If Libertarianism is ‘toast.’
Joel Miller rhetorically asked in his July 19th column if Libertarianism is ‘toast.’ He thinks not. He is wrong. But not for the straw man reasons he used to attack that assertion when originally made by Clinton apologist Joe Conason.
Joe’s information came from an accurate source but the source did not know nearly enough.
Libertarianism is dead as the Dodo because; contrary to all of their emotive rhetorical devices, chest beating, and posturing Libertarians are not about freedom but about privilege.
The free-market is not the property of Libertarianism and the other positives to come out of this faltering political movement in the last 30 years are not enough to make it relevant to the 21st century. Recycling rhetoric on gun rights and the market, although ecologically appropriate, is sadly flat.
I know. I am intimately familiar with the both the past and present tense of Libertarian Party and with all of its major ancillary institutions. I served within the Libertarian Party locally, on a state level and nationally for many years.
Libertarianism appealed to me because I care passionately about freedom and human rights. Human society is a market for ideas that make humans freer, more prosperous, and happier. Unfortunately Libertarians have never acted to affirm a belief that otherly gendered individuals, namely females, are human.
Libertarians have never spoken or acted to end abusive behavior towards women. In fact, they accept vile behavior without blinking. Perhaps they were badly raised; perhaps they are inherently uncivil but they cannot see women’s issues as issues of human rights.
Therefore domestic violence is not an issue for Libertarians. Selling children for sex, marriage law that is in effect a system of wealth transfer enforced by the State, State interference with custody of children, and such crimes as rape are also non-issues for many Libertarians. To complete the picture a significant number of Libertarians are explicitly authoritarian when confronted with choices that personally benefit them.
In one way or another they have spoken loud and clear through their actions, personal and political, as well as though their rhetoric to two generations of Americans who looked, judged, and went elsewhere.
How do I know this? Personal experience. You gather a lot of personal experiences when you are active in a movement at all levels for 30 years.
Let me hasten to assure you that I know it is not appropriate to hold a movement responsible for some small subset of individuals and that is not what is happening here.
I am not talking here about some obscure LP members and organizers. I am talking about some of the most prominent and long term members and supporters of that movement. I am talking about Mr. Deceit himself, Michael Emerling-Cloud, presently the LP candidate for US Senate in Massachusetts; Manny Klausner, Attorney for John Fund and Matt Drudge, one of the three founders of Reason Foundation and the bulwark and mainstay for David Horowitz’s Center for Popular Culture, John Fund, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, Walter K. Olsen of the Manhattan Institute, Bob Poole, President and Founder of Reason Foundation, Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report, Eugene Volokh, wonkish presence-dim and professor of law at UCLA, and a host of others less prominent on the national scene.
Are there some good people? I like to think so – but still nothing happened on issues of immediate and compelling interest to women. Although Wendy MacElroy always rushed to assure us that it would all be better if women had access to pornography. Wendy is the token woman of the Libertarian Movement. She never seemed to understand that women who juggle a job, kids and a home don’t have time or interest in anything that complicated. I had five kids so I knew. I spent a lot more time on thinking about the cupcakes for the room parties than I did about sex.
The LP could have been a real influence for good in America if they had been able to see the difference between doing the right thing and going after political power for their own profit and personal aggrandizement. But if they were different kinds of people I might still be one.
What kind of individual considers the political usefulness of an abuser when pressuring the victim into silence? What kind of newspaper overlooks egregious behavior because their hypocritical and supposedly pro-life employee is still useful? What kind of individual tells a father hysterical over the suicide attempt of his son that the kid should have used a higher caliber weapon to blow his brains out? What kind of person does it take to overlook decades of friendship for possible fundraising benefits? What kind of cynical sleaze would intentionally deceive and destroy other campaigns to eliminate inconvenient competition for fundraising dollars?
The individuals named above have each participated in some subset of these offenses. If you ask which is which I will be glad to tell you.
They remain among the most respected senior statesmen of the movement while their disgusting behavior is ignored, celebrated and emulated or at least justified.
A movement is morally bankrupt when it fails to self-police; ignores the laws of causality regarding observed behavior and public opinion and pretends to a standard of honor and commitment they never possessed. By failing to see immediate issues of personal freedom such as domestic violence as issues and by failing to prove that they as a community can govern themselves they have proved themselves moral unfit for public trust. They are no better than the present group of rascals and scoundrels and far less electable. And they are not nearly as good looking.
The Libertarians are morally bankrupt. You can now start bidding on the office furniture.