No one today understands what it was to be a Conservative or why we, as Libertarians, came together in support of freedom.
Most of us awakened to the ideas of freedom during the Goldwater Campaign.
That position was not Right or Left, it was a pure expression of hunger for something we knew should be available to each of us.
Not self indulgence, but something beyond the limitations of what society expected.
We knew Freedom could not exist without an equal acceptance of accountability. As individuals we accepted this.
A friend of mine calls this the political ‘sweet spot,’ between Right and Left. Never yet realized because of both restricting laws and the punitive abuse of our rights imposed by custom, especially for those of us who are women.
Sometimes I reflect back on the generations of women, blacks and others who hungered for freedom and the excitement of creating for one’s self a new world of possibilities. Uncounted men and women died with that hunger unfulfilled.
I hungered then and I still feel it.
I lived those years and now, looking back, I find myself talking to people who never knew the heady excitement of knowing themselves as free. I felt it but even as we worked the awakened vision continued to recede into some misty neverland.
To be an adjunct to either the Dems or Reps was limiting, constricting, demeaning. I felt myself becoming frustrated every time we approached an election with the non-choices on the ballot I had to mark.
We wanted all the freedoms each party claimed for their own. But we were denied the full range of the human experience.
In the early days many of us cried or rejoiced at the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., worked for civil rights, challenged the State on the Draft, worked for the Equal Rights Amendment, circulated petitions for NORML, insisted we, as women, had the right to decide where we would give birth and the right to control our own bodies. Our bodies, our choice.
This is what it meant to be a Libertarian. To finally have the whole potential of the world in my own hands.
When I look around today I wonder how it went so very wrong. The limitations imposed by government are everywhere you look.
Deep inside I know this does not have to be.
Right now you can sense the world tiring of the No to living, and choosing.
People have grown ready for YES.
Between the inane debates and posturing of the NeoCons on one side and the NeoLiberals on the other a way is opening up at our feet.
That sweet spot for which Americans do not yet know they hunger beckons.
This is the moment for which we have waited and struggled, that second in the ticking off of our lives when all coalesces and revealing the same hunger.
In a month we will have nominated a candidate for President. Let that candidate be someone who can offer this one choice to the American people. Our candidate should show them the sweet spot and say, “go for it.”
This is what Libertarianism offers.
“Let me be who I am. Let me realize the aching within to be free. “
This is why we started the Libertarian Party, to open a different door to a future where hard work and innovation are respected and where our power remains in our own hands as we live what comes from the best within each of us.
Gail Lightfoot is running for the US Senate (Barbara Boxer’s seat). Her website can be found here.
She has a long history of activism within the LP CA, including running for office many times, and serving as the chairperson for the Libertarain Party of California.
The California primary is on June 7, at which time the two candidates from all parties who get the most votes will proceed to the November ballot.