But, the whole time, I was registered Republican.
I justified not changing parties because as a Republican, I could vote in their primaries and influence the party. This year that changed, however. There were 9ish Republican candidates running for Congress from the 3rd district of Kansas this year. There wasn't a lick of difference between them. Likewise, despite my attempt to find differences between Tiahrt and Moran, no significant issues stood out.
I've come to the point that I believe I will have more influence on my state and community my making the point of being a registered Libertarian. I lose nothing, as I will be able to influence the Libertarian party with an even louder voice than I would have had with the Republicans. Plus, I believe the Libertarians, more than any other party, line up with my views. So why Libertarian?
Those who have done any research on Libertarians might find this confusing. In fact one of their mottos is, "I'm pro-choice...on everything!" However, there are 2 factions on the abortion issue: those that believe that the mother should have the choice about what happens with her body and all it contains (pro-choice) and those that believe that government's only role is to defend the rights of it's citizens, including those not yet born (libertarian pro-life). I fall in the latter group.
Additionally, unlike many Republicans in Congress, I do not limit "life" to the unborn and the elderly. I believe the lives of our soldiers should be preserved at all costs, unless they are needed to defend from actual invasion. I believe our soldiers have fought valiantly and that their lives are worth protecting from the whims of presidents. I believe the lives of those in other countries are to be preserved and not harmed by our interventionist foreign policy. I believe that the lives ended as a result of the war on drugs should have been preserved. I believe that lives who have been starved out by the travesty of inflation should have been preserved. I am VERY pro-life.
I am fiscally conservative
I am a true, laizzez-faire, fiscal conservative. Republicans have attempted to support this position on-and-off throughout history. However, it is not fiscally conservative to continue the longest war in our nation's history (Afghanistan). It is not fiscally conservative to unfairly cut taxes for one group so that they are unfairly raised for others. It is not fiscally conservative to cut taxes then raise spending, (and defense spending is spending). Taking money from one group of people by force and giving it to others is morally unjustifiable. This is true whether one is taking from the rich and giving to the poor or taking from the future generations to give to the current generations.
I believe in local government
As stated in a blog post by the current Kansas Libertarian Gubernatorial candidate, the most local form of government is me governing myself. "For example, if I am facing difficulties in my life I believe I should first look to myself to find the solution. Failing to solve the problem myself, I look to my family, then my community of friends, then my town, my county, my state, and finally….and only as a last resort… to the federal government." It seems that both Republicans and Democrats see Washington as the place for the solution to all problems. Democrats supported cash for clunkers and Republicans initiated the first bailouts. If I want to save money, I will make better decisions in my own life. It is my responsibility first. It is not your responsibility to pay for my needs, unless you desire to do so of your own free will.
I see this clearly on the issue of education. It is primarily a student's job to educate himself, and since the student is a minor, it is his parents job to chose the nature and content of his education. If parents choose to join together to support an institution for education with their own resources, then this institution operates under their guidance and purpose. If they choose to donate extra funds to provide free or discounted education to others, then that is a truly wonderful institution.
These are not my only reasons, but they are the major forces in my decision. This does not mean I'll vote as a straight-ticket Libertarian. I plan to post my November ballot here within a month, and you may see many Republicans, Reform(anites? what is the appropriate adjective for the Reform party?), Libertarians and (horrors!) even a Democrat on there. I will vote for the person who most closely represents my views, as should you.
You must always say everything you believe all the time, otherwise someone will accuse you of believing something because you never said otherwise. --paraphrased from N.T. Wright