In America’s political landscape, there is not a lot that separates the two major political parties. Both generally follow the Constitutional mission of the Federal Government to “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, and providing for the common defense are all established in form and function and, while the specifics vary slightly, the courts, police, and military are all fundamental institutions in most people’s idea of government. The rub comes on the other three precepts, and what it means to form a more perfect Union, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty, and this ambiguity creates the two major issues in American politics.
Most contested issues fall into one of two categories: economic liberty and social liberty. These two concepts can each be individually supported or stymied, creating four different ways to look at life based on these concepts. The four ways are to curtail liberty of both in favor of government control, eschew government control of both in favor of liberty, push economic liberty while guarding social behavior tightly, or allowing social liberty while working to control the economy. The American left generally takes the last view of social freedom and economic control and redistribution while the American right general supports greater economic freedoms while intruding into people’s private lives.
The other two views are both largely trampled in the “compromises” that Democrats and Republicans craft in order to push the most important aspects of their agendas, trading certain liberties for others. I in no way support the view that all liberties should be abandoned and government control be the norm. I think most Americans also do not support this, and thus the communist or totalitarian movements that would support it are very weak.
The view that Americans should be free in all aspects of their lives that do not hinder others, however, is severely underrepresented in American politics. Through both personal interaction and media I see people every day who are disappointed in the American political system. They consider themselves Republicans or Democrats, but more moderate than many of their more vocal party-members. They may be happy with what their party is doing in regards to economic or social liberty, but disappointed in the other aspect. They may even recognize the inconsistent policy that their party puts forward through a lack of axioms or principles that govern their thinking. I have talked to several people who now claim to embrace libertarian ideas (ideas, not political party), but could not accurately identify these ideas when they were dissatisfied with the major political parties. Many moderate Democrats and Republicans really align their true beliefs with neither party, but want the freedom and liberty guaranteed by the American Constitution, but don’t know where to turn.
This blog is dedicated to those people, who want to be left alone to live their lives and not hurt others. I embrace this idea of liberty through minimal government, and know many others do as well. What I would like to explore throughout the next entries is how this belief takes the shape of policy and follow it to its logical results. If you are frustrated with politics in America, are losing or have lost faith in Republicans and Democrats to work for your interests, and have difficulty finding a place to honestly discuss your ideas without tie to party or threat of partisan anger, then work with me here in this forum to raise the standard of American political participation to the level it should be.