Why I (Finally) Became A Libertarian
by Blair Pettrey
Some may think my ‘political story’ is all over the place. However, I would argue that it is something that has merely grown with my maturity and my increase of knowledge. For most of my adult life, I was pretty much known for being an ‘anarchist’. (Read: Anarchist; not Marxist!)
2 years ago, I dated a man who was a staunch, southern Republican. I laughed at his beliefs; or at least I tried. The reality is, most of arguments, and our subsequent break up, were probably attributed to the fact I could not handle his political beliefs. Which was funny, because through out that time, I was being swung over via Michele Bachmann, and slowly becoming a devout Mitt Romney supporter. Nevertheless; Staunch & Southern GOP do not even begin to come close to us Yankee, Maryland, GOP’s.
Going from an ‘Anarchist’ to a registered Unaffiliated (but Republican leaning), to finally ‘giving in’ and registering as a Republican after Romney’s loss; I was pretty dang committed to that “R” title. I was very active (even before registering officially) within the state and local GOP clubs and organizations. In addition to my involvement with the local GOP club, and central committee, I was also an active volunteer and member of our local chapter of “Campaign for Liberty”.
Fast forward to February; I am volunteering for C4L at a gun show, giving people pamphlets on our organization, and getting people to register to vote. Our (C4L) booth was directly adjacent to the local GOP club’s table, who had a similar thing going (voter registration). I remember turning to my friend Russ, who was volunteering with me at that time, and asking why C4L wasn’t just sitting with the GOP club’s table… when I learned that this Campaign for Liberty that I had been ‘affiliated’ with for the past 6 months, was “Libertarian”. Now most, even a die hard Republican, wouldn’t mind, especially in Maryland (Where many of Libertarians are registered R’s for voting in primary purposes). But I was so-dang-committed to this Republican title, because it was such a journey for me to even get involved with politics, that I kinda lost it.
I had taken “The World’s Smallest political” quiz at one point prior to that gun show event; which of course stuck me at the top of the Libertarian spectrum; which I immediately ripped up, and refused to acknowledge. I had “found” Republicanism, and I was committed to it. Title me tea party, or constitutionalist, or conservative – yes; but Libertarian? No. Way.!
(Heck, even when Steve asked me to contribute to his blog, I said the following: “I am a R who refuses to use that L word, even though i’m an L but won’t admit it – just laying the cards on the table“)
Fast forward many months and details of stories that aren’t pertinent, but that resulted in me backing away from my heavy activity in local/state politics… and I began to heavily question what my true values were, and what were just me being “die hard” about. At which point, I realized, with everything in me, I am a Libertarian. In fact, suddenly my once “anarchist” ways, made a lot more sense, as well as my progression from those into being a Republican.
Liberty. Freedom. Individual choice and opportunity. Self protection. The core of my beliefs found me in honest acceptance of who I am.
While I may be registered, for the time being, a Republican because of Maryland’s silly election voter laws (only R and D can vote in primary elections); I, Blair Pettrey, am absolutely a Libertarian. And as Matt Drudge has recently said so well (and TRUE) “It’s now Authoritarian vs. Libertarian, Since Democrats vs. Republicans has been obliterated, no real difference between parties.”