Libertarian vs Libertarian?

By Theodore Terbolizard 

Libertarian vs... Libertarian?
A few months ago I was a Zoom call guest on an obscure podcast out of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We had a very open and thoughtful conversation that covered politics, religion, covid, globalism, just about anything.  They’re in what is obviously one of the most liberal parts of the USA.  A few days later, the host called me privately to talk about their switching to the Libertarian party.  They wanted to know if there were any ‘gatekeepers’, as that’s such a problem with joining so many different political groups these days.  I told them ‘of course not’, and was referring to my experience with the Mises Caucus and how it goes here in Las Vegas with our Libertarian crew.  But I was wrong…

It’s been excruciatingly clear- or entertaining- to watch rampant infighting amongst Libertarians today, and it’s really hit a high level.  There are definitely people acting like gatekeepers, Libertarians denouncing other Libertarians and other alt-right folks.  The whole “I’m more Libertarian than you” game.  It does make sense that organizing anything Libertarian-related is like cat-herding a bunch of contrarians.  But should it be?

The Liberty and Freedom message should apply to every single person breathing.  It does not need gatekeepers.  We need to think in basic principles.  Liberty and Freedom means you’re responsible for your own behavior, and not that of others.  This might take on infinite guises as folks express their freedom in ways that don’t impose on or injure others.

Watching all of the infighting over the recent Rage Against the War Machine rally in DC was stultifying.  If it’s an anti-war event, it’s an anti-war event, and that’s how it should be viewed.  That might mean that wide ranging coalitions are present, and we need to be able to function that way to get anything done in this world politically.  I was quite interested to read Scott Ritter’s essay on current events, knowing his background as a nuclear weapons inspector.  I was able to look past his criminal background; I care about his weapons related qualifications on this topic, and not podcasters virtue signaling with their ad hominem attacks on Ritter’s moral character.  I’m not buying the guilt by association gambit.  Let’s let the cancel-culture leftists do all of that, that’s their game, and it’s toxic and will destroy them at some point.  Further, I was shocked to see actual Libertarians on twitter saying the anti-war rally was a pro-Putin rally.  It’s like they’re regurgitating the latest Rachel Maddow MSM newspeak word for word.  I fail to understand how a reading of the Constitution compels one to favor standing armies and indefinite military operations overseas.  Again, that was clearly an anti-war rally and should have been accepted at face value and not extrapolated, spun or conspiracy-theoried into anything more than that.

I’m not a huge fan of podcasts.  My wife listens to them constantly.  There’s always lots of drama, hosts canceling other hosts or blocking them on twitter, things like that.  It’s got to be good for ratings, right?  We just experienced a huge wave of persecution of prominent women on the alt-right and Libertarian spectrum.  Eliza Bleu was recently trafficked yet again for her imaginative and perhaps overly colorful portrayal of her own history, which resulted in more folks blocking her, taking the focus off of her current stated work, which seems to have actual merits and results at times.  If you follow Libertarians on twitter, you might know of the ire directed at yoga pants girl.  Or drama circulating around The Redheaded Libertarian recently.  I, for one, am still very much interested in what all three of these ladies have to say, whether I agree with them or not.  The Libertarian Party has been so male-dominated it does need an influx of female perspectives.  We should be respectful.

It’s clear to me that after attending national events favorable to Libertarian ideals over the past few years- including PorcFest in New Hampshire and FreedomFest in both South Dakota and Las Vegas - there are things we should be focusing on.  We need to make our message more fun, more accessible, and work with higher production values in our media offerings.  We can’t come across as inauthentic, like the political equivalent of Christian Rock. We need to be able to have simple and open conversations with non-Libertarians that portray the Liberty and Freedom messages in a clear and compelling light.  We need to focus on basic principles - ones that unite us- and not infighting or trying to cancel other Libertarians.  We should be turning each other on and not turning each other off.  None of the current problems in the USA can be attributed to the Libertarian movement, so let’s have fun with that advantageous position.