Why Libertarians Care About These 6 Issues – And Why You Should Too!

Why Libertarians Care About These 6 Issues – And Why You Should Too!

I’m often asked, what do libertarians and the Tea Party believe.

If I had to pick the 6 fundamental issues in American politics today libertarians are fighting for, they would be as follows:

American prisons are out of control. Levels of incarceration are ridiculous. What is worse though, is that it is not for violent crimes. Flooded with drug related offenses, the number of people of color incarcerated are staggering. According to Sen. Rand Paul:

“Three out of four people in prison right now for non-violent crimes are black or brown. Our prisons are bursting with young men of color and our communities are full of broken families.”

The War on Drugs has created a larger problem. The war on drugs has largely turned into a war on marijuana. With a majority of Americans pushing for marijuana legalization, and two states actually making it legal for recreational use, the United States is squandering resources on this issue. And again, this pursuit of criminal charges has proven to inequitably target citizens of color.

Americans are tired of war. After Afghanistan and Iraq, mounting deaths and little to show for it – we are ready for something new. A resurgence of diplomacy? The deployment of economic sanctions? A backing away from being the world’s police force? While the way forward isn’t clear, the way of the past is clearly exhausted. Americans want to see our country engaged in world politics without paying the price in American lives.

It’s hard to stay in business when the government wants to be in your business. There has long been the assumption in the United States that if you play by the rules, work hard and do well, you will be rewarded. We call this the “American dream”. But recently, it seems, the deck has been stacked against the entrepreneur. This is contrary to our most basic beliefs. When regulation stands in the way of innovation and competition, America has a fundamental issue.

Education is a cornerstone of our democracy. Yet, our fundamental right to choose the education of our children has been under attack. The Federal government has sought to determine when and where we can choose public or private education – as if teaching our children is somehow overstretching our rights as citizens.

Perhaps most disturbingly, America’s traditional line between the police and the military has blurred. Police forces regularly receive military equipment, from riot armor to armored personnel carriers. Equipment meant to wage wars on foreign soil has become available to police patrolling streets in the heart of our country, begging the question of when we let the military police our own citizens. Paul rather straightforwardly noted in his recent TIME op-ed:

“The militarization of our law enforcement is due to an unprecedented expansion of government power in this realm. It is one thing for federal officials to work in conjunction with local authorities to reduce or solve crime. It is quite another for them to subsidize it.”

These factors all culminate in something libertarians fear – an overreach of authority by the federal government. This is often brushed off as an argument of state versus federal authority – and there is some basis to this. Libertarians as well as the Tea Party are active in upholding states’ rights. But there is a larger battle at stake here. As the Federal government encroaches steadily, we run the risk of not only loosing our rights, but not noticing we are losing them. If you don’t believe me, ask your grandparents the last time they saw an armored vehicle break up a protest. Ask them the last time they saw an LRAD (long range acoustic device) used to disperse critics of the government.

These are just 6 fundamental issues of the most prevalent arguments libertarians have had with the federal government as of late. What do you think of these? Has the Federal government overreached dangerously into American freedoms? Let us know on Twitter. Or follow us on Facebook.

Written by Mark Davis

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