This post is primarily for my friends, family and anonymous internet snowflakes who are devastated by the election of Donald Trump, though the principles I present here apply no matter where you fall on the ideological spectrum.
Consider that for most of President-elect Trump’s 70 years on this earth, you were not afraid for your life because he shared this earth with you. Like the rest of us, he could basically do whatever he wanted and it didn’t matter because his actions had no impact on you; he had no control over you. What you fear isn’t Trump himself, but the power that is now his to wield.
Republicans felt the same way eight years ago when President Obama was elected and whenever he said he would use Executive Orders to do what he couldn’t get Congress to do willingly. At the time you cheered President Obama as he short-circuited our Constitution’s checks and balances and blamed an “obstructionist” Congress for holding back “progress.” But now that same power rests in the hands of someone whom you don’t like, someone you believe will use it to harm people and things you care about and it frightens you.
Both liberals and conservatives need to realize that even if the gun of government isn’t being pointed at you right now, it is guaranteed to be pointed at you at some point. The Republicans and Democrats have gone back and forth growing the government so that it encroaches on more and more of our lives. There is a way out from this. We must work to limit the power government has over us. Vote in politicians who offer a real plan towards reducing the size and scope of government at all levels. Read the writings of Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, among others. Talk to your family and friends about the problems inherent with an overbearing government.
Libertarians believe the government has no business telling you what you can buy, whom you can love, or whom you can associate with. Our philosophy is simple — we don’t hurt people and we don’t take their things. And while I don’t think Gary Johnson ran a terribly effective campaign, if you believe in those ideas, even in principle, libertarians offer a vision of the country as a place that embraces those ideas.