I feel that people do not understand the political ideology of Libertarianism, and that scares them. Libertarianism is often made into a straw man by both Conservatives and Liberals. They claim that Libertarians don’t want schools, roads, housing etc. That is in fact the antithesis of what Libertarianism is all about. Because people misconstrue the mindset behind Libertarianism, they do not understand it, and are afraid.
Penn Jillette, a Libertarian contributor for TheBlaze, stated that “My whole take on Libertarianism is simply that I don’t know what’s best for other people.” What Jillette stated is the essence of the general mindset of Libertarians. Don’t take my words out of context either; there are plenty of college kids that simply want freedom to do anything they want, and could not care less about the true ideology and what it entails. It is not that Libertarians do not care about children, or want poor people to starve; it is simply that the private sector best takes care of those areas of society. Charities and churches are consistently more effective in helping the poor in their times of need than government assistance. Welfare programs instituted by the government tend to create a dependent class, one that politicians can almost always count on for votes.
Simply stated, I do not know what kinds of presuppositions, experiences and beliefs that you have. Because I do not know them, and more than likely I do not share all of them, you should be free to carry out your life as you see fit. If you believe in homeschooling your children, you should have the right to do so. The government’s idea of what children should know can change from different administrations, Conservative or Liberal. Public schooling is antithetical to Libertarian philosophy of education. It is the responsibility of the parents, not the government, to ensure their children obtain the proper education.
Mind you, that it neither picks the pocket, nor breaks the leg of anyone else. If you desire to smoke marijuana, you should have that right, even though many in society would deem it wrong. However, if you drive while high, there should be severe penalties because you could do potentially fatal damage to another person. If you desire to have an automatic weapon, you should have the right to do so, providing that you do not shoot up a shopping mall (appropriate consequences as well).
I would say that Libertarianism is the misunderstood ideology of freedom. Government moralizing is seen as wrong, and people should have the freedom to live how they choose. Ultimately, personal responsibility is the highest attribute for Libertarians. Is this a radical idea?