By Ryan Lau | USA
The great economist Milton Friedman once declared that “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program,” and he could not have spoken with a more sound mind. Nearly every measure of temporary economic relief since the end of the second World War still exists in some form today. With social programs and safety nets such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid skyrocketing in funding, denying this statement would simply be preposterous. In fact, the state no longer feels the need to pass off its “temporary” programs as short-lived expenditures, with programs such as the Affordable Care Act now in place for the long haul (provided the Senate does not perform an overnight miracle and re-draft an entire market-based healthcare solution that can win the approval of Congressional Democrats). Clearly, our government is acting out of control, and only one clear solution exists, and it falls within the Libertarian Party.
Since its creation in 1971, the Libertarian Party has stood solely for the liberties of the people, and has recognized the inherent flaws of wasteful government growth. Now, there are indubitably those who would question the intents and leanings of the Libertarian Party, but that’s an entirely different argument that I won’t delve into at this time. Where I will focus is on how to quickly and effectively use the party as a means of achieving liberty.
There are many who will claim that in order to advance liberty, we must rid the nation of every corrupt politician, must enact radical change, must abolish every victimless crime law in the books overnight. If I had the power to wave a magic wand and implement any form of government, those would, in fact, be three major steps that I would take. However, some seem to forget the notion that I do not have, and will probably never have, the magic wand to carry out such actions. The only potential action that could even begin to approach such power would be the Presidential Executive Order, which, in its essence, is not in the slightest bit liberty-oriented. Even if it was, the currently existing statist populace would never elect a presidential candidate who sought out these ideals, as can be seen by the failures of Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 candidacies. Though he was a charismatic rallying point for the liberty movement and an inspiration for the next generation of libertarians, my rights are still infringed upon by the state each and every day. Clearly, the singular hero approach, from a consequentialist standpoint, was not in the least bit successful.
So, what does that leave? State and local governments. Arguably, the average libertarian has certain issues with which they agree with the Democratic Party and others that they see more alignment with the Republican Party. The duopoly, currently held by these two parties, is surely an oppressive measure that all but silences viewpoints that differ from the norm, but in this case, there is every potentiality that the duopoly can lead to its own undoing. For a matter of example, let me examine the state of Connecticut’s General Assembly. Currently, the Senate is comprised of 36 individuals, 18 Democrats (plus Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman) and 18 Republicans. Now, to focus even more specifically, I pulled up some statistics for Connecticut Senate District 19. The seat is currently held by Democrat Cathy Osten of Columbia, CT, a small town with 3,496 registered voters. Of these voters, 46.88% of them are either unaffiliated or affiliated with a third party. If the Libertarian Party of Connecticut was to focus the majority of their time and resources in this particular district, it is entirely possible that a Libertarian candidate may win the seat.
But how does one seat make a difference? As stated before, Connecticut currently holds an even split of 18 to 18 seats, with the Democrats in possession of a majority due to their current hold of the governorship. With a Libertarian hypothetically assuming Osten’s position, no single party would hold a majority, but the sole Libertarian voter would hold immense power. Once again, the standard libertarian has some views aligning with both Democrats and Republicans. If a vote was presented regarding gun control, and every Republican voted nay, and every Democrat aye, the Libertarian would have the power to stand with the Republicans and give a 19-17 majority. Similarly, if a vote was presented regarding the legalization of marijuana, and every Democrat voted aye, every Republican nay, the Libertarian would have the power to vote aye, forcing a tie, which the Democrat lieutenant governor would be able to break in the Libertarian’s favor. With just one candidate, this hypothetical Libertarian now has control over every issue in which votes are split down the party line.
Of course, this would not necessarily mean that all of a sudden, the government stops taxing the people. If the Libertarian were to propose the notion as a bill, it would surely be shot down. However, it would begin a paradigm shift, in which nearly every vote produced a victory for the libertarians of Connecticut, and a victory for the people of Connecticut, who would benefit from the influx of liberty-oriented policies. At this point, the state will gradually turn more and more yellow and perhaps elect another Libertarian for State Senator or Representative. The more members of the party in office, the greater the weight is.
Naturally, not every state is as evenly split as Connecticut currently happens to be, but even in an unbalanced state, any otherwise tied votes would be entirely subject to the Libertarian. Essentially, the election of a sole Libertarian in a contested district is a surefire way to take control of the government and send it in the direction of freedom for the people. As government grows by the day, as debt expands, as the people suffer, there is no need for any further delay. There is only a demand for action, for Connecticut’s District 19, and for all of the Connecticut District 19’s across this nation: pool your resources, pool your efforts. Elect one Libertarian now, and watch liberty unfold.