Since the founding of the United States, individuals have been passionate about their rights to speech and expression. This passion is not limited to adults; students of all ages have their own beliefs they have the right to express. But sadly, schools across the nation have attempted to suppress that right. For this reason, in 1969 (Tinker v. Des Moines), the Supreme Court decided that students have First Amendment rights in the classroom. Unfortunately, subsequent cases have tread on this right and limited free speech for students.
Bernie Sanders, one of the nearly two dozen Democrats currently seeking nomination for the 2020 presidential race, and who also narrowly and controversially lost the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016, is an early favorite to win the progressive party’s ticket next summer. He has already received millions of volunteers for his campaign and has amounted millions of dollars in donations thus far. But just how progressive is his campaign actually? If you asked that question in 2016, most people on both sides of the aisle would have criticized his policies for being far too radical. However, just three short years later, many of the ideas headlined by the self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist have become nearly mainstream.
Josh Hughes | @joshh51099
Soon after being heralded as a generous, kind-hearted man, South Carolinian Detric McGowan was arrested on counts of federal drug charges, the Drug Enforcement Agency has announced. A resident of Greenwood, South Carolina, McGowan’s story recently went viral on social media following a post by Kayla Dillard of Girl Scout Troop 1574 of Upstate South Carolina. The post alleged that McGowan bought upwards of $500 worth of Girl Scout cookies, telling the girls, “I’m taking them all so Y’all can get out of this cold.” The post was shared and liked by thousands of people across multiple platforms as of Monday, but by Tuesday afternoon news surfaced that he, along with 10 others, had been a part of a major drug bust.
Josh Hughes | United States
In the United States, every citizen that is age 18 or above and is registered to vote enjoys the right to do so. While, on average, the people of the US do not take advantage of this right as much as those of other countries, there are still hundreds of millions of people that contribute to their “civic duty” every other November. But should it be that simple? Should anyone and everyone that shows up to the ballot be able to make a decision that could potentially drastically affect the scope of the country and have a direct effect on your life, regardless of their understanding of what they are voting for?
Josh Hughes | United States
The Libertarian Party has proven that on the federal level, it is largely inept and incapable of winning elections. In fact, it has not had much success at the state level, either. The 2016 and 2018 elections were a huge opportunity for the party growth, but both were a flop. The national party is a mess without a clear leader or strong candidates. Many state parties are suffering from the same dilemma. Rather than wasting time and resources on national elections, the libertarian party needs to think local. Libertarians can not only have a better chance of success in local elections but also can do the most good for libertarianism.
The Impact of Libertarians in Local Government
It is true that many local level seats are largely nonpartisan. “What difference does it make if a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian is in charge of zoning regulations?” one may ask. The Libertarian party desperately needs elected officials in local government, before they can dream about a Libertarian in the Oval Office.
City Council and Mayors Office
When it comes to the partisan seats, Libertarians can be very instrumental. The mayor and city councilmen control a lot of what happens in terms of city taxes and spending. Libertarians on a city councilor in a mayors office can lower local sales tax. They can also promote small business operation within their jurisdiction. They can decide what major projects the city will invest in. In some rare instances, cities can even decide whether to prosecute certain crimes. An example of such would be Baltimore recently deciding to not prosecute marijuana possession cases. Cities also have the power to decide what the minimum wage will be in the city. Combatting the left-wing cries for raising minimum wages, city by the city could be instrumental to the liberty movement. There are many things that local governments do that impact the everyday lives of citizens.
Of course, growing their presence in state Assemblies and Senate could prevent either party from passing big spending bills. They could even form coalitions with liberty leaning members of either party to pass libertarian legislation. Peoples’ lives are much more directly impacted by local and state governments then they are the federal government.
Looking To The Future
The Libertarian Party is not going to win any big elections in the near future. The next few years should be a period of rebuilding for the party, where they can develop a unified platform and leadership. It will also be a good time for them garner more support from the average American, who is currently facing a very polarized and divided nation. If the Libertarian Party wants to experience success in the coming years, it is important that they become more involved in local level politics, as well as work to gain the respect and trust of the average voter. You can’t win the presidency overnight, but you can certainly grow the movement in local governments, state legislatures, up to the House, up to the Governor’s office, the Senate, and then maybe one day, the White House.
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