The first definition of libertarianism I remember was one I heard from an elementary school teacher: "My right to swing my arms ends where your nose begins." I think it was not in the context of explaining different political philosophies, but just a general idea of what the limits to freedom in America are. I wish that were true!
A teacher in junior high school explained libertarianism as a "third way"; while "liberals" think people should be able to get high and "conservatives" think people should be able to own guns, libertarians think people should be able to get high and own guns.
It is, to me, an obvious and basic human right that people should be able to do whatever they want as long as they are not harming others. Libertarianism, though, is not just about what is right, but also what is practical. In the economic realm, freedom works. It's been written about endlessly from Adam Smith to Milton Friedman. It's the reason America works, socialist Europe doesn't work so well, and fully Communist countries are even worse.
We've obviously strayed far from libertarian values since the Constitution was written. McCain-Feingold, for instance says, "My right to free speech ends where a politician's re-election campaign begins."
Here's to a new Supreme Court restoring our rights!
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