OPINION: Now is the time for a Libertarian alternative

Written by Lindsay Marchello

   Dissatisfaction with the two major political parties is at an all-time high. According to a Gallup poll, as of 2015 only twenty-six percent of Americans identify with the Republican Party and twenty-nine percent identify with the Democratic Party. An impressive forty-two percent of Americans label themselves as Independents. “The rise in political independence is likely related to Americans’ frustration with party gridlock in the federal government,” writes Jeffrey M. Jones for Gallup. “In the past several years, dissatisfaction with the government has ranked among the leading issues.”

   Since more people consider themselves neither Republican nor Democrat, this is arguably the best time for the Libertarian party to sweep in and take the 2016 presidential election. Both parties have managed to alienate voters, with Trump driving conservatives out of the Republican Party and the DNC’s blatant support of Hillary Clinton pushing out many progressive liberals. Many feel that this upcoming election will force them to choose between the lesser of two evils, but the Libertarian Party offers an alternative to that decision.

   College campuses across the United States have seen an increase of support for libertarianism, even at Columbus State University. A chapter of the Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian youth organization, has come to CSU, with computer science major Joshua Staples acting as chapter president. “My goal for our local CSU chapter is to educate the students of Columbus State University to not just look at the issues facing our country in terms of Conservative vs. Liberal or Republican vs. Democrat but in terms of right vs. wrong and liberty vs. tyranny,” explained Staples.

   The YAL at CSU hopes to hold events on campus to inform students about political issues, including about freedom of speech. “In the very near future we will hold a special exclusive screening of the upcoming documentary ‘Can We Take a Joke?’ which is aimed at starting a discussion on whether college campuses have become a hostile territory for free speech.”

   Being a libertarian is not a requirement for joining the CSU chapter of the Young Americans for Liberty. All that is necessary is having an interest and an open mind about politics in general.