What is the difference between Democrats, Libertarians, and Republicans?
Democrats and Republicans support Big Government. Libertarians oppose it. Democrats and Republicans wish to regulate what people can buy, requiring the manufacturer to install all sorts of “safety” devices on the basis that the consumer is not competent to determine for himself or herself the level of “protection” needed. Those devices required to prevent harmful emissions are however a justified requirement. The basis of this being that such devices serve to protect the environment and the air we breathe. On the other hand the “evidence” is still doubtful regarding the further regulation of emissions where there is little evidence as yet of harm.
Democrats and Republicans support drug laws, prescription laws. Libertarians oppose these sort of laws. They feel it is no one’s business to tell others what they can and cannot do as long as people do not use force or fraud against others. Libertarians also believe that freedom of religion means that you may believe what you wish, but are not free to force your opinions on to others. In other words, you should “mind your own business” and let everyone else do the same. Nor is anyone allowed to use force or fraud to force other people to purchase or not purchase things that they might consider are required. As an employer, you are not allowed to force your religious beliefs on your employees. Doing so is the “use of force” against others who have given you no reason to behave in such a manner, and is a violation of the basic principles of liberty.
Democrats and Republicans have “hang ups” about “S-E-X”. Libertarians don’t. Both major political parties oppose pornography. Libertarians believe in free choice. Both of the two major political parties wish to “regulate or outlaw” abortion, contraception, or allowing you to choose sterilization if that is your choice. Again, Libertarians believe in “minding your own business” and allowing everyone else to do the same in return. We also believe that taxes should be no higher than absolutely necessary for the government to carry its role as a protector of a free people. Also, such taxes should be based upon the idea of “fairness”, that is based on the concept of “cost/benefit” and be limited to that. Government should only do for people what they themselves cannot do for themselves.
Democrats and Republicans oppose legal prostitution. Libertarians support it. Both Democrats and Republicans don’t much care for legal gambling. Libertarians support allowing “you” to make your own choices here. Allowing everyone else to do the same. This is really one of the major concepts of Libertarianism in that your freedom is to a great degree dependent upon the level of freedom that you allow others to enjoy.
Democrats definitely do not like “guns”. Republicans are a bit more “tolerant”, but still want “regulation” in the form of concealed weapons permits issued by “government”. Libertarians support the freedom to purchase, to carry without a “government license”, and oppose the banning of high magazine capacity semi-automatic weapons or selective fire weapons suitable for military use. It being held that tyranny occurs when the people no longer possess the means to overthrow an oppressive government when necessary. The history of the world over the last couple of centuries proves the truth of this without doubt. It is my opinion (not that of the Libertarian Party) that the right to keep and bear arms is the “prime right” from which all other rights actually descend. Simply because when you lose the right to keep and bear arms, you in effect become a slave of the state subject to its wishes, whatever they may be. Those who have lived under Communism, Nazism, Fascism, or other tyrannies of the right, middle, and left perhaps will agree that a disarmed people is soon an enslaved people. That a free people must be armed, well armed, if they are to remain free…
Democrats and Republicans support occupational licensing. Libertarians oppose it. Libertarians suggest “certification” where it is necessary to assure competent service. Otherwise everyone should be free to provide whatever services their talents and education allow. Libertarians support allowing the customer to make the choice as to what services he or she wishes to purchase from any willing providers of these services. It is not the proper role of government to force people to purchase goods or services that they may not want or feel that they can afford. The only possible exception to this would be one’s personal liability to others should one cause harm to someone else. Much the same case for the minimum wage, which prevents employers from hiring those who are in need of training in order to become useful employees. On the other hand employees do have the right to organize to improve their economic status, just anyone else does. However, the use of force is forbidden since such acts fall under the criminal laws.
Democrats and Republicans support an aggressive foreign policy against other nations. Libertarians wish to live in peace with everyone on a “live and let live” basis. Libertarians oppose war unless some other group or nation first attacks them. Then the response must be relative to the minimum level necessary to deter further aggressive use of force. A good example of this was the attack by the USA against Iraq when Iraq had no role in the attack by the followers of Osama bin Laden against American lives and property on 9-11-2001. Any claim that the government of Iraq “might” assist terrorists or supply them with weapons doesn’t hold up when nothing of the sort was actually done.
This is just a brief run down of Libertarian principles. For more information, you should seek the writings of Libertarian authors. One who I can recommend is Dr. Mary J. Ruwart, whose book is well worth the cost of purchase. It is clearly written in simple language and illustrates quite well the basic principles upon which Libertarianism is based.