Why I Am Libertarian
This is an article written by a friend and fellow candidate. I agree entirely and could have written it myself. Please read why I have chosen to be a Libertarian and what it means to me:
So let me explain what the “L” means to me.
I’ve chosen not to run as an R or a D because the us vs. them politics of our political duopoly is such a big part of why parties and ideologies are put before the well-being of people. Even the ideological battles are often fake. Both Republicans and Democrats will support a policy when “their guy” is behind it, and vote against the very same policy when the “other guy” is behind it. Worse, in state after state, and at the federal level, our two main parties conspire to keep out other voices. But perhaps worst of all, R vs. D has become a tug of war between teams that see politics as a way to impose their worldview on others who don’t share it.
I am running against all of that – and so is the Libertarian Party. I thought hard about running as an Independent. That would have been entirely consistent with my principles and it might actually have made campaigning easier! But if politics is ever going to be more responsive to the people, we need a viable vehicle that non-partisan voters can use to make real change at the ballot box. The Libertarian Party is the third largest party in the USA, and I believe it is the best placed to become that vehicle. Not just because of its size, but also because of its humble values. Libertarians understand that they don’t know what is best for you, and that in most cases, you do. For that reason, the Libertarian Party is fundamentally tolerant and opposes aggression in all areas of life. Most of the people who have balked at the “L” after my name really believe that it stands for eliminating government and letting people die on the streets. Nothing could be further from the truth. While Libertarians generally believe civic, local or community-based initiatives are more effective at solving problems than big, one-size-fits-all government programs, very few advocate the elimination of government. Rather, we seek a more accountable, transparent, and responsive government that respects our differences and allows each of us to guide his or her own life to the greatest extent possible. That’s fundamentally different from seeing government as a tool for imposing a particular view of the world on everyone else.
To me, being libertarian simply means loving others enough to let them pursue their own goals in the ways they see fit, whenever they are competent to do so and don’t hurt others. And when our compassion compels us to help those who cannot help themselves, it also demands that we are guided by actual human outcomes – not political ideology. So what are good outcomes? Those that provide opportunity – that empower and dignify. To me, then, being libertarian means to live and let live; to love and let love. If those values resonate with you, and you’d vote for me if it weren’t for that letter after my name, then I ask you to consider again what you appreciate about my message – and vote on principles and people rather than labels. We cannot expect politics to become less about “us vs. them” if we continue to vote that way. I’m not asking you to become libertarian. I’m not even asking you to vote for the Libertarian Party. But I AM asking you to vote for me (Richard Castaldo for Congress)!