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Defining a libertarian

The Merriam=Webster Online dictionary defines Libertarian as: “a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action.”  I agree with that definition.  The same dictionary defines liberty as:” the power to do as one pleases.”  This definition I do not agree with because it is incomplete.  It differs from the definition that was universally accepted by those who wrote and ratified the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  They believed that liberty is the freedom to do as you please, as long as you do not hurt others, or interfere with the rights of others.  It is freedom with the responsibility to not hurt others or prevent them from exercising their rights.

A Libertarian believes that preventing individuals from harming others, or interfering with the rights of others, are the only legitimate functions of government.  They believe that individuals should be free to live their lives as they choose, free from any government interference, as long as they treat others properly.  They believe that government assistance, of any kind, is unacceptable, unneeded, and harmful.

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