Libertarianism has been a part of me for so long sometimes I forget just how beautiful a political philosophy it is and how good it makes me feel to be a part of the continuing American Revolution. The left likes to lay claim to being the “radicals and revolutionaries” in this modern era. However, it is the original libertarians (classical liberals) such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other founding fathers who remain the true radicals, standing in opposition to tyranny whether from a monarch like King George III or the modern progressive left movement. And so are we also true radicals who accept the gift of being our Founders’ political progeny. Leftists are simply monarchists whose sovereign, rather than a king or queen, is the large, oppressive welfare state. They prefer subjects beholding to a welfare state to free citizens engaged in voluntary cooperation with a limited government conducted under the social contract.
Libertarianism is beautiful in its trust in humanity—in ordinary human beings—in others. To the contrary, the ugliness of the left that demonizes its political opponents as “evil” and dismisses others as too “stupid” to manage their own lives. The problem is when the left says others are, “too stupid to run their own lives,” “stupid” means anyone opposing the left’s political view.
I have Democrat friends and family who argue others simply can’t be trusted to run their own lives and need government to make decisions for them. I’m in jaw-dropping awe of such audacity–such contempt for others is frightening. I reply, “What about you? Should you be able to make your own decisions?” Most of them, of course, answer, “Yes.” But some concede it might be worth losing some liberty so that “stupid” others are protected from themselves. Remarkably, many on the left would rather lose their own liberty than allow others to retain theirs.
The left abdicates the gift bestowed by nature’s God, fought, bled, and died for by our forebears, and enshrined in our founding documents: Liberty! Think of the beauty of not only being able to live one’s life free from excessive government intrusion–to strive for human flourishing–but also of acknowledging others’ liberty.
Since the inception of civil society human political progress has been measured by its recognition of individual liberty. The history of the free world venerates the birth of democracy in Greece, the signings of the Magna Carta and the Declaration of Independence, and the framing of the U.S. Constitution (including the Bill of Rights). Personal liberty has been at the core of the history of the evolution of civilized society.
The miserable history of leftist progressivism is written in the economic and social destruction wrought by socialism and the murders of a hundred million others committed by communism. And where did Marxist-Leninist communism find itself? As Ronald Reagan said, “On the ash heap of history.” And where is American liberty still found? “On a shining city on a hill.” America!
I side with the beautiful: individual liberty and personal freedom. I like that if my side gets its (political) way, others can live as they choose—pursue their happiness. This view makes my political philosophy morally superior, anathema to the leftist philosophy where others do not live their lives as they choose—are prevented from pursuing their happiness. Like Jack Nicholson’s character in the film As Good as it Gets says, “The fact that I get it makes me feel good, about me.”
In conclusion, allow me to prove me point: if libertarian concept’s, with its sublime and egalitarian benefits and attendant free (fair) market capitalism, reign politically (even in a Republican-populist administration), leftists may live as they choose. Libertarianism may not be perfect, but it points humanity in the right direction.