It’s been an interesting day already. In keeping with a plan outlined by Ian Freeman to coopt the GOP I just left the Cheshire County Republican Committee meeting, and there was much more to take away than those things literally discussed. I recorded audio of the event, and will upload it after I’ve cleaned it up a bit, normalized it, and all that, so it will be a few days. There’s not a lot there for one to really comb through; video would be much more fascinating.
It was immediately obvious upon my arrival that I wasn’t simply the only trans person there (totally expected), but was also the only person there who would qualify as young, other than Ian Freeman. In fact, you could double my age and I’d still be younger than a significant portion of the other attendees. While this created some humorous moments, such as when it was stated that “we have to get on the social media,” I couldn’t help but think of a movie I’ve never seen.
It was as close to a room full of blind people as I’ve ever seen.
To their credit, they’re aware of the elephant in the room, and they did point at it a few times, but ultimately all they did was acknowledge the elephant. They’re no closer to being rid of it than they were before the meeting; in fact, Ian did more to bring young people into the meeting than any of them, a fact that is certainly worth recognizing.
Other than the one guy who insisted that older people needed to be the recipients of outreach, at least, but such a shortsighted view was only humored by other attendees, and his dual mentions of it received little more than polite acknowledgement that he’d spoken. The CCRC may or may not have an issue with getting older people to go to meetings, and resident older people may or may not be motivated to vote, but even if every person over 50 voted Republican, it solves their problem only for a decade or so.
It’s macabre to note, perhaps, but the elephant must be addressed properly. Older people die, and they are taking the GOP with it.
This was on proud display today, as an upcoming event titled “The Way We Were” made clear, and a bit of quick reminiscing followed by a few others about how Cheshire County “used to be” Republican.
I used to be a guy.
Things change, and we adapt to the changes wrought by the chaotic interactions of time and people, or we fade into obscurity, going the way of the dodo and lawn darts. What I saw today was reluctant acknowledgement that the world has changed, and begrudging recognition that the GOP needed to change with it, but a shocking lack of… any idea whatsoever on how that might be accomplished. Nowhere was this clearer than the brief discussion about studying how the Democrats use “the social media” and compiling reports about its effectiveness and cost. Yet there was no shortage of people pointing out that print media is dead.
These two ideas, juxtaposed, should highlight their problem for them, but they evidently refuse to see it. That isn’t fair. They see it, but they’re out of their element–they didn’t adapt as things changed–and are now looking around at increasingly empty rooms that gradually progressed from vibrant, young faces to gray hairs and coughing.
So much coughing. Like an unreal amount.
It began, of course, like an ordinary church service–fitting, considering the purpose of the meeting was ultimately to heap adoration onto the state–with the Pledge of Allegiance (through which Ian and I sat, myself baffled by the display). Then, as though I’d stepped right out of a liberal bastion into a Mayberry church service, an honest-to-god hymn was sung: “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” or whatever its proper name is.
And then–and I must stress that I have audio recording of this–after the song finished, a single voice rang out “Amen.”
It went from mundane to weird to “OMFG I’M DYING” in the span of about three minutes. “Amen” is certainly a fitting way to end a prayer and hymn to the state, but to actually see and hear this was shocking.
Anyway, the GOP in general has a relatively simple branding issue. The problem is not complex, but the solution would be. I didn’t sign their attendance paper because I’m not comfortable having my name in any way associated with Republicans. The perception is that they’re stodgy old white people obsessed with a world that never was, and convinced they can somehow resist the tides of change through sheer obstinacy.
Their infrastructure remains strong, but we need only three things to absolutely conquer the Republican Party with libertarians: more libertarians, time, and patience. I wish no ill on anyone, but time does what it does, and there is no one at the CCRC to carry on the torch except Ian and me. All battles, ideological, political, and real, are won by those who remain standing. Realistically, in fifteen years Ian and I will likely be the only people still there, from those who attended today.
I can’t imagine this is irregular for the Republicans. Photographs of their meetings reveal the same phenomenon, and the only competing party is the Democratic one, which is decisively winning the ideological war among young people. Republicans can (and, indeed, they did) blame “brainwash” by the education system if they want, but it’s not going to change that young people are predominantly Democrats or Libertarians.
Canvassing colleges isn’t going to change that, for the same reason I don’t want an “R” next to my name. They have to change their image, and whether they want to change it is immaterial. We just need more people doing it. No, I don’t want “Republican” next to my name because of all the stereotypes and connotations it entails, but I’m aware the only way to change said implications… is to have “Republican” next to my name.
It isn’t for the sake of the Republican Party, though. It’s for the sake of libertarianism, and hijacking the Republicans’ political infrastructure to undermine and dismantle the state. I don’t give a damn about the Republicans or their current platform; I want to erase their entire platform and replace it with the NAP.
