Two basic principles of Libertarianism are Freedom and Liberty. No matter your particular leanings on other things, all Libertarians can center around these two. After all, if we keep these two things at the center of every position we articulate, who can argue against them?
I have heard multiple times, when the War On Drugs comes up, people say things like...."You libertarians want everybody doing drugs" or "What kind of world would it be if everybody was doing drugs all the time". My personal position, I don't want anybody doing drugs, but I don't want people being locked away in prison if the choose to do so. I also want to save lives, the lives associated with the crime around drugs being illegal. This is actually a very simple argument. By advocating for the end to the War On Drugs, we are not advocating drug use. We are advocating Freedom and Liberty, personal choice and personal responsibility. I'd simply like to see all the Schedule 1 substances made Schedule 2 substances, and at that point we can talk about how it effects society. When discussing this with others, make sure you point out that this is an Educational and Healthcare issue, not a Criminal one.
We've all heard the argument that we wouldn't have roads if it weren't for taxes and the government. For some reason every "anti-libertarian" goes to this first so it's important for us to be able to articulate our position that "Taxes are Theft". It's really very simple, if you take something that is mine, without my permission, you are stealing it. I like to point out first that for the majority of citizens in this country, about 50% of what they earn goes to government in some form of tax, fee, or fine currently. So how much is enough? Where does that stop? When can government say, "We have enough money for everything so you can keep the rest"? Seldom do we hear politicians talk about better management of what they are already getting, looking into the waste, fraud, and abuse. Most of the time we hear them telling us they need more and more and more. Again, this is a matter of Freedom and Liberty. When government takes your money from you, they take your Freedom to do what you want with that money also. Constitutionally government has very limited responsibilities but we have allowed that to be grossly altered by allowing government and expecting government to solve all of our problems as a society. It's much easier to simply pay those taxes and not have to worry about those who are disadvantaged than it is to look for the disadvantaged and help them ourselves, but as human beings, it's our responsibility to help the disadvantaged, out of respect for a fellow human being. So I don't believe we will ever have government without some taxes, but by reducing the size and scope of government, the amount of taxes needed to function would be greatly reduced also, allowing us to have more control and freedom to do with our money what we want. So the average person hears, "Taxation Is Theft" and thinks Libertarians want total and complete chaos in society, so it's important for us to be able to explain that position so they understand where we are coming from. It's not chaos we pursue, but Freedom and Liberty for individuals to decide for themselves what is best for their life.
Freedom refers to an absence of undue restrictions and an opportunity to exercise one's rights and powers. Freedom emphasizes the opportunity given for the exercise of one's rights, powers, desires, or the like. Freedom of speech or conscience, freedom of movement. Freedom implies not only a lack of restrictions but also the ability to stand alone, unsustained by anything else. Freedom of thought promotes invention and discovery. Liberty is the power of choosing, thinking, and acting for oneself, free from governmental control or restrictions. So it is easy to see how these two go together. For many today these two things are very scary as they see government as the thing that holds society together and protects them from their fellow citizens, and also as a crutch to fall back on if they fall. It should be easy for us to understand why this fear exists as we look around the world ourselves and find it difficult at times to see the basic goodness in our fellow human beings.
We are fighting a revolution today, a fight for the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens to untie the bonds that entrap them so they can realize their full potential and regain their independence. This is not a fight that can be won with violence in the streets. It's not a battle to be fought with guns. It is a war of words, beliefs, and philosophy and we must win it at the ballot box in elections. We must win it through our actions in society, demonstrating how our beliefs are what is best for society. We must be able to convince others that our ideas and positions are right in daily discussions with co-workers, friends, and family. We are not only moral and just in taking on this fight, we are righteous in our pursuit of Freedom and Liberty for all. As Libertarians it's important for us to find common ground with both the right and left in our country. There is much common ground to be discovered when we take the time to talk with others about our ideas and principles.