By ZACH NOBLE
I entered college in 2009, right as public opinion was turning solidly in favor of gay marriage and fresh off the mortifying memory of Sarah Palin.
But I didn't leave the GOP just because I wanted to desert the culture wars.
I was guided to the Libertarian Party, in large part, by a Wind, Sand and Stars quote that Leonard Nimoy had read to me often, each time I discovered the engineering technology during a Civilization IV playthrough.
But the basic simplicity of libertarian ideals are beautiful, especially to those who have been intimately burned by government incompetence.
The income tax system is a garbage mess? Ditch it.
Gays want to get married? Go for it, but also government shouldn't be in the marriage business in the first place.
Bakers don't want to bake cakes for the new weddings? "Members of private organizations retain their rights to set whatever standards of association they deem appropriate, and individuals are free to respond with ostracism, boycotts and other free market solutions."
Americans wrongly believe they have to choose between the stream-of-racist-old-man-consciousness that is Donald Trump (whose incoherence sadly echoes the Palin ramblings that Republicans tolerated) and the robotic ruthlessness of Hillary Clinton. Both choices are awful, and neither has a straightforward, well-constructed design for how American government should function.
Our Founding Fathers recognized the need for a simple, lucid system of government, and while their design was not perfect, they left us the tools to work toward further simplicity and, thereby, justice.
Zach Noble is a journalist who has covered everything from the OPM hack to a rescue dog's retirement party. He's been wrestling to reconcile his bleeding heart Catholicism with his pragmatic libertarianism since that freshman year love affair with Ayn Rand. He tweets erratically as @thezachnoble.