Political parties have faded and died, and evolved, through the history of the United States. Looking around today, it was obvious that we’re on the verge of that. Give us ten to twenty years, and we can simply change its name from “Republican Party” to “Libertarian Party.”
It took me one minute this morning to find three examples of absolutely horrific bias and fearmongering from liberal media elements–one of them from The Guardian, who claims each day in their subscription email that we should give them money to support “independent” journalism. I am so goddamned tired of the fearmongering. Just look at the bias and fearmongering in these three pieces.
This one, from a CNN affiliate, is so extreme I basically had to highlight the entire passage!
Now, this is alarming because there are tons of people out there who believe that CNN is unbiased, fair, reliable, and not sensationalizing everything they say. But holy fuck–the sensationalism! “…making of a dictator… attack on freedom of speech… attacked SNL… demanded the show change… this is what dictators do… we will slowly lose our freedoms… Chilled by Trump tweets? You should be… lashing out at anyone who dares criticize him should worry every citizen…”
I mean, I’m stunned. I’m legitimately stunned by this blatant bias and fearmongering.
Let’s not forget, because it is worth pointing out, that we are discussing some dumb shit that Trump said on Twitter. We are talking about tweets. Tweets. Donald Trump’s freaking tweets are a threat to freedom of speech, show that he is a dictator in the making, and will take away our freedoms.”
If you handed me a list of stupid tweets from Donald Trump and asked me to write the most hyper-sensationalized article that I could, I don’t think I would be able to succeed nearly as well as Dean Obeidallah has. Let’s be clear about this. This kind of insane senationalism is what you would expect to find at www.obamaistheantichrist.net, not CNN. “Here’s a picture of Obama not wearing his wedding ring… OMG, he’s a Muslim… going to impose Sharia law… turn the country over to Isis… supporting black supremacy…”
That’s the essence of sensationalism: taking something that’s pretty much meaningless and innocuous and drumming it up to fever pitch proportions, and CNN is clearly guilty of it here. Just stop what you’re doing, pull back for a moment, and remember that we are discussing Twitter. We are discussing tweets. And the mainstream media has gone so far into LaLa Land that Donald Trump’s tweets can make him a dictator in the making.
Does anything else have to be said about how insane the media has become?
Here is a headline in today’s subscription email for The Guardian–the only news outlet that I’m subscribed to. Why? Because I like getting news from the other side. Unlike most Americans, I have absolutely no desire to place myself in an echo chamber. I’m also subscribed to the Rational Review News Digest, actually, but they aren’t a media outlet. This headline appears almost immediately after the Guardian asks for funding to support their “independent and fair” journalism.
I’m sorry, Guardian, but you are jurnalizts, not journalists. Honestly, I am closer to a journalist than you clowns are, and I know that I’m a jurnalizt. Those who want to know the difference should follow Jim Sterling, because it’s not really a matter of “one is serious and one isn’t.” It’s more nuanced than that.
Anyway, these jurnalizts at The Guardian are neither independent nor fair. Just look at this madness.
Trump hasn’t even ascended to office yet, for crying out loud. We are still fully under the rule of exactly the same people who have been ruling us through the last two years. And I’ve already addressed the reality that requiring a woman drive to another state to get an abortion is not a threat to her abortion “rights.” Your ability to rule the entire country and tell everyone what to do is under siege, not your abortion rights. I’m sorry that you don’t know the difference.
What do you even say?
If These Are Your News Sources…
…then I can only imagine how terrified you are. I feel for you; I truly do, because you are a victim. No, you’re not a victim in the sense that someone said mean things about you. You’re a victim because the liberal media has been knowingly and consciously sensationalizing everything about Trump to the point of full-blown hysteria–and I know a thing or two about hysteria. In fact, I think 2016 has been the Year of Hysteria, and there are no signs that the hysteria is about to abate.
I also know first-hand how impossible it is to talk someone back from the edge of hysteria. Such people are fully caught in the grip of their emotions, have lost all perspective, and have been jumping at shadows for so long that they think standing in the darkness means they are surrounded by monsters. When I tried to reason with people over the clown bullshit, I was repeatedly attacked and viciously insulted, all because I dared tell these people that they were overreacting and needing to calm the hell down, because they had lost all perspective.
It’s not an accident that I have “PERSPECTIVE” tattooed on me; it’s a constant reminder to maintain perspective.
If you’ve been getting your news for months or even years from these websites like CNN and NYDailyNews and The Guardian, then it’s almost certain that their ultra-sensationalized headlines have driven you into a frenzied hysteria. It could very well be true that you’re no longer capable of stopping and saying to yourself, “Wait a minute. They’re accusing Trump of being a dictator in the making because of some stupid shit he said on Twitter. This… This has to be a joke, right? They can’t be serious. They can’t be writing an article that ridiculous, that absurd, and that sensationalized while trying to pass it off as genuine journalism, right?”
Except they are, and they’ve been doing it for a while.
