OpEd: It’s Dying (Calen Fretts)

It’s Dying.

The two-party system, that is. And it has to, if our Republic is to survive.

It’s dying for good reason. Citizens across our great nation are realizing that the Republicans and Democrats in Washington no longer represent their interests, and they’re ready for a severe change to the political status quo. No longer is the concept of “throwing your vote away” relevant. What does it really matter, if the alternatives – the Republicans and Democrats – have become two wings of the same party, the Big Government party?

The U.S. government borrows more than $40,000 per second. So if you’re an average American, the U.S. government added to your tab more than you make in a year in the time it took to read this sentence. What they don’t borrow, they print. And what they don’t print, they take from you, in the form of taxation.

As if that weren’t enough, Congress seems intent on making life hard on the American people. From the drug war, to the Patriot Act, to the TSA, to the NDAA, their assaults on the civil liberties of nonviolent, innocent American citizens seem to be intensifying at an exponential rate.

The rule of law in America is deteriorating, as white collar banksters are rewarded for defrauding billions of dollars out of blue collar America while blue collar America is harassed and imprisoned for nonviolent crimes that affect no one else. All this has been enabled by both Republican and Democrat politicians alike for decades. At best, they give lip service to the Constitution, while trampling all over it and the principles it stands for.

But there’s a new party in town.

The Libertarian Party has only been around for about 40 years, but the principles it stands for go back centuries. America’s Founding Fathers were the first modern Libertarians. They sought a life free of the King’s dictates. So they wrote the Declaration of Independence, testifying that all men are created equal, and that rights come from the Creator – not from kings, governments, or anyone else.

But men like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson would be shocked at our modern government. They grew hemp and made moonshine, both of which are illegal today. They did not ask for permission to own and carry a firearm. They certainly did not obtain a permit to wager a bet on a friendly game of cards. By all accounts, Washington and Jefferson, those symbols of American liberty, would be common criminals in modern America. Our Congress has stacked the deck in this way, because it enables them to play out the game in their favor.

The message of Liberty was, and is, about individual empowerment. The ability to live free of force from others. To live in a nation of laws, not of men. To enjoy the comfort of one’s own castle, where every man is his own king. The government’s role is not to give us rights (which it cannot do), nor to infringe upon them; but rather, simply to protect our natural rights.

That’s why people of all races, creeds, and colors are leaving the two-party system and joining the Libertarian Party in droves. It is the only party whose registrations are growing. It is the only party that knows that all citizens, and especially minorities, are not served by special rules or government favors, but by the law being equally applied to all. It is truly liberating to finally release oneself from the confines of the two-party box; to no longer be required to make excuses for one politician or another’s repeated shortfalls; to have real choice. The Libertarian Party is the real populist party, the party of We the People.

Perhaps our cry can best be summed up by five words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We want to be free.”

We just want the opportunity to live the American dream.

Calen Fretts is a resident of Valparaiso, Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1st District of Florida, and Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Okaloosa County.