Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Why Libertarians Will Never Be a Major Party

Everyone knows about the Republicans and Democrats. Few know about the Libertarians. And fewer still can distinguish between a libertarian and a Libertarian. For the last 150 years, the Republicans and Democrats have slowly developed a political empire that has virtually shut out all other parties. Sure there was the Bull Moose party with Teddy Roosevelt, but that was more of a temper tantrum. Then there was Ross Perot. And there is the perpetual Green candidate and Libertarian candidate on the presidential ballot that garner's about 1% of the vote.

Our nation's political history wasn't always a two party machine. In the beginning there were a number of political parties and the Congress at times was made up of 4 or 5 political parties. Compromise between them was needed to get anything done. Of course, back then there was very little federal power so Congress didn't have a whole lot to do.

With the rise of the Republicans in the 1850's, the future political course of the US was born. The Civil War helped to consolidate federal power over the states and being an elected official in the US Government started to mean something. Now, you had power. Real power. With the gradual encroachment of the government through taxation and regulation, elected officials amassed more power.

With this increase in power, the two major players, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, needed to protect it for themselves. Neither party was large enough or popular enough to completely dominate the other, but together they were able to pass laws and regulations regarding elections, their funding, and such. These laws were made to ensure that the major players had advantages over any upstart in the political process. Those advantages came with access to money and power.

While there is an opening for any party to "rise up in the ranks", our political system has evolved into a two party political system. In actual practice, the chance of it happening is next to none. Which brings me to the title of this post. Libertarians want to be left alone and consequently, want to leave everyone else alone to live their lives. Which is why they don't win. Promising people the freedom to live their lives as they choose is nothing compared to the promise of a $500 rebate for buying a new refrigerator.

The two major parties want to control people (in spite of the rhetoric one of the parties uses - actions speak louder than words). They have both gotten into the habit of passing laws which cause problems and therefore need more laws to fix those problems. Never realizing that they are the reason for many of the problems in the first place. Libertarians don't lust for power, but would rather be productive members of society. Unfortunately, the federal goverment is a natural magnet for those who lust for power.

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