It’s distressing, but leftwing media has gone totally insane, and the only question is whether they have gone so insane that they believe their own sensationalization, or whether they know that they’re sensationalizing everything and are just doing it to manipulate you in favor of their ideology.
It’s true, you know. Every time Trump says or does anything, this is exactly how the media reacts:
Let us not forget that because Trump said this:
“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.”
… and the left and media retaliated with “OMG HE’S CALLING FOR THE ASSASSINATION OF OUR LADY HILLARY”
Talking about Constitutional court battles in the Supreme Court where these judges would be, Donald Trump referred to Second Amendment advocates possibly being able to fight it anyway. And the media and left interpreted this as a call for the assassination of Hillary Clinton.
You can’t make this stuff up, man.
Well, clearly, you can. But you have to be a “journalist” employed by The Guardian, CNN, the NY Times, or the LA Times.
This happened repeatedly; it has been happening repeatedly.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize that this is sensationalized bullshit with little relation to what was actually discussed. Just remember that tweeting can evidently be an attack on free speech and make someone a dictator in the making.
Months ago, I recorded a podcast when I observed that a lot of people were projecting bigotry where there clearly wasn’t any, which did, of course, make them the bigots.
There were two, actually.
Projection is a serious problem, especially with Donald Trump, because he’s basically the Bible of American Politics, and there are millions upon millions of people who project things onto him, either as a reason to hate him or as a reason to like him. Donald Trump was supposed to be a threat to the sanctity of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power from one person to the next; Donald Trump was supposed to be a sore loser who wouldn’t concede the presidency. Then it turned out that Hillary said “Screw it” and waited to concede the presidency, telling her supporters to go home and go to bed. Then it turned out that the very people accusing Trump of undermining the electoral process went out and started rioting, petitioning for the Electoral College electors to vote faithlessly, to elect Hillary even though Trump won the electoral college, thereby undermining not just the peaceful transfer of power, but the entire Republic system that we have built.
The Electoral College
No, the electoral college does not exist to protect rural states. It does not exist to give disproportionate value to rural white voters. It exists because we are a union of fifty sovereign nations. We are not a single, unified state, and we never have been. We are fifty individual republics, and this is the result of a hundred years of fascism and an overblown federal government. Popular votes decide your Governor, your senators, your state legislatures. The popular vote doesn’t decide the presidency because the President isn’t your ruler. Your governor is. We’ve simply forgotten this. We’ve forgotten what “state” means.
Hell, I’ve seen people suggesting that California should form the Republic of California. It’s already the Republic of California!
The popular vote doesn’t decide the President because you are not, first and foremost, a citizen of the United States. First and foremost, you are a citizen of whatever state you live in. That is the way our republic was designed; that is the way our federalist government was designed. Once upon a time, we didn’t elect our national senators through popular votes, either, for the same reason–we are a coalition of fifty sovereign republics. We do not elect the President. Our states do. This is critical to understand the very essence of our nation. We don’t elect the President for exactly the same reason that popular votes throughout Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, etc. don’t elect the President of the European Council. It’s not the way the system is designed.
Fakes News, Real News Projection 2
For all the talk of how Donald Trump is a threat to free speech and a free press, who is it that is actually campaigning for some kind of elite media group to determine who gets approved to be considered “Real News” and who doesn’t? That’s right–the liberal media. The very people who accused Trump of being a threat to a free press are now fighting to have sites that they deem to be “fake news” censored, shut down, and blocked. If you want to talk about a threat to a free press, let’s talk about the enormous dangers that such a cabal of elites represents to a free press.
Nowhere in the First Amendment is the press required to tell the truth. This seems to surprise a lot of people. In fact, the first amendment guarantees that the press can never be required to tell the truth. They can lie, exaggerate, manipulate, deceive, and stretch things as far as they want. Just scroll up to see how a few stupid tweets are stretched to the point of making Trump a dictator in the making. The only things that require the press tell the truth are libel laws, and those are extremely limited when it comes to the press. I don’t think they should be expanded–obvs–but if you’re afraid that Trump is a threat to a free press because he wants to expand libel laws while you advocate the creation of some agency–governmental or not–that rubberstamps some news as “real” and other news as “fake,” then you aren’t exactly on the side of a free press yourself.
Whoever made this, thank you.
It’s another case of projection. I don’t think expanding libel laws so that the media is held to account for saying that Trump “brags about sexual assault” would be a threat to a free press. In fact, I think that such an expansion, in the current system, would probably benefit the American People. Because, let’s be honest here: No, Trump most certainly did not brag about sexual assault. He said women let him. And the media took that and ran with it, completely forgetting what the meaning of the word “let” is. If you let someone do something, then you are consenting to it. If you’re consenting, then it is not sexual assault. I absolutely think the media should be held to account for that sensationalizing, that drumming up of hysteria, that fever-pitch insanity that completely twisted and ignored what Trump actually said so that they could push their narrative of some orange gremlin running around grabbing women by the pussy.
Because they harbor a desire to inhibit freedom of the press, they project that onto Donald Trump and accuse him of wanting to inhibit freedom of the press. Honestly, if I was Trump I would be pretty pissed off, too. I mean, the man spoke of how women consent to have sex with him because he’s rich and famous, and the media immediately accused him of sexual assault and twisted his words into being “bragging about sexual assault.” I’d be pissed, and if that blatant twisting of the truth and sensationalism doesn’t fall under the legal definition of “slander,” then our libel laws do need to be re-evaluated.
Liberals want to use the government to force everyone to abide their policies, their values, and their standards. This is no surprise–it’s what separates liberals from conservatives. We’ve twisted the meanings so that “liberal” now means “pro-tolerance on social issues” while “conservative” means “intolerant,” but this is ridiculousness that I’ve addressed before.
So because liberals want to enforce their worldview onto everyone, they can only assume that conservatives want to force their worldview onto everyone, but, again, that is the critical divide between liberals and conservatives. Theoretically, conservatives want small government. They don’t want the federal government to tell the state of Mississippi that it must allow gay marriage, and they don’t want the federal government to tell the state of California that it cannot allow gay marriage. Basically, liberals want democracy while conservatives want a republic.
It’s funny that, for the first time in my life, the Democrat Party is actually advocating a swap to a democratic government, while the Republican Party is actually defending a Republic government. So of course Democrats want the popular vote to determine the President–they’re democrats. They want democracy, not a republic. It’s literally what makes them Democrats. And they’re tied to liberalism because most people–I would say well over 50%–are in favor of gay marriage, pro marijuana, pro-choice, and so on. So they want these liberal positions adopted by 51=% of the population to rule over everyone because “democracy.”
It’s been a hell of a ride, this election, and battle lines were not re-drawn but reclarified. Democrats are, once again, pro democracy. Republicans are, once again, pro-Republic. Liberals are, once again, pro big government and pro ruling over everyone. Conservatives are, once again, pro small government and pro ruling at a state level–ostensibly. Time will tell, but it is my contention that Conservatives will not use the federal government as a vehicle for ruling over all 50 states and will instead attempt to send social matters back to the 50 states.
Of course, that’s not good enough for liberals, who are unwilling to compromise, but I think that’s where Trump will come in. “You can accept that Mississippi is banning abortion and that women in Mississippi will have to drive to Tennessee to get an abortion, or we can have the federal government ban abortion across the country. Which do you want, liberals?”
Liberals have been in power so long–even if they didn’t control all of the federal government, they did win the culture war, and they did dictate social issues–that they decided that they didn’t have to compromise. In order to teach them the value of compromise, I think we’re going to have to have a conservative play hardball with them, and I think Trump, the alleged dealmaker, is capable of doing that. I don’t know if that is what he plans to do, but it’s what he needs to do to heal our country. Because liberals aren’t willing to let Mississippi ban abortion if it means some women might have to drive all the way to Tennessee to get one. To them, that is unacceptable. They’ve convinced themselves that the women don’t have just the “right to an abortion” but have the right to a convenient abortion, and that if it’s even slightly inconvenient or difficult then she is being oppressed.
“We’re sending abortion back to the states, where conservative states are likely to ban it,” says Donald Trump*.
“That’s unacceptable!” the liberals would reply. “Then Texas would ban abortions, and women in Texas couldn’t have them!”**
“Sure, she can,” responds Trump. “She just has to drive to another state to do it.”
“That’s not acceptable,” the liberals would reply.
“Well, it’s either that, or I ban abortion across the country. Accept this compromise or we’ll ban it nationwide.”
I hate to say it, but it does seem that this is the only way to get liberals to compromise, and what we need, more than anything, right now is compromise between liberals and conservatives. But that can’t happen as long as liberals are getting their news from places that tell them that we are watching the “making of a dictator” because of some freaking tweets that Donald Trump sent out.
I’m an Anarchist. What Do I Care?
I have had a lot of anarchists–actually, let me stop right there. Every single person who has criticized me for taking part in current events and the election has self-described as a voluntaryist, not an anarchist. From what I’ve seen, voluntaryism is like anarchism, but with cult-like dogma to it. The voluntaryist is unrelenting, refuses to compromise, and refuses to accept any progress. They’re fools. Evidently, they expect that they can just keep putting out arguments and one day the entire country will wake up and say, “You know what? They’re right. We don’t need a state.”
The state isn’t going to dissolve itself.
We’ve been under a century of fascism, interventionism, an overbearing federal government, and a nanny state, to the extent that most people have no understanding of why the popular vote doesn’t elect the President. Come the hell on, man. You can’t seriously think that these masses of people, who are about as far away from voluntaryism as a person can get, are going to be swayed to go from fascism to voluntaryism in one swoop. These people don’t just think that the state is necessary to prevent crime; they have become convinced that the state is a good thing, that the state helps society.
