According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, one in nine Pennsylvania voters are registered with neither the Republican or Democratic Party. The numbers are growing elsewhere.
I am one of those elsewhere voters. I left the old parties to join the Libertarian Party.
Why did I leave?
After decades of the Republican/Democratic Incumbent Party in power, I finally asked myself "How's this working out?"
Despite their rhetoric, both old parties have expanded the size and scope of government at all levels. Both parties have participated in the creation of massive entitlement and spending programs leading to massive deficits (currently over $30,000 per citizen) that will haunt our children and grand-children. Both parties have allowed special interests to take precedence over the interests of the people. Both parties have supported nation-building around the world and have cooperated to restrict the freedoms our founders and others fought and died for.
Why did I join the Libertarian Party?
I believe in personal responsibility and individual liberty. I want a government that is limited to protecting the rule of contract, protecting us from criminals who would steal my property or harm me or my family, and that will defend our country from foreign aggression. The Libertarian Party shares this view of the role of government.
I am not alone in my libertarian beliefs. A 2009 Gallup poll found that 23 percent held libertarian views. A Zogby poll found that 59 percent considered themselves "fiscally conservative and socially liberal," and 44 percent agreed that they were "fiscally conservative and socially liberal, also known as libertarian."
Since the days of our country's Founding Fathers, Americans have had a distrust of government. Wall Street bailouts, government's takeover of healthcare and this latest severe economic downturn has brought this distrust into the limelight.
It is no wonder that over the past year the number of registered Libertarian voters is up while the number of registered Democratic and Republican voters is down in Pennsylvania.
If you believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility, I urge you to find out more about the Libertarian Party at http://www.lppa.org/ or http://www.lp.org/.
S. Douglas Leard, Media Relations Chair, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania