By Addie Mae Villas | United States
Growing up, all I ever knew in the political world were the Democrats and the Republicans. Never did the idea of a third party occur to me, nonetheless one that best reflects my views. When entering the world of politics, I naturally aligned myself with the Republican Party and the conservatives within. However, this was just a matter of what my parents were, and the things I believed to be true. Then, I began to think and read and truly understand what was happening around me. Upon picking up a copy of The Libertarian Mind, I soon began to realize that I was not a staunch conservative, but rather a freedom-loving libertarian.
My long overdue transition from a blind following of the GOP to being highly skeptical came with an awakening. Essentially, I opened my eyes to the corruption and immoralities occurring in Congress within the two-party system. More often than not, the two parties of Congress are actually just one, one that strives to give itself more power. What really began to show the GOP’s lack of morals was the recent FISA Reauthorization Act, which gave the NSA more power. Subsequently, it allowed for less oversight, claiming this was necessary for national security. When the GOP stands on the grounds of small governments, they are the most hypocritical. Support of a larger military, police force, and government control of simple social issues shows this hypocrisy.
As a conservative, the Libertarian Party always appeared as a weed smoking, gun toting, somewhat crazy group of people. Being an outsider looking in, it was a party that always seemed distant. Of course, the famous Gary Johnson gaffes did not help in reassuring the public in the party’s sanity. During the 2016 election, the LP had a lot of potential candidates. With newcomers such as Austin Petersen, the LP became more and more appealing. However, with all of the events that have transpired over the past week, it becomes increasingly difficult to completely align with the Libertarian Party. Isn’t the switch from the GOP to the LP going from one corrupt party to the next?
Upon hearing the news that the Libertarian Party was not planning on having Ron Paul speak, I was appalled. Despite not having a long history with the LP, I know Dr. Paul is the backbone of the modern party. His ideologies, along with Rand’s, caused me to challenge my traditional conservative beliefs.
When Dr. Paul criticized the LP’s poor ability to attract votes, he did not speak without warrant. This comes especially when the youth of America want (and need) a third party. Currently, 71% of millennials believe that a third major party is needed. Also, the majority of millennials classify themselves as independents and choose not to pick a major party. The youth is the future. If the LP wants to be successful, they need to reach out to younger generations and stress a political system that has more than two parties.
With all the events that are transpiring in the LP, it’s difficult to dive into a party that cannot unify itself successfully or move forward in attracting more voters. The controversies swarming the Libertarian Party are concerning. As it is the one true political party that stands for liberty and freedom in all aspects, it would be a shame if party affairs end up being its downfall. The cracks and corruption that are being shown now cause the party to appear just as the two other major parties, rather than providing the breath of fresh air that everyone needs.