Here, in a nation formed by people who characterized the government as a necessary evil that had to be bound by the chains of the Constitution, the average person now believes that the state is a force for good. Not a necessary evil. A force for good. And we are currently on the cusp of widespread liberalism and acceptance of democracy–a political system so flawed that it was discarded in the BCE age for being a tyranny of the minority by the majority. And voluntaryists, for all their words and arguments, are not doing anything to fight it. In fact, I would go as far as saying they’re accomplices in it.
We once had a nation of classical liberalism. Due to our lack of vigilance, the state steadily grew, and then there was the civil war, which marked the turning point away from the Tenth Amendment and states rights. That was the moment we became not fifty [though there weren’t fifty then] individual republics but fifty constituencies of a larger republic. Then the World Wars happened, and War Collectivism took over and we moved away from liberty and the free market toward fascism. The Great Depression saw an influx of people convinced that the government was the answer to all life’s problems, and government intervention in the economy and lives of the people became accepted as not just a necessary evil but a force for good. After the Cold War and decades of the Military Industrial Complex*^ spreading fear, deceit, and manipulation–with elements in the government so eager to give us a war that they repeatedly considered attacking our own citizens–and after 9/11 and fifteen damned years of a “War on Terror,” we have gone so far from liberty that even classical liberalism would be welcome at this point.
Now, this might seem strange, given as how I routinely criticized Johnson and his supporters for being pragmatic and choosing pragmatism over principle. It may even seem like hypocrisy. I’ve laid out my reasons for that, though, and it has more to do with “liberty” being redefined in the eyes of the masses, which leaves actual liberty as an incommunicable idea. And don’t get me wrong. When it comes to my actions and what I do, I advocate anarchism, and my goal is absolutely anarchism and nothing short of that.
However, I’m not so blinded by dogma that I’m unable to see that the road to anarchism is a long one that contains many, many steps. I don’t believe that Gary Johnson is one of those steps, and I think the Libertarian Party spreading actual libertarian ideology is the only way that we can get wider society to take those steps. Remember how Ron Paul pulled the entire nation toward liberty–albeit temporarily? He did. Let’s not forget that. Ron Paul’s platform was partially adopted even by Romney in 2012. Our goal must be to pull the entire nation toward liberty by running libertarian candidates. We get Republicans to become liberty-leaning conservatives and we get Democrats to become classical liberals. That is how we begin to restore liberty. We have to consciously work to pull these people toward liberty, because right now they are so far from liberty that classical liberalism is a relic of the past.
Like it or not, before we can pull western society toward anarchism, we have to pull them toward libertarianism. And before we pull them toward libertarianism we have to pull them back to classical liberalism. So far, fascism has won. We have to start thinking strategically, not tactically. In order to do any of this, the Libertarian Party must be the party that does not compromise on libertarian principles. We are not going to pull the nation toward libertarianism if they think “liberarianism” is “pot-smoking Republicans who are okay with gay people.”
Fellow LGBTQ People, Please
Divorce the Democrat Party. They are lying to you. They are terrorizing you. They are manipulating you. They are doing everything in their power, using these sensationalized headlines, to convince you to be afraid so that they can paint themselves as your saviors. We don’t need saviors. We don’t need heroes. Do you not see what they are doing? They are blatantly terrorizing you and telling you that you’re going to be rounded up, killed, placed in FEMA camps, placed on national registries, and blah blah blah. That way, when none of that shit happens, they can say, “See? We saved you from that! We fought for you and protected you from the people who were going to round you up and kill you!”
I’ve already seen Twitter posts and Facebook posts of people boasting that their protests have “already had an impact” and caused Donald Trump to be more moderate. It’s absolute nonsense! Donald Trump was always going to be more moderate. Anyone with a brain could have told you that. But now they are saying that, thanks to their protests, Donald Trump has backed down and is now promising to protect LGBTQ people! Except it never had any basis in reality–Donald Trump has been pro-LGBTQ longer than freaking Hillary Clinton. Even during the Republican Primaries, when Trump was in Full Conservative Mode, he was pro-LGBTQ. These lunatics are telling you that there is a monster outside who is coming to kill you, and then they are asking you to bow to them and thank them for protecting you from that monster who was never there in the first place.
I Don’t Like Trump
I really don’t. I know it seems like often I’m defending Trump, and, to tell you the truth, I do often find myself defending Trump. But it’s because I fight hysteria. I fight sensationalism. And no one I’ve ever seen attracts hysterical sensationalism like Donald Trump. So if I fight hysteria and people become hysterical every time Trump opens his mouth, then, yes, it’s going to come out like I’m defending Trump. I’m not. I’m telling people to stop being lunatics.
* Overlooking, for the moment, that Trump himself can’t do this, but can appoint a Supreme Court judge who overturns Roe v. Wade and then orchestrates Congress to send the matter back to the states.
