In light of the fact that this current presidential election is rapidly devolving into the adult version of, “I know you are, but what am I?” I just have to shake my head in massive disappointment that one of these two shady, disingenuous, lying, glory seeking numbskulls are more than likely going to be our next President. I call them numbskulls, but they both have very expensive college degrees, and are actually pretty damn smart individuals, to be sure. They are smart like a snake oil salesman is smart, because they are capable of duping large segments of the population that their particular brand of snake oil will cure all that ails us. And people will line up around the block to be sure they can get the voodoo that these dudes do so well. In short, both of these guys AND these guys’ predecessors have perfected the art of making all of us look stupid. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of being made a fool of.
I was not immune to the charms of these types of people; I too bought into it hook, line and sinker. I was lead to believe that one of these guys, and the giant group they belonged to, was hell bent on destroying America and the other guy, who dazzled my eyes, and his group was going to save America and keep it the greatest place on God’s green Earth. I believed that way from a very early age, well before I was old enough to vote, and when I turned eighteen I proudly registered to vote as a member of the group who had been dazzling me for all of those years. Then it hit me, like a stone chucked upside my head, I came to the realization that despite all of the talk, bluster, glad-handing, and rhetoric, things were not getting better, even when my cherished group was elected. In many instances some things actually got worse, things that my group said that they held near and dear to their hearts, they passed bills that eroded them. Things that they said would improve some things ended up not having any significant positive improvement, and in some cases that thing has actually gotten worse. It was almost like waking up and realizing you are in the Matrix and everything around you was a lie.
I felt lost, dejected, and rejected. I felt like a man without a country, because how could I continue to participate in a charade, and act like nothing is wrong? I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, and I didn’t. I didn’t bother voting for a couple of elections and this absolutely ticked off my Dad. He is retired from the Army and a Vietnam Veteran, so he has more than a little invested interest in this country. So, to finally appease him, shortly after I moved to a new town, I registered to vote there, but only as an independent. I was not going to lend my endorsement to either of the two snake oil parties. The next couple of elections I voted any number of ways. If there was an incumbent, I would vote for the other guy/woman. If there was an independent, I would vote for them. I was participating in the system, but I refused to play by the rules that the two snake oil parties wanted me to play by. I wanted to vote for me and my interests, not of those I was being told to believe. When it came to voting for President, I noticed that there was always a third choice, someone from the Libertarian Party, not really knowing what the party was about, but knowing what libertarianism is, I started voting for their candidates.
It didn’t take too long before I started researching the Libertarian Party and I liked what I learned, but I remained a registered independent. I still felt burned and duped by the party I last identified with and I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, and I didn’t want to have a political label applied to me. In short, I had made my own Declaration of Independence (remember that thing?), I am Tim Bean and I am an individual. Well, eventually I moved a couple more times, and ended up in a town in which I knew absolutely NO ONE. I work from home, so I didn’t have work as a social outlet, and while I chose political independence, I also knew that no man is an island. I went online and saw that the Libertarian Party was holding their state convention one weekend and I thought, what the hell, it could be interesting, so I went. I am glad I did too, because I found that every one of those whom I met felt the same as I did (politically speaking) and by the end of the convention I had changed my party affiliation, I had found my political home.
Now, if you feel as I did, then I encourage you to at least Google the word” libertarian,” you might like it. If not, that’s cool; because as a libertarian I believe you have the right to believe in whatever you want and I don’t want to force you into believing what I believe. If however you do like what you find, then maybe take the next step and attend a Libertarian Party event, if there are any in your town; or maybe just reach out to your state’s Party. Remember the old adage, “Freedom isn’t free?” It has multiple meanings, one of which being we need to work for it and towards it, it doesn’t freely come to us – it is, after all, free.