Back when John McCain was running for President, I just couldn’t get myself to support him. He was weak on all the issues I cared about, and I had never been impressed with his career as a Senator. I certainly wasn’t going to vote for Obama, so that year I voted Libertarian. I even got to meet the Libertarian candidate, Bob Barr, at a political event, and we had a solid 5 minute discussion about Navy issues, his background and what he wanted to do as President.
Obviously, John McCain got stomped in the election. When Donald Trump ran for office, I thought about voting Libertarian again, but the candidate was…disappointing. Between the jokes about being a “Big Johnson” and not being either candidate, there really wasn’t much of a platform on issues. So ultimately I voted Trump, thinking he was the least worst of everyone.
Thankfully, Trump ended up being a pretty awesome Republican. Trump also revealed the super ugly side of the Far Left. One after effect is that it seems everything became political, and it was “my way or the highway.” The ability to thread a needle and balance delicate issues is becoming increasingly difficult, and that is destroying the “live and let live” attitude that underscores much of Libertarian views.
A good example is the transgender bathroom issue. There are plenty of women that don’t want to see male genitalia in a bathroom. That’s a pretty reasonable request. Heck, I don’t want to see other men’s genitalia in a locker room. The dudes that walk around butt naked (if you’ve been in a locker room for any length of time you know who I’m talking about), I only ever think, “Did ya forget your towel?”
At the same time, would you want to see a person that looks very much like a girl in a male locker room? I know I would find that weird. Most people probably think its odd that someone can simply claim to be transgender and walk right into a female restroom, and worse still engage in despicable behavior that shouldn’t be tolerated regardless of gender. Most people have also probably seen at least a few transgender individuals that they would honestly think are women.
A Libertarian would probably be ok with states having different rules as we find a way that helps people navigate this issue. I would suspect that over time, states would settle on rules that allow transgender individuals that have officially switched there birth certificates over to use locker rooms, while creating more avenues to punish bad behavior in the bathroom. We would likely wind up with a system where transgender people fade into the background and aren’t really an issue.
I’m not saying its the right answer, but its an answer that might work for a majority of Americans.
That could work, but it won’t happen. The Far Left has planted a flag that says “You’ll get male genitals in a female restroom and you’ll like it!” Rather than accepting any limits, they want no limits. Not surprisingly, the immediate response is to craft bathroom laws and other ruling that pushes back with equal force.
Thus, you get forced to take a side, and Libertarians too often sit on the sidelines on this and other issues. You don’t get to be neutral anymore when one side is extreme and won’t stop. That’s not going to garner votes, and it’s not going to solve these problems. That’s why I’m glad Trump took over the Republican party, rather than starting another Bull Moose party, which would have resulted in a solid Democrat President for years to come.
Until we stop politicizing every aspect of life, we’re not going to be able to find reasonable solutions to complex problems.
This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.