September 30th, 2017

Libertarians are like the blind men trying to describe an elephant: they don’t have a clue what they all want.

Henry Gomez, writing in Libertarians Are Still Looking For The Next Thing for Buzzfeed, offers this example:

“All this time, I thought they were voting for libertarian Republicans,” Rep. Thomas Massie, a libertarian Republican from Kentucky, told the Washington Examiner in March. “But after some soul searching I realized when they voted for Rand and Ron and me in these primaries, they weren’t voting for libertarian ideas—they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch* in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.”

So, Mr. Massie, now that you’ve realized that you’re in the running for craziest son-of-a-bitch, how does that make you feel?

More importantly, as Gomez explores, is the Libertarian Party now simply the gateway drug to the Alt-Wrong?

The Charlottesville fallout prompted the Daily Beast’s Matt K. Lewis to declare libertarianism “a gateway drug to the alt-right” — a catchall term for the Trump-friendly following that includes white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis. His piece prompted polite pushback from several libertarian thinkers, including Mair and Jack Hunter, a former Rand Paul aide who lost his job after being outed for his past pro-Confederate beliefs. “There is no ‘pipeline,’” Hunter, who has renounced the views he pushed in his earlier days, wrote at Rare. “A slow drip, at best. Regardless, when it comes to racists, libertarians should always make clear, in no uncertain terms, that we are not them.”

Most libertarians who spoke to BuzzFeed News similarly stressed the need for an unequivocal disavowal. “Some people conflate being contrarian with being Libertarian,” the [Libertarian Party Chairman Nicholas] Sarwark wrote to BuzzFeed News in an email after reading the Lewis piece. “Libertarians stand for all rights—of all people—all of the time. That ‘of all people’ part generally leads to white supremacists and nationalists feeling unwelcome within the Libertarian Party.”

If that is the case, and I have no reason to doubt Sarwark, then the party needs to tell any Alt-Wrong members that they need to get out! The alternative is to be sucked down the black white hole that is Steve Bannon’s alternative.

*President Donald John Trump, petting his minions, has now rendered this insult forever off limits.

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