For many years I've considered myself to be among a minority in America. Not a racial or ethnic minority — I am a run-of-the-mill, middle-aged white guy — but a political minority. I am fiscally-conservative and socially-liberal, which results in my feeling orphaned by the two-party political establishment.

Republicans appear increasingly adamant about insisting that government should dictate our society's mores and behaviors. They don't trust women to make their own reproductive decisions or want gays to enjoy the same rights that the balance of the populace does, and have generally evolved into a party of pompous, "thou shall do as I say" hypocrites.

On the other hand, the Democrats appear to have fiscal irresponsibility hard-wired into their Keynesian genetic code ("Got a problem? Let Big Government spend its way to prosperity!). The result of these seemingly entrenched and equally repulsive ideologies is to leave me without a viable political party I can, in good conscience, vote for come election day. For many years, I believed I was an odd duck, lonely in my political vacuum. However, there are now signs of a shift in the tectonic plates that undergird our political world. Voters identifying themselves as "independent" now appear to be a large and growing percentage of the voting population.

These independent voters are increasingly concerned about our government's propensity to spend more than it we can afford. While at the same time, most voters believe women should have the right to make their own reproductive choices free from government interference. And I believe most citizens have come to realize that discriminating against gays will eventually be seen as on a par with the racial discrimination of the past. So, am I no longer lonely in my political isolation? Is it time for a political party that combines fiscal conservatism with a basic respect for citizens to live their lives without an intrusive mentality from Christian politicians who feel only their views should dictate our legal behaviors? Would it be possible to combine the best of the Republican fiscal tendencies with the Democrats' social liberalism? What should we call this party? Republicrats? Demicans?

The answer appears to be that such a party already exists. Its name is the Libertarian Party.

Significant numbers of young voters have become enamored of Ron Paul and his libertarian message of a less intrusive foreign policy, live and let live social message and fiscal conservatism. This youthful trend foreshadows the rising importance of this libertarian message. It may not be palpable yet in a "one party" state like Maryland. But despite the myopic political inertia of the electorate in our fair state, the Libertarian Party with its common sense platform is becoming a political entity that will increasingly be an attractive alternative to the calcified and anachronistic two-party system.

Independent-minded citizens should take note, there is now a viable alternative to remaining a political orphan. Check out the Libertarian Party's platform (www.LP.org). You might find there's a political "parent" out there waiting to welcome you to a better future.

Michael S. Cordes, Baltimore