** In fact, we know they would say this, because this is precisely how the host reacted when Trump said this in the recent 60 Minutes interview.
*^ Don’t even get me started. Whatever is meant by “Military Industrial Complex,” there is absolutely no doubt that it exists–even Presidents have warned us about it, among them Dwight Eisenhower himself, who helped create the damned thing. Don’t be an idiot. It’s a fact, not a conspiracy theory.
This is probably the last thing I’m going to say for a while about Gary Johnson, because I’m just so horrifically disappointed in the Libertarian Party that I don’t see much point in continuing to speak out against him. Sure, the Libertarian Party is doing better than ever, but they killed libertarian principles to do it, and Gary Johnson is the con artist that caused it to happen.
It’s not a good time to be a libertarian.
We should never reach that point where someone is schooling the Libertarian Presidential Candidate on liberty. Yet here we are.
This matters because the Libertarian Party was the greatest hope that we would one day be free again. However, it is virtually indistinguishable from liberty-leaning conservatism today. This means there is very little hope that we’ll ever have a libertarian society (or even a classical liberalist society), because the party founded on those principles has abandoned them in favor of Johnson’s warped, narrow, and limited understanding and inability to apply simple principles.
We Libertarians* have had a fun year, because we’ve actually had a choice about who we select for the presidential nomination, and our choice has actually mattered pretty significantly. It’s pretty obvious that with a general election clearly coming down between Trump and Hilary, many voters will be fed up and seeking a third option. With the Libertarian Party being the only third party appearing on the ballot in all 50 states, there is a clear opportunity to gain some much-needed ground–ground that we had claimed 4 years ago, but lost when a huge number of people shifted from support of Liberty to support of Socialism.
There’s never been any doubt, though, that Gary Johnson is going to get the nomination. His lead in polls and name recognition are too great, and it didn’t hurt him that much to come out and say that Jewish bakery owners should be forced to bake a cake for Nazis. In reality, every Libertarian should have immediately rejected him in the way that I did–that’s a fundamentally anti-Liberty position to have, and many Libertarians did reject him. But not all.
And that’s because the party has been hijacked by an influx of classical liberals whose introduction to liberty was done by Ron Paul**. Ron Paul, of course, was not a libertarian, either–he said so himself in Liberty Defined. It’s true that classical liberals and libertarians are pretty closely aligned, but the fundamental question of the nature of the state is one upon which they disagree, and that’s a huge, critical question. But there are now far more classical liberals dominating the libertarian party than there are libertarians, and the result… is exactly what we’d expect to find: low support for McAfee, high support for Petersen, and an assured nomination for Gary Johnson.
I argued on Youtube recently with someone who got offended that I dared point out that he’s not a Libertarian. It’s sad that I have to point this out to people, and I guess it’s more related to my being a Nihilist than a Libertarian, since there doesn’t seem to be anything inherently libertarianish about calling out bullshit. However, classical liberalism and libertarianism are not the same thing–they are, in fact, mutually exclusive because the point of difference between them is on what the role of the state should be.
It’s without irony that I say libertarianism is the first step on the road to anarchy. I’ve never made that claim about classical liberalism, though if we consider the early United States to be pinnacles of classical liberalism, than we could certainly make the argument that classical liberalism –> libertarianism –> anarchism. However, to equate classical liberalism to libertarianism is to allow the conflation of libertarianism and anarchism.
How do I justify calling myself an anarchist yet interfering in the affairs of the libertarian party? To be clear, this is exactly why I admonish the classical liberals who are supporting people like Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen and ignoring a true Libertarian candidate like John McAfee. By doing so, they are redefining the Libertarian party, hijacking it and making it the Classical Liberal party. If they want to elect classical liberals, then that is fine, but they should do so for the Classical Liberal party, not hijack the Libertarian Party to do it.
Part of the issue is that they don’t understand libertarian principles, and they think the platform is some generalized one of “wanting small government.” I would kindly remind these people that such a platform is that of Conservatism, not Libertarianism. If the only thing that binds you to the Libertarian Party is your desire for small government, then rejoin the Republican Party and start electing conservatives who will actually fulfill their promises to limit the role of the state. To find out the principles and policies of the Libertarian Party, you need look only to the name:
Libertarian. Liberty. That’s the guiding principle of the Libertarian Party.
Libertarians want a small government because the state and liberty are directly at odds; small government is incidental to the philosophy and is not the principle itself. This is more than splitting hairs, because Liberty involves a ton of connotations that “I want small government” simply don’t. For one, there is the Non-Aggression Pact, which is something that Austin Petersen and this Youtube person are against.
As I’ve pointed out before, it is impossible to violate someone’s rights without using force, violence, and coercion–that is, it is impossible to violate someone’s rights without using aggression. It’s simply not possible. It is also true in converse: as soon as force, violence, and coercion are used, then someone’s rights have been violated. Aggression and rights are at odds, just as the state and liberty are at odds (which is no surprise, since liberty is the maximization of rights and the state is the institution in society that achieves its aims solely through aggression).
