What is the real definition of "libertarian?"
Congressman Ron Paul's campaign to become the Republican nominee for U.S. President has attracted substantial interest in libertarianism while at the same time causing many libertarians to look outside of their mental boxes and either: 1) question Paul's adherence to libertarian principles, 2) question the value of the Libertarian Party who are thought of in many minds as "losers," or 3) question the standard shaky and hard-to-defend definition of libertarianism.
Regarding Ron Paul's libertarian litmus test, it seems that when someone else is willing to step forward and run for president on a major party ticket and gather significant media attention and spur an interest in researching libertarianism in thousands of new people, then we can have a comparison debate.
As to the value of the Libertarian Party....
But maybe it is time for a better definition of libertarianism. The current definition, which relies on hazy and arguable conceptions of force or threat of force is a definition based on fear. "I fear that I'm going to be forced...." But true libertarianism has nothing whatsoever to do with fear.
Men and women have fought for freedom throughout mankind's history, but not until recently have they tried to confuse the issue with definitions having to do with the misuse of force. One fights for liberty for one reason only: one's spirit is free and needs to remain free.
The wrong left-turn which many libertarians took into atheism has caused many to forget why they really want freedom. We are spiritual beings who deep inside ourselves want and need freedom to follow our spirit. We are also human beings who teach ourselves by trial and error, so we want and need freedom to make mistakes and learn from our mistakes.
A proper definition of libertarianism would be based on love. "We love our spirit and we love the spirit of others. If we don't have liberty, we are spiritually dead!"
The libertarian preparation device, A Course in Miracles, speaks of the spirit of freedom:
And thus their freedom is established and maintained. It is upheld through all temptations to imprison and to be imprisoned. It is them, who learned of freedom, that you should ask what freedom is. Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars, for those with little wings have not accepted for themselves the power to share with you.
Available free of charge online:
Course in Political Miracles