Peter Orvetti writes at the Moderate Voice:
Before coming to realize that mine is a moderate voice, I spent some time in the libertarian movement. Part of that was just the idealism and extremity that often is a part of youth, but part of it was my own innate sense of the importance of freedom and individuality.
My time in the movement, however brief, proved to me that I am not a libertarian. I have great respect for that ideology, but it is just that – an ideology, and as such, is not entirely practical when setting actual policy impacting real lives.
Recent science suggests that our political inclinations may be tied to our basic personality types, and in fact could be chemical. One brain is predisposed to be a libertarian, another is likely to be a socialist. I do know that many of the libertarians I met and worked with were of the same types on personality scales, so there may be something to that.
I do not know precisely what first drew me to libertarianism. My dabbling with that party and that movement go back to before I could even vote, when I found out about the first Ron Paul presidential campaign in 1988, when I was a freshman in high school, and I briefly talked up the Andre Marrou campaign four years later. (I ultimately voted for Bill Clinton in both 1992 and 1996.) Through college I was basically out of that movement, though I still followed it with interest.
My first return was about a decade ago, when I had a brief tenure as an editor at the Cato Institute, a job I misguidedly took because of my interest in doing civil liberties work. (I still have great respect for Cato, but like many cogs in the professional libertarian sphere, its focus is much more on economics.) After that job, and my very brief stint in the press shop of the Libertarian Party national headquarters, I was out of the movement for nearly a decade.
Orvetti is a former IPR reporter.