Life. Family. Friends. Those are things that really matter. At least, to me. I hope those are the things that really matter to you, too, regardless of where you might place yourself on the political grid, or the antiquated (and never very accurate) "left/right" political spectrum.
The reason I embraced libertarianism, after I discovered there was a name for the way I had always pretty much believed anyway, was that it enriches life's important things more than the other political ideologies do.
For years, from a position of ignorance due to not taking the time to study and think, I held on to some "yes, buts" — where choosing to respect the liberty of the individual frightened or confused me.
Then I began to discover that the few reservations I managed to excuse crumbled when exposed to experience, rational thought, and the ethical treatment of others as my equal where rights were concerned. Live and let live. Instead of uncertainty and confusion, I was surprised to find contentment.
It made relationships easier, even when there were philosophical disagreements. No one is ultimately responsible for the life and choices of another, even though you may want to help. Most people have enough difficulties running their own life, and can't handle the added burden of running someone else's life, too. Anything more than friendly advice, and an explanation of any boundaries involved, is harmful to any relationship. My family and friends, and yours, can make the right decisions for themselves and advice should never be presented as an order.
I see politics as an attempt to get along with people you don't like. Yet, as long as other people don't believe they have the right or authority to take your property, your labor, or your volition from you without your consent, there really isn't much of a reason to dislike them. Only the twisted "mainstream" notion of politics makes this barbarous behavior look legitimate.
Enjoy your life, family, and friends, and trust them to run their own lives. Give that same trust to those you don't know; even those you believe you have nothing in common with. As long as you point out, and defend, your boundaries with effective determination from all usurpers, you should get along fine. Then you have more time and energy for the important things.
Kent McManigal is a freelance writer who sometimes offers commentary on our websites. Contact him at: