I've always been an individualist. No matter what political question I've considered, my response has always been heavily influenced by my belief that individual rights and freedoms are very important. I'm no purist, I'm willing to concede they aren't the be all and end all, hence why I've always preferred the term liberaltarian rather than libertarian.
My beliefs that people do need a "safety net" and that being nice is a virtue caused me to side with the centre-left generally despite my support for free enterprise. I value social freedom over economic freedom (even if it has been hard to separate the two!). The centre-left, I thought, were the people most willing to help fight social conservatives, prudes and authoritarians.
Oh how naive I was. I know my posts over the last few years have shown my increasing disaffection with "progressive" thought, but the last few months have really been a watershed period for me. I can no longer pretend I share common ground with more than a handful of people on the centre-left. How can I when we have people from the left opposing sex workers rights, fighting to ban porn, creating division where there need not be any and generally undermining personal choice.
I left the Lib Dems a couple of months ago. I now find myself politically homeless. I can't even see myself voting Lib Dem again. I would describe myself proudly as a cultural libertarian. I have concerns about my fellow travellers (I'm not a big fan of coarse language or cruel insults) but I accept their "flaws" because... I'm not an authoritarian! I don't want to live in some dehumanised clinical world where every thought is policed. I don't want to live in a world where the sanctimonious thrive and bland corporate statements fill social media. You can't experience joy without sadness, you can't see the beauty in humanity without seeing the flaws. Or as Eric Idle says
"Life's a piece of shit
When you look at it
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true."
I'm tired of listening to debates where the majority value feelings over facts. So I'm coming out... I'm an ex-progressive and I don't give a damn who knows!