What I respect about libertarianism as a liberal is their belief in Limited Government, which actually means Small Government to libertarians whether they put it that way or not. Their idea of Limited Government would probably like 1/6 of the current Federal Government. They would probably only keep the White House obviously, Defense, State, Justice, Treasury and maybe Commerce and the CIA. And Congress and the Judicial Branch in the Federal Government. What I also respect about libertarianism is of course their belief in Individual Freedom as well as what Libertarian Economist Milton Friedman. Called Maximize Freedom the freedom for people to live their own lives as they see fit, adults that is. As long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom, that means Decriminalization or Marijuana, Prostitution, Organized Gambling to use as examples. The idea that people should be able to do these things if they want as long as they are not hurting anyone else. And the fact that people do these things anyway, we might as well accept these facts and try to make these activities as safe as possible. Instead of them being done in the Black Market with no rules and no one paying taxes while doing these things. My issues with libertarianism as a liberal, are personal as well as politically. They are so rigid and consistent and I would even argue stubborn politically. That if you don't take the libertarian position on everything for the most part, your not one of them and your basically a traitor to the movement. Your some type of Big Government socialist or communist or something even if you might only disagree with libertarianism on a few issues. Which I believe has hurt not only the Libertarian Party in drawing more members but the broader Libertarian Movement which is much broader then the LP. Which points out a weakness in the LP, with its inability to draw more members.
If the Libertarian Movement wasn't so rigid ideologically and basically took the stance that as long as you support the broader movement and your with us lets say 90% of the time. Which the Democratic and Republican Parties generally would accept as a good percentage at least historically. Then you would see more liberals and conservatives become libertarians and we wouldn't have terms like Classical Libertarian, the rigid libertarians. Conservative Libertarians and Liberal Libertarians such as myself, notice how liberal and libertarian sound so much alike. Yet in today's politics liberals get mistaken for socialists or even progressives but thats a different blog. I'll give you a few examples, Social Issues the libertarian way of thinking is the way to go as far as I'm concern. And a lot of other americans feel the same way, we don't as a country like to be told as a country how to live our lives. Which is why more libertarians haven't become republicans because they don't like the Religious Right. But a consensus of americans do like things like Social Security and Medicare which has hurt the Libertarian Movement in the past. When libertarians have called for the elimination of these programs, so what I'm suggesting is that they moderate their to use as an example. Say we accept that these programs are here and people depend on them which is why we are not going to eliminate them. But we would like to decentralize them and even bring competition to them. Then I believe libertarians would have a lot more success politically.
I'm a liberal because I do believe in Individual Freedom and Maximize Freedom but again this is what separates me from libertarianism. Because I believe in those things as long as people aren't hurting anyone else with their freedom and thats where government comes in. To protect innocent Free People from the harm of people who would take that freedom away and then punish them. Whereas I believe libertarians are Anti Government to the point that I believe some of them don't even want government doing that. And this is another thing thats cost libertarians politically.