What Is Liberty?

in Philosophy/Politics by
   

Essentially, Republicans and Democrats both have an idea of what “liberty” is. The difference between the Libertarian philosophy (not the party) and the philosophy behind Republicans are issues such as gay marriage, marijuana/drug legalization, and immigration. Similarly, Democrats differ in economical issues, such as the importance of capitalism, and with healthcare. Of course this is a small list, and other areas of interest do present many differences in beliefs and philosophies.

I’ve had the idea of forming a political page ever since I saw Libertarian Girl on Facebook. A few months ago, amid her advocacy of Rand Paul, she jokingly said something about changing her name to Republican Girl. Well, that got me thinking. Is the term “libertarian” really that bad where philosophical beliefs need to be boiled down to a Republican or a Democrat?

Libertarian purists, who somehow advocate the death penalty and superior moral consciousness at the same time, are worried about how a single person influences Republican political leanings- yet can’t even gain ground on a national level by themselves. At the same time, Republicans and conservatives are worried about a Libertarian influencing their political beliefs as a national party.

Libertarianism is the backbone to the founding of the United States, but it’s unique in that it just doesn’t confine itself ‘to’ the United States. When observing the ongoing battle between Democrats, Republicans, and the younger generation of Libertarians, it’s interesting to see that a less restricting government influence over the individual, more government influence over business regulation, and more government influence over bank regulation are some of the current themes. That’s why the Democratic Party has done pretty well thus far. By stressing the importance of the individual in policy (banking, anti-capitalistic stances) over the collective, while advocating for government intervention, but stressing the collective over the individual when dealing with rights (women, gay, cuban, mexican, african-american)  they have successfully used influencing rhetoric to win over a majority of Americans for larger, national elections. The Republican Party has done the opposite. They have stressed the importance of less government regulation for businesses, banks, and the individual for economic purposes, and most individual decisions. The exceptions are of course in areas of “public safety” concerns such as foreign policy and drug policy and “conserving traditional ideas and policies” such as marriage and immigration. And like I previously have stated, this is a small list that doesn’t cover every minute issue everywhere. Obviously, it doesn’t necessarily equate to your positions or my positions on many issues.

Libertarianism takes these points all into consideration, at least- that’s what I observe. Libertarianism is defined as “a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgement.”

It removes government from the equation of many personal choices – from economic to social. Essentially, I believe it takes into consideration “the best of both worlds.” The Democratic side of me is satisfied with issues on gay marriage and immigration, while my Republican side of me is satisfied with issues on capitalism and the importance of the individual in every governmental decision.
So I took it upon myself to make a political Facebook page for myself: Liberty Guy (I make it fairly easy for all the haters to gather talking points for whenever I run for office – so like the page now before its too late). Libertarianism and Republicanism and Democratism on the same page. The idea behind the name satisfies the shift in how Republicans and Democrats view the term “Libertarian” and really takes each “version” of “liberty” into consideration.

An aspiring filmmaker with a passion for liberty-minded politics, Charles Barr resides in Monmouth County, New Jersey and graduated Montclair State University with a double major in communication and political science. Charles has volunteered for various campaigns including Ron Paul for President in 2012, Steve Lonegan for US Senate, and Brian Goldberg for US Senate. In addition to politics, Charles was the assistant director for the feature length film, My Brother’s Girlfriend that was accepted to the 2015 New York Film Festival. He previously interned for Congressman Tom MacArthur and volunteered for Q Rim for State Assembly.