Long before Rand Paul formally declared his presidential campaign, purist libertarians fervently detested his realistic approach to political discourse. In their eyes, he’s a heretic of the philosophy for willing to compromise principle for politics. Chants of “Gary Johnson 2016” echo loudly within the libertarian and anarchist internet community. Dogmatic purists are completely disconnected from political reality and are outright damaging to the cause of liberty.
You don’t have to look hard to find an internet libertarian calling Rand a “neocon statist” for any variety of reasons. I personally have been berated and called all sorts of names from bootlicker to corporatist for voicing my support of Rand. Despite my views of individual liberty and limited government, my support for a candidate pursuing NET REDUCTIONS in the scope of our lawless government makes me a statist.
I am, apparently, a naïve pawn of the United States political system. Purist, however, seem to think a 1% voting base will secure Gary Johnson as president in my lifetime, let alone the next election. But I’m the naïve one.
In my mind, we are at a tipping point in which the path of our country will forever be decided – limited government or totalitarianism. Purist libertarians ignore this reality and bicker about “ending the state” and “a borderless world”. They, for some reason, think that the entire country will dramatically change their political beliefs in favor of abolishing the federal government. Think of how insane that sounds compared to “Rand Paul supports intervention in the ISIS conflict”.
Right, because abolishing an entity currently over 25% of GDP is entirely reasonable within the next few years, but crushing a group who exists thanks to our own mishaps is just extremism. Crushing ISIS is extremism, yet Gary Johnson’s past proposal of invading Uganda is reasonable. Come again?
There are a few issues where I connect with purist libertarians – drug war, police militarization, and domestic spying, for example. Again, they seem to shoot themselves in the foot. In their logic, voting for Gary Johnson (or not voting at all) is a more effective means to curb these ailments, but voting for Rand Paul is a vote for statism.
Yes, let’s follow their path so that Jeb Bush wins the nomination and the general election is Clinton vs Bush. Surely, that will end favorably…favorably if you work for NSA or DEA.
Some of their rhetoric truly baffles me. It’s as if a “Being Liberal” libertarian spin off churns out memes to justify their supposed principled beliefs. They sit atop their high horse of liberty while undermining a real political movement intent on closing the floodgates of a lawless government.
I have seen Facebook pages named “Libertarians Against Rand Paul” and “Rand W. Obama”. Their content? Memes, Info Wars, Cop Block, and echo chambers. Not a single one that I have found offers any realistic or original ideas to reversing the current path of reckless executives and feeble legislatures, or at least none that wouldn’t require a violent revolution. All they seem to support is either Gary Johnson or, my favorite laughable idea, “if no one votes, the whole system will collapse”. Right, good luck with that.
I can hear people now, “Grant, you call yourself the Modern Libertarian”. Keyword: MODERN. I have learned to adapt my beliefs to the current political and economic climate. I have not stuck myself in philosophies dating back decades and centuries.
As a realist, I accept that Rothbardian philosophy will never be part of modern discourse, nor do I want it to be. The current leviathan of the US government will not suddenly be abolished because of internet memes and a few books by fringe thinkers.
Purist libertarianism discussions can be enjoyable between friends in small doses. I always enjoy taking intellectual thought outside the realm of realism, which is exactly where it belongs. Revolutionary change, especially what we need now, is not followed by extremist and unrealistic beliefs.
For those that think their dogmatic beliefs will generate meaningful change, I have one question: When Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush becomes president, how do you plan to “end the state”?