Perspective on Libertarianism

Being a libertarian woman, in my experience, is lonely. It’s like being part of a club with only three people, and one of them is your cousin. I’ve found myself running parallel to a lot of people in what they think and how they perceive me. I am close to being enough for either political party, but there is always a limit, a barrier, that keeps me from fully engaging. I’ve felt isolated from most political discussions since I was in high school. While I was accepted as democratic from my democratic friends, and conservative by my conservative friends, I felt like I could never be honest with either group out of fear of being judged.

 I can say, genuinely, that I have met very few women who were libertarian. Even professors I have had classes with consider libertarianism for men in their 20’s. It’s not that I am uncomfortable being a libertarian, it’s more so that I feel like I am being forced to either vanilla or strawberry ice cream when all I wanted was a chocolate bar. Most people I have been honest with typically consider me an anarchist. I don’t see myself as an anarchist, just as someone who wants options and variety in voting and representation. 

Just because I’m a libertarian doesn’t mean that I hate the government. Actually, I would like to one day work in foreign service. I don’t hate public schools, the USPS, or feminism. I’m this weird creature that exists in the rare forgotten, in between the two parties, without feeling myself in either. I can have a progressive voice while retaining certain conservative values, and I think that’s great. Again, I like options, but I wish more people saw libertarianism without thinking of a frat boy high on Atlas Shrugged.

I would like to comfortably say what I think without being labelled as a part of a “phase” or a “Texan version of a Democrat.” Is it really so erroneous to lie between the two extremes? I’m not one to be extremely political, and I don’t really believe in pressing my beliefs on other people. I don’t see organizations for libertarian women, instead we get grouped in with conservative women like we believe the exact same things.

 Most libertarians don’t bother voting in elections because neither party really exhibits their platforms. Voting for libertarian candidates is often considered a wasted vote. It’s unfortunate enough that the political system attempts to pull libertarians either way, but it’s worse to see it within your own friend groups. 

Many people like to think of politicians and Washington, D.C. as some distant and poor reflection of real society, but we as a community have internalized the same exact polarization. Before you as a reader dismiss this idea, think of this: How many friends do you still have that you disagree with either politically or religiously? Why would someone not seek these different ideas/ people out?

It’s lonely to be a libertarian woman because of these polarized groups we form amongst ourselves. It’s hard not to be enough for either party, not to feel comfortable voicing my own opinions when I know the social pressure tells me to go along with or accept things I disagree with. It’s hard to be dissected by people who claim to know your political identity better than you do. I’m dismissed by the political system, discounted as someone with a juvenile interpretation of parties, and shamed for wanting something more than what is offered. 

Even though I don’t always feel welcomed in political conversation, I like being a libertarian. I really enjoy having a foot in both doors. I like agreeing with some parts of liberalism and some parts of conservatism, it makes things more challenging and conversation on why I’m not socially conservative/ economically leftist more interesting. 

It’s kind of a problematic notion that someone should fit into two distinctive categories without room in between. In essence, I’m not going to change because someone wants me to, or because my demographic is underrepresented in elections. I would like to think that there is room for an “independent woman” in politics who believes in access to birth control and less federal tax. I don’t think libertarianism is as much of a fad as it is perceived as, if anything it is a change in generational thinking. 

Is Nostalgia Culture a Sign of Societal Decline?

Nostalgia and remaking of popular trends is indeed a sign of societal decline because it exemplifies laziness and complacency.

Nostalgia shows itself in movies, fashion, and any medium of art. It is meant to reflect a more aesthetically pleasing time in history from which great things emerged and the media praised and popularized new concepts for being unique and creative. While these time periods might have been the pinnacle of their respective artistic movements, the repetition and lack of inventive drive produced by nostalgia culture inhibits and actively hampers the pursuit of a new artistic movement in the modern setting. In short, it creates a vacuum of creative expression by comparing something that would have been classified as “era defining” to something that would either be mediocre and new or something lacking popular backing. Nostalgia art in any form creates a placeholder in a culture that cannot be surmounted because of its deep roots in society and its likeability. This idea of nostalgia culture both stunts and simultaneously regresses a society because it compares the greatest parts of each generation to that which has yet to gain similar praise. This creates gaps in creativity and causes creators to be dependent on nostalgia because it guarantees that their work will be accepted by society and thus turn a profit. 

