High numbers may vote Libertarian | Rich Elfers

"As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others" (2016 Libertarian Party platform).

  • by
  • Thursday, August 25, 2016 4:53pm
  • Opinion

“As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others” (2016 Libertarian Party platform).

Libertarians value liberty above all else. If you listen to the likes of John Stossel, you will hear valid criticism of both Donald Trump and Hilliary Clinton. Stossel advocates voting for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson. Too much government is the bane of the nation, according to the Libertarians. Their motto is “Minimum Government, Maximum Freedom.”

Libertarians are the largest American third political party and a popular alternative to the main party candidates who are generally not well liked. It is thought that Johnson and the Libertarians might actually poll 15 percent of the vote in the November election. Even Bill Bryant, the state’s Republican candidate for governor, has come out saying he will be voting for Gary Johnson because he can support neither Trump nor Clinton.

If the Libertarians do gain 10 to 15 percent of the vote in November, it will affect the election, siphoning off votes mainly from Donald Trump and strengthening the hand of Hillary Clinton.

Below are five key traits Libertarians value according to their website:

• Libertarians are purists. They know that the chance of their beating the two major established parties is very low. They vote for their candidate anyway because doing what is right is more important than winning. They value principle and consistency. Acting according to their principles is favored over gaining power. There are no “wasted votes.”

• Libertarians care about people. Since each person is unique those specific talents and abilities should be encouraged and developed. Having as little government regulation as possible does that best.

• Libertarians are patriotic and value America’s heritage of “liberty, enterprise, and personal responsibility.”

• Libertarians value freedom and independence. They favor a governmental system that allows them to practice those qualities.

• Libertarians value tolerance. “Live and let live” is their byword. They do not want to push around others and do not want others to push them around. As long as someone’s lifestyle does not harm anyone else, then people should be able to live as they please.

Most of us would agree with much of what Libertarians value and practice. I prefer to deal with what really is rather than what life should be. Purity is fine as an ideal, but we are imperfect creatures who have free will to choose the wrong approach and make wrong decisions, and we do so constantly.

Some people need help to attain their full potential. A strong government provides educational opportunities to allow for the less privileged and the oppressed. Human nature can be harsh and cruel and abusive. Bullies need to be controlled. Often government is the only resource that can protect us.

The problem with placing such high value on personal responsibility is that there are oppressors, greedy and irresponsible people in the world. Figuring how to get people to act responsibly is not an easy task and it often requires the strong hand of government to control and subdue those types.

Not all people value freedom and independence and tolerance. Some enjoy enslaving and abusing others who are too weak to stop them. Libertarian principles would allow for the rise of oppression against racial, religious and sexual minorities.

Finally, the emphasis on the individual over the common good for the whole is wrong. Our Constitution was created to provide a balance between personal rights found in the Bill of Rights, and civil virtue as found in the body of the Constitution.

Our founders studied past government structures when they created the Constitution. They learned from the lessons of oppressive past governments. Good government can only come from protecting the rights of the individual and at the same time being concerned for the common good.

Expect a high number of voters to choose the Libertarian ticket this November. Those who value individual sovereignty over voting for two very unpopular candidates will have their voices heard. The result of that freedom Libertarians value so much will not be to their liking, whether Clinton or Trump is the winner.

More in Opinion

More information needed on proposed recycling site

We want to bring awareness to your readers about a 34 acre wood recycling center that is in the permitting process with King County.

North neighbors keep a close eye on the U.S.

How much do you know about Canada? If you’re like most Americans, not much.

Trickle-down equation may not add up, Dems say

A tax overhaul plan drawn up by Republicans in Congress will be a good deal for many households, though not every one, or nearly every one, as promised by its authors.

America’s monster

I’m not sure when it happened, but I recently realized I’ve stopped asking myself, “What are we going to do about mass shootings and gun violence in this country?” Instead, I now ask, “When is the carnage going to come to Enumclaw?”

Avoiding loss means more than gaining something else

Some studies have shown that losses are twice as psychologically powerful as gains. American history and our current political situation help reveal a great deal about the American/human psyche.

Congratulations, Jan Molinaro

In every election, one person must win and the other will lose. Now more than ever, it is important to show our children how to be gracious in victory and humble in defeat.

Don’t give into the pressure of driving drowsy

Eleven years ago, a drowsy-driving car wreck left me with injuries that still challenge me today.

Baxley and Young should have showed up at public forum

On Tuesday, October 17th, was the Black Diamond Maple Valley Chamber of Commerce Candidates Forum, where the Black Diamond candidates for Mayor and two City Council positions had the opportunity to talk with the citizens of Black Diamond, and to answer questions put to them by these citizens.

Issues to be addressed in Enumclaw elections

Who should I vote for in the Enumclaw City Council and mayoral races?

Enumclaw helped raise $3,500 for Special Olympics

The last couple of weekends the St. Barbara Knights of Columbus have been involved with our annual Tootsie Roll Program.

Court grapples with school funding

When the legal battle on education funding returned to the state Supreme Court Tuesday, the leader of Washington’s public school system was closely monitoring this installment of the McCleary drama from his office down the street.

Baxley is an important choice for Black Diamond mayor

Judy Baxley has been part of our local civics for years, and thank goodness because citizen involvement is critical to monitoring big developers.