The NAP, therefore, is a critical aspect of the recognition of rights, and the recognition that individuals have the right to not be victims of force, violence, and coercion; it is the expressed agreement, a pledge even, that one will not violate the rights of other people. This is the most fundamental question of liberty, and it creates an obvious slippery slope to allow aggression in some circumstances. I’d remind all of these classical liberals that the United States already has clear rules about when aggression is acceptable, and these rules have been consistently expanded, re-interpreted, and violated for well over a century.
This person said that it will all be okay when we restore our Constitutional Republic. I’m unable to comprehend what kind of insanity leads to that idea. We’ve already tried a Constitutional Republic. Look what happened. Restoring our Constitutional Republic would only guarantee that, 230 years from now, a new generation is fighting against a leviathan state that literally regulates how they can take a shit. Seriously, in the United States you can’t even take a shit without the state regulating it. It’s something we forget, but there are:
regulations on the toilet paper
regulations on the water
regulations on the toilet
regulations on the light bulbs
regulation on the electrity
regulations on skipping all that and trying to do it outside
regulations on the septic tank
We dare call ourselves the land of the free and we literally can’t even take a shit without the state telling us how to do it. We’re not the land of the free. We’re the land of the regulated, the land of the licensed, the land of the permitted–today we purchase rights that our ancestors and fought and died to secure.
Sure, while we’re at it we can install a feudal monarchy and see if that plays out differently this time, too!
We won’t get a different result if we repeat the same experiment. The Classical Liberal experiment failed. Oh, and there’s no doubt: Jefferson, Washington, and all the others were classical liberals according to today’s terminology. The nation they built was a Classical Liberal nation, and we know that it wasn’t a Libertarian one because of its roles of the state: minting a currency, regulating foreign trade, regulating interstate commerce, even having a Supreme Court…
None of these are Libertarian things to be doing. To the Libertarian, the state has no right to regulate commerce, to regulate international trade, to create or abolish treaties. And the “Tenth Amendment” argument that people are so fond of putting forward: “It wouldn’t be a big deal if we just left these matters to the states, instead of the Federal Government” is absolute nonsense. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Federal Government imposing its “pro gay marriage” position onto all 50 states, or if it’s a single state imposing that position onto 92 counties–it’s still anti-Liberty, at any level of government. That fewer people are marginalized doesn’t make the marginalization suddenly okay.
These are the things that made Ron Paul NOT A LIBERTARIAN. And he says so himself. To the Libertarian, the government (sorry–it was unavoidable) has no business regulating trade at all–not federally, not locally, not internationally. To the Libertarian, the government has no business making the currency–not federally, not locally, not out of gold and silver, not out of paper, not out of 1s and 0s. These are the ideas that DEFINE Libertarianism.
It is not a No True Scotsman fallacy to say that people who don’t hold these ideas aren’t Libertarians, because the Libertarian platform is clear and concise. The Libertarian platform is more or less codified, and all of it is extrapolated from the principles of Liberty. If you don’t agree with that platform, especially on the matters that literally define that platform, then you are not a Libertarian. It’s like someone saying “I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe in a god or Jesus.” It’s like–No. We literally define “a Christian” as someone who believes Jesus was the son of Yahweh, so you can’t say you’re a Christian if you don’t hold that position.
Classical Liberals are the people who think the government should do such things, and that’s a gross violation of the most basic of Libertarian ideas: the state should exist solely to protect the rights of the people. Classical Liberals add a few other things to that, and those few other things they add prevent them from being Libertarians, because… I mean, that’s what Libertarianism means. It’s what it literally is.
I recognize that we need the Classical Liberals on our side, if we are to ever win an election, and 2016 is shaping up to present an actual opportunity to do exactly that. People hate Clinton and people hate Trump; this is going to be the most divisive election of our lives, and it could only be worse if Sanders gets the Democrat nomination–but he won’t, obviously. Already the bandwagon has lost its momentum, and all the people who suddenly were like “I’m going to talk about politics, so if you don’t like it, then you can unfollow me!” have shut up again and descended back into their self-involved holes–the hibernating bear. The thing that bothers me about these people isn’t necessarily that they pop up every few years (at best) to make a political remark, it’s that they do so with some kind of self-righteousness, calling themselves activists and involved in politics, when they’re only jumping on a bandwagon.
