I was asked recently whether I considered myself a Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian.
People have the right (freedom) to do what they feel is best for them - as long as it does not harm another (physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, etc.). Examples include making their own healthcare decisions, loving who they want (within reason, e.g., no minors), imbibing what they wish, and so on.
Basically that the government should not be involved in restricting or limiting a person's rights and liberties
This is the core of my beliefs and influences most of my decisions - with exceptions, as I mentioned previously.
Growing up I have always considered myself to be a Democrat. As I got older, though, I found I was voting for Republicans at times - some conservative leanings. As I started to get involved in politics more and really think about where my beliefs lie, it seemed that the Libertarian platform fits well.
But not 100%.
You can read more about the Libertarian platform here: https://www.lp.org/platform/
I detail some of those exceptions below (though not all)
#1: 2nd Amendment
I support the 2nd Amendment and the right for individuals to own various types of weapons (I make the distinction because "arms" are not limited to guns).
However, I believe that there should be some controls around ownership:
- There should be a minimum age - this should match the voting age
- Background checks are essential - we should not allow the sale of arms to those with a history of felony charges related to violence - the exception to this is anyone currently involved in domestic abuse situations
- sellers/government should perform background checks in a timely and consistent manner throughout the country.
- I'm a little on the fence about open carry laws, but all businesses and private property owners should be allowed to enforce their own rules on what is allowed on their premises
In general, I believe that the government has a responsibility to provide/ secure its populace's health, well-being, and liberty. To this end, there will always be a need for control over certain aspects of business and economic dealings.
For example, removing the minimum wage concept will lead to businesses not paying their employees enough to live on. The idea that if an employee is not paid enough, they can easily choose to leave that employment to find a better-paying job is naive.
In a perfect world, this is certainly achievable, but we are nowhere near that state.
I do not support the idea of a so-called "free-market health care system." I believe that people should be free to determine the level of health insurance that they want - if they even want it - who they see, what medicines and treatments they will use, etc. However, this lack of restriction should not be taken to mean that anyone should be able to go to a pharmacy and buy as many pain pills they want either.
I do not think Medicare for all, just from the standpoint that Medicare does not necessarily offer the best options regarding one's freedom to choose between providers and treatments.
In a perfect world, everyone would get any healthcare they needed at no cost and without restrictions. But this isn't viable right now.
It seems to me, at the moment, that unless there is a practical method to ensure a financial incentive for both people and companies to provide said services.
HOWEVER, what we can do is to ensure that costs are consistent and affordable.
For example, pharmaceutical companies should be allowed to profit off of their efforts - but not in a way that makes it impossible for the people who need life-saving medication unable to receive that care. Imposing a 1000%+ markup is beyond ridiculous.
The concept of abolishing all taxes and the idea that voluntary "donations" should fund public services is also naive. (Yes, I know I will ruffle feathers by using that word).
However, the level of taxes "required" and what areas they impact need to be severely restricted and limited.
The people should vote on all proposed taxes - directly in the case of city or county proposals, and elected representatives at the state and federal levels. In theory, they were elected to represent the needs of the people and not the needs/beliefs of the representative themselves.
The results should not be "thrown out" or challenged in court by the administration, which does happen now.
I do have some ideas on ways that we can reduce the burden to people in regards to income tax, not the least of which being to heavily overhaul the tax code to something eminently more straightforward (and eliminate certain loopholes)
I do not oppose licensing requirements enforced by the government for specific areas - such as healthcare, as it helps to ensure the safety of the people.
On a side note, I feel excessive spending is wasted on the massive bureaucracy needed to support the various facets of governmental activities. In some cases, these programs are even redundant, though I do not have the actual data in front of me right now.
Also, because let's be realistic, we can still have the strongest military force in the world and not spend so many billions each year.
I oppose any laws that deny ballot access, gerrymander districts or deny the voters their right to consider all legitimate alternatives.
This means an end to legislation that decreases the number of polling locations in certain areas (e.g., there should be X number of polling sites per X number of people), restrictions on where ballots may be dropped off (i.e., being able to use dropbox or voting location across the street, even if it is in another district).
I support Mail-In Voting - I live in Washington after all and have used this method for the years.
While I believe that voter id laws can be effective in securing elections, the government should be required to expend every reasonable effort to ensure that any impediments to a citizen's ability to procure such an ID be addressed.
Suppose someone has a legitimate reason they cannot travel to a licensing service. The administration should bring them to a licensing service or provide a method to deliver the necessary documents/service to them (in person). Also, there should be no fee for the ID or any services used to obtain that ID.
Contrary to the Libertarian platform, there should be restrictions on money donated to a political candidate's campaign. This should not become a case where only the wealthy elite determine who represents the people.
To that end, I also believe that there should be campaign finance reforms to limit the amount of money one can even spend on campaigning. If for nothing else - ~$14 billion was spent during the 2020 election cycle. That, to me, is an obscene amount of money to be paid for the privilege of representing your fellow citizens.
On a related note, I also support term limits. Specifically, something along the lines of 3-4 terms for the US Senate and 5-6 terms for the house.
I hope that I have been able to help you understand where I might lie in the political spectrum.
Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you have any follow-up questions.
I'm listening :)