And if not a whole wing, are there perhaps a few feathers? As we begin to rebuild the party from the ground up in North Carolina, it seems a question worth exploring.
Although I remain registered a Democrat, I haven't considered myself such in many years. When I reached voting age many years ago, the first party I affiliated with was the LP. I have since distanced myself from them, but I still hold dear many libertarian values.
The best thing the NCDP and it's national counterpart could do would be to not only explore, but embrace many of the good ideas offered by Libertarians, Greens, and Socialists. Above all I and many others are searching for a party or movement that will embrace and support real democratic values such as ballot access reforms and mandatory inclusion of all parties. Diversity of ideas, in a party or a legislature, can only lead to a stronger more sustainable society.
"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."
Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail
Gary Johnson was for marriage equality and public campaign financing, and his libertarianism had a practical bent to it rather than being as far out there as Paul's brand of libertarianism, so I definitely think there can be some overlap between the Johnson libertarians and the Democratic Party. I know the ACLU often addresses it's advocates as civil-libertarians and I expect many of their supporters also fall into the Democratic Party.
Most of the libertarians I've known and met are fairly young and strongly committed to their party, which suggests to me that they wont be looking to change party affiliation to Dem for the most part any time soon. But that doesn't mean there isn't room to work in coalition with them on certain issues, and for there to be some races where they'd vote for Dems instead of socially conservative GOPs. At many of the bigger anti-amendment 1 rallies I went to, I would always notice a few libertarians there too.
Democratic bills like this might help to peak the interests of some of the young libertarian crowd too:
Short Title: Enact Medical Cannabis Act. (Public)
Sponsors: Representatives K. Alexander and Harrison (Primary Sponsors).
Thurman, You sound like an Independent to me. The emerging independent movement is not about creating new parties but freeing BOTH major parties from the duopoly they've created for themselves. You're correct that by embracing policies, such as ballot access reforms, along with open primaries, non-partisan redistricting and inclusion of independent/unaffiliated members on the Board of Elections and the Federal Election Commission, will fresh ideas and free voices enter into the political conversation. Come check us out (http://www.facebook.com/NorthCarolinaIndependents?fref=ts).
While there are quite possibly several specific issues in which Libertarians and Progressives can find common ground, at their core, Libertarians are anti-government. Any public policy, no matter how steeped in common sense and actual need, is to be rejected outright simply because it's a government solution.
I'd love to be proven wrong on that, but after countless frustrating debates (online and in person), we always seem to circle back to that insurmountable ideological obstacle.
To be clear, I don't believe the government can or should solve every problem in our society. Some problems people simply must overcome on their own. But it's our collective responsibility, as exercised by our duly elected government, to make sure those obstacles are the same for everybody. But achieving equality is not a simple process, it can be complex as hell. Sometimes the only way to achieve it is to give some people a boost. And that's a fact that most Libertarians simply can't wrap their minds around.
If you're trying to get your head around the Great Debate about Presidential powers, drones, war, etc., this post by Armando at Daily Kos should be required reading.
We are not amused.
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