About a year ago, I told someone that I’d been slacking off myself and hadn’t really been very involved in politics. Then I looked again, and I realized that my standard of “not very involved in politics” was drastically different from the average person’s. I was still writing all over the place, still answering Quora questions on liberty and anarchism–that was me not being involved. And I ran godlessandlawless.wordpress.com, which was an Anarchist Atheist page. So when I, who am active in politics and not jumping on a socialist bandwagon to appear more involved than I really am, see these people sanctimoniously mouth off like they’re actually trying to change the world, it irritates me. If they merely tweeted once or twice some stupid pro Sanders bullshit, I’d gladly ignore it. But to follow that up with bullshit assertions that they’re “going to be political” despite all evidence to the contrary and despite the fact that they’re just jumping on a bandwagon–that’s too sanctimonious for me to ignore.
Anyway, yes. To win the presidency, at the very least we need the classical liberals to vote for the Libertarian Party. But they should have the self-awareness and the decency to not attempt to influence who that candidate is, especially when the candidate they’re trying to pick is not a Libertarian at all and is a classical liberal. Instead of hijacking the libertarian party, they should have the decency to recognize that they’re classical liberals and that if they want a classical liberal candidate then they should start a classical liberal party. The Libertarian Party exists to nominate Libertarians, not Classical Liberals, and I can–and have–demonstrated that neither Petersen nor Johnson are Libertarians. They claim that they are, but I can claim to be an alien from the Horsehead Nebula, but it won’t make me an alien from the Horsehead Nebula. I judge them on their policies, principles, and positions, not their expressed associations.
I support John McAfee because he is a Libertarian. He’s the only one of the main three who can make that claim honestly. I don’t support McAfee because he’s an anarchist–I would never support an anarchist trying to hijack the Libertarian Party to push their anarchist agenda. Neither should classical liberals allow classical liberals to hijack the Libertarian Party to push their classical liberal agenda.
Nor am I alleging that Classical Liberals are an enemy, or that they shouldn’t be allowed to select the nominee. Not really. I am saying, however, that they should have the decency to put their classical liberalism aside and vote for a nominee who is actually a Libertarian. It’s just not right to hijack a political party with a pure philosophy with a corruption of that philosophy. It isn’t right for Sanders, an avowed Socialist, to run as a Democrat, either, but at least with him he has a reason: Socialism and modern American liberalism are not at odds, and the Democratic Party is one of the big two American parties. These two big parties do accommodate a wide range of views and positions.
The Libertarian Party, however, does NOT accommodate a wide range of views and positions. The Libertarian Party’s positions are set in stone as its principles, and always yield the same outcome when those principles are applied to a given issue. It’s not like the Republican Party, where disagreement is expected; its positions and principles are clearly outlined. And those positions and principles directly are at odds with classical liberalism and its pro-government positions.
If you support the Libertarian Party, you should do so for the reasons that I do: because it’s the closest party that there is to sharing your ideology and principles. You should not hijack that party with your ideology and corrupt it so that its candidates are in-line with your philosophy. I’m not trying to make the Libertarian Party more anarchistic; you shouldn’t be trying to make the Libertarian Party more classically liberal, either. You should respect the Libertarian Party’s right to nominate Libertarians, not interfere and impose classical liberalism onto the party. To refuse to recognize their “right” to nominate a candidate who is actually a Libertarian, because you want the Libertarian candidate to be a classical liberal, is a philosophical violation of the very principles of liberty. It doesn’t involve aggression, I freely admit (and it’s why I put “right” in quotation marks), but I’ll return to something else I’ve said recently:
We can’t ignore the wedge issues once they’re brought up, because it’s still critical to push people philosophically toward liberty and “Live and let live,” even though it’s a wedge issue. As long as a sizable chunk of the population is philosophically willing to push their views onto others, then we simply aren’t ready for liberty. All of these wedge issues must be sorted out, with people agreeing to live and let live, before we abolish the mechanism that prevents them from forcing their views onto others. Adopting Libertarianism or anarchism will not erase that underlying mentality that they can and should force their views onto others. Whether it’s a wedge issue to distract us from the state’s illegal actions or not, it still must be addressed.
* I’m not a Libertarian, but I’m ideologically aligned with them, in the same way that anti-theists are aligned with atheists and in the same way that anti-theists are also atheists. I want to go one step further and abolish the state, but a Libertarian society wouldn’t be untenable, and is, in fact, the first step to properly abolishing the state. I am not attempting to impose my anarchist views onto the Libertarian Party–I support John McAfee because he’s a Libertarian, not because he’s an anarchist running as a Libertarian. If, somehow, an anarchist attempted to run as a Libertarian, I’d speak against that, too.
** I supported Ron Paul in 2012, and I greatly admire him. I’m not knocking him. But he himself will tell you that he’s not a Libertarian; he’s a classical liberal. And, more importantly, Ron Paul advocates libertarian philosophy, and he does not (and never has) attempted to undermine the Libertarian Party with classical liberalism. Ron Paul was also a Republican at the end of his career, not a Libertarian, for precisely this reason, people. There is much to admire about him, and this refusal to corrupt the Libertarian party’s purely libertarian principles with classical liberalism is among those reasons. If only his followers had the same decency.