I am driven by a love of personal responsibility, individual rights, free enterprise, and private property rights. At one time these values would have labeled me a conservative. The conservative preference of an earlier era was to keep the tentacles of the state out of life.
This doesn't seem to be what mainstream political conservatives want anymore. Decades ago they became less concerned about their own personal lives and became politically progressive, moving in the wrong direction- the direction away from Rightful Liberty. Away from what I value; toward government intervention in every part of life.
Empire-building, with military personnel or bases in the majority of countries around the planet, is not a conservative value. Neither is state regulation of marriage, or restroom rules. Nor is allowing government to dictate what people eat, drink, smoke, or otherwise ingest. Nor is "securing the border" with an American version of the Berlin Wall.
Having government regulate and control so many parts of your life just so you can control the lives of others-- taking the decisions out of individually accountable hands, and giving that power to the state-- is a radical, government extremist position. And it is dangerous.
Long ago, before government extremists began to redefine words to make themselves look reasonable, the term "liberal" applied to those who valued individual liberty. No more- at least in America. Now those Americans who call themselves "liberal" want to use the force of the State to outlaw what little liberty the conservatives are still willing to allow, for the good of society, of course. Theirs is another radical, dangerous position.
It's why I generally choose to call myself libertarian in polite company.
My libertarian values would help those around me, both liberal and conservative, even if their tastes and preferences are very different than my own. All it would require is their respecting the same rights in everyone else as they demand for themselves. Is that really as hard as people seem to make it?
Regardless of the label applied, I have no wish whatsoever to use the force of the state, financed with the form of theft called taxation, to impose my personal tastes on anyone else. Live and let live. Don't attack and don't steal. Do whatever makes you happy, even if I think it's wrong, as long as it doesn't violate anyone's equal and identical rights. In which case, even if it personally disgusts me, I understand it's none of my business.
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