(My Eastern New Mexico News column from January 31, 2018- posted in its entirety now that the paper's exclusivity has expired)
I am not libertarian because I expect to get anything from it. Well, that's not completely true. I should say I am not libertarian because I expect to get anything from you because of it. I don't even necessarily expect civilized behavior from others.
Respect for life, liberty, and property-- without excuses-- is the hallmark of both libertarianism and civilization. I expect civilized behavior only from other libertarians, and not even all of them manage to deliver. After all, they are still only human.
I am libertarian because I don't have any desire to own you, nor do I wish to be owned. I am libertarian because I recognize your life and the products of your life-- your property-- are yours, alone, to use as you wish, as long as you don't violate anyone else. I am libertarian because I expect to be treated as I treat you, while exercising the right to defend myself and others against any who refuse to cooperate.
I don't want something for nothing. I'm not libertarian because I hate roads, parks, libraries, and food safety. I am libertarian because I know my appreciation for something doesn't justify forcing you to pay for it against your will. I am perfectly willing to pay for what I use-- however, I want to be able to choose the provider I buy the service from, and I want to be able to opt out of things I have no use for, such as police. Monopolies never serve customers' needs adequately, and never survive long without government favoritism. I prefer free enterprise, liberated markets, competition, and options over mandatory "one-size-fits-all" monopolies.
One precious thing I get from being libertarian is freedom from the stress of trying to control your life. You do your thing, and as long as you don't try to stop me from doing mine, and you violate no one, we'll have no problem.
Unfortunately, the non-libertarian crowd seems to find this civilized compromise unacceptable. They can't abide something so mature and respectful; based on mutual consent.
It doesn't change how I'll live, though. I won't call for anyone's life, liberty, and property to be violated simply because they can't respect mine. I support self-defense for anyone being violated for any reason, and I hope the bullies learn about actions and consequences before it's too late. Someone has to take the first step toward maturity when dealing with others. Let's take the step together.