I have been a Libertarian for over ten years, and I didn’t start out as one. I joined the party shortly after the 2008 election. I started to explore third party options as I was completely dissatisfied with my choices. The appeal of the Libertarian party was the concept of “live and let live.” That was the main concept that attracted me to the party. I didn’t know what the NAP was. In fact, I had never heard the term NAP until a couple years ago. I didn’t know what a statist was and never heard the term bootlicker. I was pretty naive about politics. And I think I am representative of the average American voter.
I decided I wanted to blog about this because I am appalled at the way Libertarians represent our party and try to spread Liberty. People don’t start off as Libertarians. They take an interest in our party out of curiosity. It is up to us not to blow it. I did not start out as a Libertarian. I started out by asking questions. I remember asking, “Who will take care of our poor, if the government doesn’t have a safety net?” I, like most Americans, was used to big government and government solutions. The idea that we can actually take care of ourselves never occured to me. And this is why I say Libertarianism is an acquired taste. The more exposure you have to it, the more you learn about it, the more you like it.
I compare this to the first time I tasted cilantro in salsa. I thought it was disgusting, but I tried it anyway out of curiousity. And then I still thought it was disgusting, but I tried it again. And now I put cilantro in everything. The first time I heard about Libertarianism, I thought the girl sharing it was stupid and crazy. I actually told her she was wasting her vote. The second time I heard about Libertarianism, I thought the gal was anarchist lunatic. But, the more I learned, the more I embraced it. The Libertarian philosophy is culture shock for many of us. And, if we want to spread it to others, they need more exposure to it, and a better understanding of it.
When you call someone a statist or a commie, or any of the other derogatory terms I hear Libertarians shouting, you deliver a bad taste in people’s mouths. What do I want to do? I want to get people to love the taste of Liberty. I try to share it in the way I live, my enthusiasm for the party, and the way I deliver the taste of liberty to others.
While I was researching this I found a really great article about how to share Libertarianism. I think it contained some really great points. One of the points the article discussed was to be aware of the curse of knowledge. This, I get completely. You may know a lot about libertarianism, but your audience may not be in the same place as you. This is why it’s important that you listen and teach, not by name calling. People don’t learn that way. They get offended and stop listening.
I love the Libertarian party. I hope to keep exposing people to my style of Liberty. Over time I hope to add more articles to this site to help people understand the Libertarian party and Libertarianism better. If you are interested in learning about the party drop me an email at patty@pattyforLiberty.com or message me on Facebook.