Like most things, nostalgia art does serve a purpose in society; it is a good medium to explore new ideas, such as time travel movies and docudramas. I believe, however, that nostalgia culture should not permeate so deeply that it influences modern fashion or music, which are cultural expressions characterized by risk. Some may wonder why film does not fall into this category. It is difficult to dissect film as a whole, but it is apt to say that any film classified as a remake or as a resurgence of a popular film franchise serves only to turn profits off of the nostalgia for great original works, such as the Star Wars or Indiana Jones franchises. Currently, many large corporations such as Disney and Illumination Studios have stopped experimenting and creating unique pieces of work, and instead repeat the same concepts over and over because it is easy and a reliable way to guarantee money for the company. There is no medium for passion projects or artistic expression in film because it will not guarantee profit.

Similarly, the same can be said for music. Most popular music is recycled or mimicking an older generation. Pop music of the modern 2010’s and even 2020’s is indicative of a loss of independent voice or iconic features. Whenever a popular artist releases a new song or album, it is played into oblivion to guarantee it will sell, regardless of the song’s merits. This is why popular music is slowly becoming abandoned for other genres such as Alternative or Indie, because this alternative music represents the last strongholds of creative expression. The problem with popular artists such as Taylor Swift adopting these trends in music is that Alternative music no longer becomes as easily accessible for less popular artists, it instead becomes an increasingly insular market that will be exhausted by the mainstream until it is indicative of nothing more than repetitiveness and profiteering. 

In fashion, one of the main characteristics of our generation’s womens fashion is “vintage” or thrifted looks. This reflects the economic recession and money insecurity similar to the 1930’s when it was popular to sew one’s own garments from household items. The main difference is that while that was looked at as shameful, it is now glorified. My grandmother was frequently bullied as a child for wearing clothing that was made from feed sacks or calico. Now, it is considered stylish to repurpose or sew your own clothing. This is due to the favor of originality on a lower scale to the point where it is the job of the individual, not the society to foster something new or aesthetically pleasing to themselves. This explains the loss of customers to many brick and mortar stores as well as the expansion in online enterprises. Most people who go to old standbys such as Macy’s or Kohl’s are feeling themselves more and more ostracized by the lack of creativity and the regurgitation of the same fashion trends. 

All of these things lead me to believe that nostalgia and remaking of popular trends is indeed a sign of societal decline because it exemplifies laziness and complacency. The 1950’s were associated with Americana because Americana was a celebration of individualistic attitudes and principles of working hard to achieve a goal. While it is dangerous when society is no longer reminded of this attitude, there is even more danger when it merely circles around it in hopes that something new will emerge. Risk-taking is a symptom of creativity and should have a viable platform to be expressed. We as a society should be more open to different things because by doing so we allow creation to make America great. 

We should strive to make America great with values that are uniquely ours and principles that allow capitalism to flourish, but we should do so in a way that is unique to the new generation and includes methods that have made Americans advantageous as a world superpower. It is the job of the American society not to become complacent or collapse in on itself because it is the duty of the people within our country to expect exceptionality from their culture. 

Biden Marks a Turning Point for Polarization

When the primary candidates for the Democratic seat are old, white men, we are left to question the integrity of the liberal slogan to promote diversity.

What this election has shown us

While the 2020 election was an extremely close call for the Democrat shoe-in Joe Biden, it was also a wake up call for Republican voters, and politically conservative individuals. The main thing I noticed during this election time was how talking points had shifted and how race and identity politics were no longer a point of interest for the Democratic hopefuls. It seemed like the political environment no longer reflected the feminist ideology or really addressed the racist tendencies of Creepy Uncle Joe. Suddenly it became about the way Trump was incapable of curing COVID in America, and how he was a “mouthpiece for the Russian agenda.” Even in debate, Biden’s talking points were far from specific and heavily relied on buzzwords and phrases. 

