I have never professed to be a republican or a democrat. I try to avoid politics in conversation unless I know a person to the degree such that it is impossible to offend. But I think American society is at crossroads here and I want to offer a solution. I tend to be in the middle, socially liberal but fiscally conservative. There are reasons for these views, but I think it is the balance that will make society the happiest.
Peter Thiel, a prominent venture capitalist, founder of PayPal, and early investor in Facebook makes a point in his Cato Institute post titled "The Education of a Libertarian" that "politics is way too intense" and that is what makes him a libertarian. I think of myself to be more of a classic liberal as opposed to full on libertarian. There are various aspects of libertarian ideology that are problematic and when hyper-rationalized, result in situations that end up hurting people due to the systemic nature of things.
Thiel makes a good point in his article, however: "Politics gets people angry, destroys relationships, and polarizes peoples’ vision". I think this is really true, and we should instead attempt to come together and unify towards a goal than to be driven apart by opposing views.
I agree that we must focus on technology and the development of technology to prevent the mistakes that we have made in the past - whether it is the 2008 financial crisis or the dot com bubble, history tends to repeat itself. In fact, since these events happen again and again, it's obvious that human transfer of information from one generation to another tends to have missing links. We need to make sure that future generations are fully educated so humanity does not make the same mistakes. Thiel believes that the next three frontiers are in cyberspace, outer space, and seasteading. But in the interim, we must be careful with what we have right now.
Let me begin on the two fronts- Fiscal and Social.
Fiscal conservatism is necessary. If one isn't fiscally conservative and doesn't save and invest for the future in a sustainable manner, one ends up like 2014 Greece or 2016 Venezuela. Those countries had policies that were not economically sustainable and thus resulted in mass civil unrest. I think history shows how great civilizations have failed due to a lack of fiscal conservatism. When someone argues against this, I tend to give them these examples. If I can't get through to them, I just tell them to wait and see and when they run out of money to not come back complaining.
Voting is not under siege in America, but many other rights are. In America, people are imprisoned for using even very mild drugs, tortured by our own government, and forced to bail out reckless financial companies. -- Peter Thiel
Another issue is social liberalism, as the quote from Thiel's article demonstrates. Our current society is imbalanced in a social manner, and policy imposes harsh punishment for mild drug use. The objective of a government is to make the best decisions for the people. And maybe that meant bailing out reckless financial institutions that should have been left to fail if the free market was to prevail. However, I refuse to believe that the government has the right to tell me whether one is permitted to get an abortion, whether one is permitted to marry someone of the same sex, or whether drug use should be permissible.
These are decisions that are personal and thus should never be infringed on by a governing institution. Recklessness with hardcore drugs, repeated abortion, etc. should be dealt with but otherwise the choices to participate in these activities is tantamount to smoking cigarettes -- they are activities that may not be ideal but the government should not push as pure illegality.
And these are a variety of reasons why Thiel advocates on "focusing energy elsewhere, onto peaceful projects that some consider utopian". However, I feel that libertarianism is too systematic and the best solution may be something on the lines of classical liberalism which is simply not as extreme as libertarianism itself.
There might be a better solution, but until someone devises it, we must work towards innovating a better human experience.