I am currently sitting in front of my TV, thirty-four minutes into the election returns, munching on Doritos, anxiously anticipating the end of this election that began nearly four years ago. You will (ostensibly) be reading this on Wednesday, when the next president has been decided. Both sides will be running on highs, fueled by either victory-triggered adrenaline or exasperated anxiety.
I didn’t vote for either major candidate; I was able to confidently vote my conscience without retribution from any family members who feared me effectively donating a vote to “the wrong side.”
It’s pretty plain to see that most libertarians are frustrated with the false dichotomy of the two party system; we’re often asked why we would “waste our vote” on a third party candidate.
The stark reality is that tonight, in regards to the office of president, doesn’t matter; there will still be drones killing people overseas, voluntary association will still be restricted here, there will still be people unemployed, impoverished, and oppressed. Most depressingly, people will still look to the government for the answer to these problems.
My fiance and I have half-jokingly talked about leaving the country as soon as we get our student debt paid off—shrugging and striking out in a country with only our talents, the meager amount of gold we can scrape together, and our righteous indignation. But today I resolved that I can’t justify leaving this fight. I can’t with good conscience sit here and let the country of my birth, the state I adore, and my beloved community fall deeper into the mindset of entitlement, theft, and class warfare that is endorsed by both major political parties.
I’m going to continue voting based on my beliefs, but today I decided that my responsibility doesn’t stop at attending seminars put on by groups in the liberty movement, slapping a libertarian sticker or two on my car, and voting for the candidates who propose the least state control; I’m going to start doing something else, too.
Because I believe it is not only a moral imperative that individuals help one another succeed, it also just makes good economic sense.
So I have a mission now; I’m going to fulfill that overused, cliche, but poignant Gandhi quote, and be that change I want to see. I solemnly vow to be the tangible evidence that we don’t need government. I’m going to clean up after natural disasters, help the unemployed find work, give my time and money to charities that help those in need, feed, serve, and love people.
The brand of libertarianism to which I ascribe is far from Randian Objectivism, but I’m drawing inspiration from John Galt’s speech in Atlas Shrugged for the my new mantra:
I swear by my life, and my love of yours, that while I will never ask you to live for my life, but I will, to the best of my abilities, live my life as proof that government is not the answer.
Excitement is contagious, y’all, and conviction is attractive. I want to do something big, here. So when you see a tall blonde picking through wreckage on the news, advocating for tax credit scholarships in the deep south, serving up baked ziti to homeless folks, or just baking cookies for people with a sweet tooth, it may be this girl.