Today’s current political atmosphere is more polarizing than ever, leaving many voters — particularly millennials and first-time voters— feeling alienated and disenfranchised. It is times like this when we must reflect on what made America great in the first place and try to revert back to our founding principles.
America was not built on the idea of free stuff, but rather the freedom to be left alone– the ability to say what’s on your mind, to practice a religion of your choice, to thrive economically. This freedom to live our lives the way we choose is being threatened by socialist policies and an overzealous federal government.
If we want to continue to be the greatest country in modern history and a beacon of hope for the rest of the world, we must protect these freedoms. Only by protecting personal, civil, and economic liberties, can we truly maintain our influence in the world.
Those who need the most protecting are our young people. They have grown up in an America where socialist policies have been glamorized by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. For those who have lost sight of what socialism actually is, they should take a look at Venezuela.
As Marian Tupy of the Cato Institute recently highlighted, “The rule of law has been undermined, private property confiscated and prices fixed by the state” due to “the gradual, but constant, erosion of economic freedom in Venezuela that has been going on at least since the 1970s.”
America is the most prosperous nation in the world because we have the liberty to sell goods and operate without government interference. Aside from the economic pitfalls of socialism, Venezuelans are also faced with a lack of personal liberties. Socialism represents the absence of choice.
As explained by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, “Socialism simply replaces a voluntary marketplace with a coerced market where choices are limited by the state and licenses are doled out to political cronies—hardly a recipe for fairness.”
America is great and will remain so as long as we understand that our greatness comes from freedom of choice. Such freedoms are promoted by libertarian principles, and thus it should be uplifting to learn that one in five millennials, or 20 percent, identify as libertarian.
Students are flocking to Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) and the principles of liberty that they promote, particularly as the political landscape becomes more divisive. Because of this, I am partnering up with Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) for a college tour to identify, educate, train, and mobilize youth activists committed to winning on principle. Our message of free markets, peace, and prosperity is needed now more than ever here in America.
Together, we hope to change the political landscape and shape policies based on personal, civil and economic freedom. We want the government to leave us alone. We want to get the government out of our homes, out of our pocketbooks, and out of our cell phones. We want to restore authentic civil liberties for all Americans.
Matt Kibbe is a leading advocate for personal, civil and economic liberties. An economist by training, Kibbe is a public policy expert, bestselling author and political commentator. Follow Matt on Twitter @MKibbe
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