"Libertarian" is a Verb

by Michael Cloud

What's a libertarian?

"Libertarian: one who upholds the principle of liberty, especially individual liberty of thought and action," writes Webster's New International Dictionary.

"A libertarian is an advocate of individual liberty," say many pro-liberty writers.

"A libertarian is a person who believes in both economic and personal freedom," say others.

What's a libertarian?

Most freedom advocates describe or define a libertarian in terms of his beliefs, philosophy, values, or proposals.

What if they are mistaken? What if a person can believe in liberty, endorse the freedom philosophy, value liberty, propose liberty - and still NOT be a libertarian?

What if the essential, defining characteristic of a libertarian is NOT what he thinks or feels or says?

What if the key to being libertarian is what a person does?

What if "libertarian" is a verb?


A Lesson from Vegetarians

What do you call a NON-practicing vegetarian?

A carnivore. (Or omnivore.)

Suppose the NON-practicing vegetarian deeply believes in vegetarianism. Does the belief make him a vegetarian?

Suppose the NON-practicing vegetarian writes books and essays making the case for vegetarianism. He gives speeches and seminars urging others to become vegetarians. Does this make him a vegetarian?

Suppose he has strong vegetarian sentiments. Or in principle is committed to vegetarianism. Or fancies himself a philosophical vegetarian. But he continues to eat animal flesh and by-products. Is he a vegetarian?

No. "Practicing vegetarian" is a redundancy. "NON-practicing vegetarian" is a contradiction in terms.


A Lesson from Writers

A writer is a person who writes.

NOT a person who wants to write. NOT a person who thinks about writing. NOT a person who talks about writing.

NOT a person who aspires, hopes, intends, or longs to write.

To be a writer is to write. To write is be a writer. To be is to do. To do is to be. AND - not to do is not to be.

"Writer" is a verb.


A Lesson from Athletes

Athletes are individuals who engage in sports. Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, and the host of other competitive sports.

Some athletes are young. Others are older. Most are amateur. Some are professional. All work out and practice. Come game day, they are the ones in the arena, on the court, or on the playing field.

The people in the stands are fans, NOT athletes.

The people watching the game on TV are spectators, NOT athletes.

The people writing about the athletic contest are sports writers, NOT athletes.

The athletes are competing on the playing field. They are sweating and striving and straining against the other team. They suffer pain and injury. They are the ones pitting their best efforts and skills against their adversaries.

Win or lose, they are the athletes.

"Athlete" is a verb.


What it Really Means to be a Libertarian

To be a libertarian is to act to advance liberty. To be is to do.

Not to take actions to advance liberty is NOT to be a libertarian. Not to do is not to be.

Understanding liberty does NOT make a person a libertarian.

Believing in liberty does NOT make a person a libertarian.

Libertarian sentiments, values, leanings, longings, or convictions do NOT make a person a libertarian.

A strong commitment to liberty does NOT make a person a libertarian.

Supporting libertarian principles - or opposing Big Government principles - does NOT make a person a libertarian.

"Libertarian" is a verb.

Government power and liberty are opposites. And they have a win/lose, zero-sum relationship. Government power grows by shrinking liberty. And liberty grows by shrinking government power. By making government smaller than it is today.

We advance liberty by acting to reduce or remove government spending, funding, resources, programs, liabilities, authority, and power.

To be a libertarian is to act to make government smaller than it is now. To make liberty larger than it is now.

Which actions?

Vote to advance liberty. Vote for small government candidates, ballot initiatives and referendums. Read and sign and live by The Small Government PledgeSM.

Volunteer to help or give an affordable donation to candidates who publicly and explicitly campaign to make government smaller than it is today.

Ask your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to vote to shrink government. Recruit, educate, and activate them to act to advance liberty by making government smaller than today.

To advance liberty, we must act to elect champions of small government. First one. Then more. Then a majority - of our city councils, state legislatures, and Congress.

It will take time. But it is the fastest, simplest, and most reliable way to reduce and remove Big Government programs, taxes, spending, and power.

To be a libertarian is to act to reduce or remove government power. Which advances and expands liberty.

"Libertarian" is a verb.

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Want to act to reduce or remove government power? Click HERE

Copyright 2006 by Michael Cloud