A Brighter Vision of Freedom

I have gotten a lot of vitriol from a lot of LGBT people in this election season, for expressing my lack of support for Hillary Clinton, that somehow, I am a “traitor” and an enemy of the LGBT movement. However, I think I, have given this much thought. I have been a libertarian over 20 years (and my personal experiences have shaped this, I am no fan of government overreach into personal lives) although not always part of the Libertarian Party. So let’s see what that means, and why, as an LGBT person, I’ve chosen to support the Johnson/Weld ticket.

lib·er·tar·i·an
libərˈterēən/

noun
1.an adherent of libertarianism.
“libertarian philosophy”
2.PHILOSOPHY
a person who believes in the doctrine of free will.

When I was younger, free will was taken from me. I was in a places that can only be described as “Brainwashing Kids for Profit” – but it was also supported by very high ranking government officials, including former President and DCI, George H. W. Bush, and former President Reagan, as well as his wife, Nancy.

In this place, I was starved, beaten, humiliated, deprived of sleep, and raped. All in the name of curing me from 1) A non-existent drug problem (I had tried and done cannabis, as well as nitrous oxide, but nothing else), and 2) the fact that I had expressed cross-gender feelings throughout my childhood.

In this place were also others with either mental illness, eating disorders, and learning disabilities – though their “diagnosis” sounded like nothing official. Eating Disorder was the same – Drug Problem was the same, but if you were LGBT – you had a “sexual compulsion”, if you had mental illness or a learning disability, you were a “Behavior Problem”.

In this time, I spent absolutely no time alone, we were not allowed to read, watch TV, know anything that was going on outside, we were cut off from friends and family (and only family that had been brainwashed by them in “parent raps” and “sibling raps” were allowed to see us, and we were not allowed to talk to them unsupervised. We weren’t even allowed to talk to each other, except if it was to tell some story about our “pasts” – where we gave it the spin that everything that happened to us, even childhood sexual abuse was our fault, we had to “take responsibility” (is it any wonder that victim blaming gets my hackles up so much?).

As a result, I knew what it was like to live under totalitarianism. We were all encouraged to rip each other apart in “raps” and humiliate each other, and for the most part, the inmates ran the asylum, as long as you were sufficiently brainwashed to be placed in a position of “responsibility”.

After I got out, I had a MUCH better appreciation of individual liberty. I also have an extreme issue with being critical of nearly everything. I am a made skeptic.

Flash Forward – 22 years – 2016 Election

I have spent a lot of time in my life fighting for individual freedom. I fought against institutions like the one I was in (that are still in some form or other still existent, including places run by WWASP (Robert Lichfield, a known Republican fundraiser owns WWASP) and Aspen Education (which is owned in part by Bain Capital, which in turn is owned in a large part by Mitt Romney). I have been an LGBT rights activist and presenter, I have worked in Sexual Freedom communities, and my latest activism is in Drug Policy. I have a background uniquely suited for these fights because of my experiences.

While while I have been a card carrying ” Libertarian Party member, though not active for about 5 years,  I believe strongly in the Johnson/Weld ticket, while yes, I feel they have no chance in Hades of winning, I think that their platform is important for the social change this country needs.

Here’s why.

1. Johnson and Weld are pragmatists – they understand not everyone is ready to hear a “pure” libertarian message, and while I personally believe in legalizing all drugs and instituting harm reduction programs, and they do as well, for the most part, in a recent Town Hall on CNN, Governor Johnson really only said that he was in favor of immediate legalization of Cannabis. He knows that selling the country on full legalization at this point would be a non-starter.

  1. Governor Bill Weld was not only an ally, but a supporter and institutor of major change in Massachusetts during his governorship of LGBT people, vocally espousing equal rights for all, instituting a council on LGBT matters, and even supporting LGBT youth. To this day, his is the only program that I have seen completely change a state in it’s views in LGBT rights, and MA still is one of the best states to live in regarding being LGBT. In fact, both Governors, Johnson and Weld have done more for LGBT equality that Hillary Clinton has ever done. When she was still claiming to be against gay marriage, Bill Weld especially was for it.

    3. Johnson’s policy on illegal immigration is much more positive. He was the governor of a border state. He feels that people SHOULD be allowed to come here, work, support our economy, and have visas. He does not believe people should be here illegally, and wants to offer work visa amnesty to current illegal immigrants. He says it should make it easier to deport those breaking the law, but also allow for good hardworking people to work towards citizenship and pride in the United States.

    4. They are both anti-war. We’ve lost too much and we can’t handle the damage we’ve done to our own soldiers (and under Johnson/Weld, I could see a better handling of our crisis with Veterans, and more support for treatments such as MAPS MDMA PTSD treatment protocols)


    5. Economically, He wants to do away with Crony Capitalism, our system in which corporations are the biggest influence in government, where they give money and lobby in order to gain special tax incentives and breaks, and policies that only benefit corporations.

6. Johnson is running on a positive platform, where he – despite his obvious distaste for Trump, refuses to say anything overly bad about him other than criticizing his stance on immigration in very strong terms. He isn’t running a negative campaign, and is putting for solutions to nearly every issue this country is facing today front and center, and doing it in a way that makes me proud to be a libertarian.

And it’s that vision that I am voting for in a current two-party system that is so broken that we have to choose between a Charlatan and a Corporate Crony.

People may say “but that’s throwing away your vote” – but it’s not, and it’s not even a “protest vote”, it’s a vote for what I believe in, it’s a vote for optimism, and it’s a vote to break the two party system. The reason, you see, is that if the Libertarian Party gets enough votes this election, they have automatic ballot access in all 50 states, and debate access (which we are fighting hard for this election cycle, to get more exposure, so that Governor Johnson can stand at a podium with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and say “This is our positive vision, it’s pragmatic, and well thought out, and sane”, and hopefully convince the American People that we are better than this.

And it’s that vision for the future that I am voting for, because Americans need Pragmatic Hope, not the same thing that we’ve been facing for the last 16 years, which is vitriol, xenophobia, corporate cronyism, racism, violence towards LGBT people, and the highest incarceration rate in the world.

That’s not a “Land of the Free”, but Johnson and Weld’s vision is, and us Americans need hope in that vision.

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