Ah, the libertarians. Sometimes they make you think. Sometimes they make you question your own beliefs. Sometimes they inspire you to look beyond the State, and imagine the infinite possibilities of mankind unbound from coercive systems of control.
But mostly, these days, they just make you want to puke.
It’s funny to me, looking back into my not so distant history. I thought libertarianism was the solution to all our political disputes. You can do whatever you want, so long as I don’t have to pay for it. It made perfect sense. I was a fanatical libertarian.
Eventually though, it became impossible not to notice a certain tendency among my peers. There seemed to be a lot more “Do whatever you want” than “so long as I don’t have to pay for it”. Vice and conflict avoidance became the guiding themes. It seemed as though all the intellectual energy that had drawn me into the movement had been lost.
My libertarianism was angry. Michael Badnarik made me romanticise the American Revolution, and long for a new one. Murray Rothbard made me hate the State. Ayn Rand showed me that happy Leftist buzzwords were scams to be renounced and vilified. I was driven by a righteous fury, and a thirst for justice.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, it seemed like everybody just wanted to walk around naked and smoke marijuana. All we had to do, the thinking seemed to go, was get high and have sex and complain about the cops, and eventually Bitcoin would do away with the economic controls.
Suddenly socially conservative policies started to make a lot of sense. If this is what sex and dope do to libertarians, we really can’t expect it to have a better impact on Leftists.
Still, it was kinda cool to see the Ron Paul Revolution produce some winners. Justin Amash and Rand Paul were huge inspirations to me. Sure Rand endorsed Mitt Romney, but he was just playing the game, we were assured. Justin Amash wasn’t just another elected libertarian, he was a power player in the Freedom Caucus, and was helping to sway public opinion in a libertarian direction.
That’s all out the window now.
When Rand Paul decided the problem with the war on drugs was its disparate impact on the black community, I had heard quite enough from him.
Justin Amash, I honestly don’t know if he really ever had such a great track record or not. He faded from my radar as I drifted right personally, but when he started in with this impeach Trump nonsense, when his loudest critique of Nancy Pelosi was that she didn’t obey Saint Cortez of Staten Island, boy that was the last straw for me.
There are rumors swirling that he’s aiming for a run at the Presidency on the Libertarian line. Those rumors seem bolstered by an op ed he recently published in the Washington Post, “declaring [his] independence” from the Republican Party, and decrying a “partisan death spiral” which he sees as having engulfed our politics.
There’s plenty to say about this, but first, the obvious. The venue is telling. If Amash was doing something that was actually good for the country, I think most libertarians are smart enough to realize that the Washington Post would not be promoting it. He was given the space to pen this idiocy because it helps the Democrat Party. Had it served any other interest, he would have been relegated to the pages of Reason Magazine, where he is being hailed as a man of principle for doing what MSNBC wants.
More in my wheelhouse is the issue of partisanship itself. I’ve been critiqued more than a little for my partisan loyalties in recent years. I actually spent most of yesterday writing about that subject in one section of a lengthy blog post titled The Trump Question, which I hope to have completed before the weekend is over.
Amash insists that “we owe it to future generations to stand up for our constitutional republic” and invokes George Washington’s Farewell Address to bolster his newfound antipartisan perspective. He asks that you join him “in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us” and to “believe that we can do better than this two-party system”.
Interesting theories. I wonder if it ever occured to Representative Amash, that lone individuals are incapable of resisting the forces that threaten the liberty of the Republic? I wonder who he thinks would stand in the way of Democrat partisanship, in the absence of a united GOP? Does he expect many Democrats to join his call for hyperindividualistic political action, or does he only want his former fellow Republicans atomized into a scattered herd of neutered libertarian cats? What will be left of the constitutional republic for the aforementioned future generations we are so indebted to, if partisan Republicans do not stop partisan Democrats from obtaining a permanent majority in Washington through illegal immigration?
Amash of course sums such existential questions up to “assertions of expediency” and brushes them aside. To him, such looming threats are mere excuses to “ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order” as if this was some kind of end in itself, as though his fellow Republicans were fondly contemplating ways to go about about destroying the country, and desperately seeking excuses to carry out the plot for their own sick amusement.
This infantile view of what animates our political inclinations would be adorable if it fell from the mouth of a newly minted activist. Had Amash shown up at his first LP meeting and uttered this foolishness, one could imagine party chairs patting him on the back for catching on so quick, and assigning him a title and some administrative duties to make him feel special, like a Walmart greeter with Downs Syndrome.
But Amash is not a newly minted activist. He is a five times elected member of the United States House of Representatives. He has shared breathing space with the most dangerous members of the Democrat caucus. He has witnessed Rashida Tlaib, Alexandia Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and other Left wing radicals go well beyond partisanship, and try to provoke a race war from the floor of that chamber.
What does he think their opinion is of George Washington?
Just kidding, we already know…
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