Libertarians have a tendency to come from a right wing background. It’s not unusual for conservatives to find themselves easing over to libertarianism since many conservative espouse some fairly libertarian ideas, like how it’s not the government’s place to do a lot of the things they do. Me? I came from the left. At one time, I honestly didn’t see a problem with socialism in the least. I got better though.
So what caused this shift in ideology?
To start with, it was actually a left-leaning television show called The West Wing. Aaron Sorkin, who would be hard to define as anything not on the left, filled his fictional White House full of colorful Democrat characters. I was a Democrat at the time, so I was completely cool with the show being put together in such a way.
Early on in season one, Sorkin introduced a character names Ainsley Hayes. Hayes, a beautiful and intelligent Republican, was probably there as a token character to appease the people who were convinced that the show was about indoctrinating people. Early on, there was a conversation between Hayes and character Sam Seaborne, a typical Ivy League elite. Seaborne argued that Republicans only cared about one of the ten amendments that made up the bill of rights, while Hayes fired back that sure, while they conveniently chose to ignore the Second Amendment.
The discussion shifted my then thinking on guns. I’ve always loved firearms, but was willing to accept curtails on them for the betterment of my fellow man. That one moment on a television show of all things started shifting my thought processes. I couldn’t get behind the inconsistencies anymore. It was fiction, but it had hit a nerve. I started opening my mind up to other possible alternatives to policy positions I had held for years.