libertarian Party is an amalgamation, a blend, of Republicans and Democrats and not a viable alternative party. To a certain extent, they embody the spirit of Reaganomics, but with the compassion of the Gipper after taking a few bong hits and mellowing out when it comes to civil liberties.

ANALYSIS

Libertarians are economic conservatives/Republicans

Ronald Reagan, a hero to many conservatives, thought of himself as a libertarian.

“I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism,” Reagan said in 1975, adding

The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
 
Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are traveling the same path.

Lee Edwards, distinguished fellow in conservative thought at the Heritage Foundation, told The Christian Post back in 2012 that Reagan slowed the growth of government during his tenure as president,  and as the Post goes on to note:

The desire for small government is what connects libertarians and conservatives and this is the foundational principle for both thoughts. The tell-tale sign of the conservative – desire for low taxes – stems from libertarian thought.

According to The Charleston City Paper

Perhaps the best definition of what constitutes conservatism was laid out by the Right’s most popular icon, Ronald Reagan. The Gipper believed that conservatism was a three-legged stool, consisting of religious conservatives, national security conservatives, and economic/libertarian conservatives. For Reagan, each one of these legs was integral.

In Many Ways Libertarians are social liberals/Democrats

As we noted in October, if one looks at the official Libertarian Party Platform, Libertarians and liberals are in agreement on key social issues to include:

1. Libertarians Support Gay Marriage

1.4 Personal Relationships

Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.

2. Libertarians are Pro-Choice

I almost wrote that they are Pro-Abortion as most of my Libertarian friends do not, or cannot, distinguish the difference between being pro-choice and pro-abortion.



1.5 Abortion

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

3. Libertarians Believe in Climate Change

2.2 Environment

We support a clean and healthy environment and sensible use of our natural resources. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Pollution and misuse of resources cause damage to our ecosystem. Governments, unlike private businesses, are unaccountable for such damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. We realize that our planet’s climate is constantly changing, but environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior. [emphasis added]

4. Libertarians Supported Open Borders and Free Trade

It is important to note two things here:

  • First, they specifically cite those crossing borders to “escape from tyranny.” Doesn’t that apply to children from Latin America?
  • Second, the only exclusion to the unrestrained ability to cross borders are foreign nationals posing “a credible threat,” otherwise they do not support any border restrictions to include persons, money and corporate interests.

3.4 Free Trade and Migration

We support the removal of governmental impediments to free trade. Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.

BRIEF REBUTTAL TO ANTICIPATED ATTACKS

In anticipating blow-back from my Libertarian friends, I imagine the loudest rebuttal to be something along this line:

“No one agrees with every portion of their party’s platform….”

And while that may be true, we are not talking about insignificant issues here, people. In my opinion there are only 6 key political issues that divide most Americans:

  1. Gay Marriage
  2. Abortion
  3. Climate Change
  4. Immigration
  5. Gun Control / 2nd Amendment
  6. National Healthcare

In this instance, the stated ideological/political beliefs of my Libertarian friends are in direct conflict with the party’s platform on 4 out of 6 of those issues.

Just saying…



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Samuel Warde

Samuel is a writer, social and political activist, and all-around troublemaker.
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