However, despite this, I am not entirely sure that the shift in agenda is entirely purposeful, or if the reason behind covering up sexual assault allegations is in fact because of Biden. It seems like the Democratic Party has shifted its focus in order to placate a larger audience and give them scraps of digestible talking points. I firmly believe that Joe Biden will make no difference in the long run, moreover, his presidency will serve as a reminder that liberals do not care about sexual harassment as long as you’re a Democrat. I remember the Kavanaugh confirmation, people went so far as to wear black as a sign of protest, there were riots, and there were extreme protests. It became a largely pressing issue, and was a major part of core Democratic values; yet the same shouting voices in 2018 are silently supporting Biden, despite accusations of pedophilia and unwanted advances on women. 

In my opinion, it seems as though she [Kamala Harris] is presented as a willing accomplice to his racism and sexual assault allegations by providing a singular counterexample of his ‘good’ behavior.

Many people who support Biden may object by stating that Kamala Harris functions as a juxtaposition to his more egregious behavior, but to that I say, why does she have to? Is her role as the Vice President to function as a counter to his irresponsible and offensive behavior? In my opinion, it seems as though she is presented as a willing accomplice to his racism and sexual assault allegations by providing a singular counterexample of his ‘good’ behavior. In social clubs we talk about the detriment of tokenizing POC, but the Democratic Party has brandished the same troublesome tendencies. Something that truly appalls me is the way that they address the sexual assault allegations. It has been on record that, despite women coming forward to verify the claims, they have cherry picked certain people to testify the opposite. The Democratic Party’s hypocrisy is screaming to America that, although Biden is accused of being inappropriate with young women, Democrat politicians and supporters are willing to snuff out the allegations by enough women claiming that it “never happened to them.” Therefore allegations against Biden must not be true. The platform of the #MeToo movement is being destroyed because it no longer aligns with the way Democratic candidates need to be perceived. This shows us that the social platforms of the Democratic Party are a sham and will be abandoned at a moment’s notice. The Democratic Party has no true social values, as we can see in the difference between the way they addressed Kavanaugh versus Biden. 

Additionally, I have made this argument throughout the course of my academic career, there should be more representation in government. In my opinion, it would be good to have more representation in Congress, the Supreme Court, and the Senate to incorporate more diversity; and yet when the opportunity arises for more female representation in the Supreme Court, it is met with liberal backlash. When the primary candidates for the Democratic seat are old, white men, we are left to question the integrity of the liberal slogan to promote diversity. When I bring this up to many of my friends who identify as either Socialist or generally left-leaning, they seem to no longer support the motto of diverse representation because of Bernie Sanders. Why is it that left-leaning individuals are able to chastise right-leaning voters for supporting a candidate who has been known to be inappropriate when they do the exact same thing?

It was never about the values Biden stands for, nor his economic policy. This election season has acted as revenge against the Trump Administration.

 I feel as though with the results of this election, it says more about forced voting tendencies of a two party system more than anything else. It was never about the values Biden stands for, nor his economic policy. This election season has acted as revenge against the Trump Administration. I firmly believe that voting matters, but voting with reactionary tendencies leads to the wrong types of politicians representing the people of America. Not only was the Biden election reactionary, but also the Trump election. This election, for the most part, was not about voting to voice an individual opinion but to create a reactionary echo-chamber against the Trump Administration. It was an attempt to get the masses to push Trump out of office at any cost by casting a ballot solely for the presidency. The 2020 election will serve as a turning point for the polarization of the two party system in which someone like Biden, who many people remark as the worst option for Democratic presidential candidacy, was able to win the popular vote, not because of his merits, but because of the color of his tie.