What It Means to Be a Libertarian

Conor Friedersdorf

Tim Lee explains:

I live in a nice enough neighborhood that I'm not likely to be the victim of a wrong-door drug raid. The police are unlikely to seize my car because a drug dog detects trace amounts of illicit drugs.

I'm not likely to be wrongly accused of a crime, and if I were, I could probably afford an experienced attorney who would focus on my case and dramatically improve my chances of exoneration. Because I'm unlikely to wind up in jail, I don't need to worry about prison rape.

I don't do drugs or hire prostitutes, but I'm smart and wealthy enough that I could probably do so without getting caught if I wanted to. I'm never going to need an abortion, but if my wife wanted one, she'd have the resources to travel to a jurisdiction where abortions are legal.

I'm not on a TSA watchlist. There's no risk of another country launching a preemptive war on my country, nor are foreign governments likely to secretly plot and finance a coup against my government any time soon. Other countries don't dump poison on crops in my country. I don't have to worry about being shot by a predator drone. I'll never be mistaken for an "unlawful combatant" or subjected to torture.

I'm free to travel and work almost anywhere in the world. My community isn't being impoverished by trade restrictions. I don't have to worry about being deported to a country I barely remember because my parents brought me here when I was 2 years old. If I happen to be traveling abroad during a natural disaster or civil unrest, the most powerful nation on Earth will do what it takes to get me home safely.

So it's absolutely true that for me personally, a tax cut will make a bigger difference to my life than most "social issues." And if what you mean by "us" is white, straight, male, American citizens with above-average education and incomes, then yeah, for "us," the most important "social issue" may be "silly blue laws." But personally, I'm a libertarian because I believe in freedom for everyone.
Read the whole thing here.



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