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Fred Lundgren Headshot

Am I the Only Libertarian Democrat in America?

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David Johnston via Getty Images
David Johnston via Getty Images

Will Rogers famously said, "I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat."

His quote struck a personal note when I received a call from a friend who owns a conservative radio talk network. Needless to say, our conversation quickly turned to politics.

I argued for everything from marijuana legalization and Medicare for all, to a higher minimum wage and an end to corporate welfare. Instead of responding with RNC talking points, my conservative friend blurted out, "I don't know how you can run a radio station like KCAA and be a (expletive) liberal."

His response was particularly offensive because it suggested sex with my mother. I warned him to refrain from such comments and to improve his First Amendment debating skills so his comments would not cause me to think about my Second Amendment limitations. I then explained that I would proudly display the banner of liberal if it applied to me.

I then stressed my agreement with libertarians on everything from personal liberties to trade policy and my strong support of the Bill Of Rights, including the Second Amendment which most Tea Party republicans worship like a religion.

Several more defensive exchanges followed, whereupon the futility of our further discourse became obvious.

Since my friend was unable to think of additional expletives that were worthy of the moment, he finally growled out, "I know what you are, you're a Libertarian Democrat."

In his opinion, the label combined conflicting policies which could not be reduced to any cohesive ideology. It was his way of calling me stupid. Our conversation soon turned to other matters and ended pleasantly.

Had he labeled me correctly? Has my world view devolved into conflicting combinations of Liberalism and Libertarianism? If so, must these "brands" be mutually exclusive?

To begin, I've always had issues with self-proclaimed libertarians who organize political rallies. In my opinion, a true libertarian would never participate!

On the other hand, I could be a rare cross between Libertarian and Democrat because I'm convinced that self government flourishes when fewer laws restrict personal choices, from the right to ingest any inebriating substance, to a woman's right to an abortion, and the rights of gay people to marry. Logically, private citizens must become politically active to achieve these freedoms and it won't happen by talking about it over a beer at the local hang out.

As I think about it a little more, I'm probably a Libertarian Democrat because I oppose any governmental body that interferes with my life in any way. I am particularly offended when my property rights are challenged under the guise of protecting them, from nosey neighborhood associations to any agency of the State or federal government.

I must be a Libertarian Democrat because I oppose oppressive police, elective wars and puppet dictators.

I must be a Libertarian Democrat because I oppose mandatory seat belts, Interstate Highway speed limits in rural areas, speed traps, and their hidden cameras.

I must be a Libertarian Democrat because I welcome everyone to America who is willing to work and does not want to bomb the hell out of our cities or turn America into the same type of failed theocracy they fled.

I must be a Libertarian Democrat because I believe in legalized industrial hemp, legalized gambling. legalized drugs, and legalized prostitution. I say, let's tax all of it enough to eliminate payroll withholdings.

I must be a Libertarian Democrat because I demand the right to ignore your religion or even make fun of it while I demand your right to worship as you please.

When I look into my philosophical grab bag, I'm not sure if I see a Libertarian Democrat or just a typical red-blooded American.