For newcomers to the party, the "big tent" formed by libertarian principles can seem pretty strange, especially compared to the old political divisions. The major parties are simple. You are either a lefty liberal or a conservative on the right. After of decades of conditioning, for many voters, the labels practically apply themselves and people continually act out their role in defeating the other. Even when they both actually want the exact same things.
With libertarians, there is a mix of conservative gun ownership and liberal non-interventionist peacemaking, liberal drug laws and fiscal conservatism. Across just about every issue our principles break the molds used by most Americans to size one another up. So by conventional standards libertarianism is just plain weird, but if you are honestly objective, it is also the most rational.
In response to several recent communications both locally and nationally, many voiced their support and contributed directly to the cause of liberty. A few others, however, resorted to labeling. Here are a few examples:
Didn't realize the Massachusetts LP was a bunch of lefties.
Funny to see the LP promoting and comingling with the far left
When we start running LIBERTARIANS for office, maybe I’ll be interested
To grow as a party, we must transcend the desire for such simplistic labels. As a party founded on the principles of individual freedom, no one person can possibly lay claim to the title of libertarian. To suggest otherwise is just about the most un-libertarian thing one could possibly do. There is no left libertarian, right, or even middle libertarian. We think for ourselves and define ourselves. We are a party of individuals. Labels by definition, do not apply, so let's not use them to exclude people. As Gary reminded us:
the vast majority of the people in this country are libertarian; they just don't know it yet.
So it is okay for some members to only like a few things that President Trump has done, and dislike everything else about him. It is also just fine for other members to love Trump and his unrestrained style. It perfectly reasonable for some members to be disappointed with the 2016 Libertarian presidential ticket, and great that four times the 2012 voters picked it. The only thing intolerable are attacks on individual liberty, which is precisely what you do when you try to paint someone into a corner with a label.
We should absolutely be reaching out to anyone on the left, right, middle, or sidelines that is looking for a more honest and rational approach on any issue, regardless of where they stand on others. Once we educate on at least one issue, we are serving the cause of liberty, and only more will follow.
Such a big tent means that we all have different priorities. There will never be the same kind of mindless herding seen in the major parties, and that is a good thing. It also means that sometimes the best solution will be harder to find, but if we hold true to our principles, we will always come down on the side of liberty.
So help support the cause of liberty and become an active member today. All are welcome, all are invited.