I’ve been going back and forth on whether I should dive into the somewhat crowded arena of libertarians with online blogs. The cons are pretty compelling; no one is likely to read what I write, if they do, it’ll probably be to dog pile me with insults, and it takes time that I could be spending watching reaction videos on Youtube1.
Ultimately, though, I decided to give the blogging thing another go for three reasons.
One, I found that my fellow libertarians are losing sight of the fact that hearts and minds aren’t won by calling people names and screaming catchphrases at people. They should be engaging people in lively discussions and civil discourse, but they’re throwing out catchphrases (taxation is theft) and insults (statist2, sheeple) instead. There appears to be room for libertarians who are willing to talk to their political opponents without attacking them. Through this blog and the discussion it (hopefully) generates, I hope to counter some of that hostility.
And look, I know my fellow libertarians mean well. They really do. And I get that they’re frustrated; we’ve been locked out of debates, been blocked from ballots, had our candidates slandered by parties with money and connections. It can be demoralizing. But getting past that is going to require a larger base of supporters, which we won’t get if we’re insulting anyone who is mildly curious.
Two, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend post-election. There appear to be authoritarians adopting the libertarian label because… well, I don’t know why, really, but they’ve been calling themselves libertarians while they’re promoting sexism, racism, antisemitism, and/or bigotry, depending on the particular faux libertarian. I saw what happened in the early Tea Party3 movement when the bigots co-opted it, so I’d rather not see that happen to libertarianism.
Three, there’s a lot of misinformation out there in general about libertarians. The press has been especially critical of late, painting libertarians as horrible sociopaths4 who only care about money, self-indulgence, money, personal gain, and money. That’s as inaccurate as saying “Democrats only care about free stuff” or ‘Republicans only are about veterans and Jesus,” but there’s not much we can do about it unless we speak up.
So, here we are. As an IT expert and soon to be law school graduate, I’ll probably focus on technology and legal issues, but I’m not going to hold myself to that. I will hold myself to standards of civility, though, so if you see me slipping… call me out! And it should go without saying that I’ll do my level best to address any hot button issues you’d like me to cover.
Ready? Let’s go.
1 – Yes, reaction videos are one of my not so guilty pleasures. The more you know, right?
2 – I sometimes wonder if my fellow libertarians understand that this is only insulting to libertarians. Outside of our circle, it has little to no impact.
3 – In my area, the Tea Party started out as a semi-libertarian movement that was mostly made up of Republicans who were sick of the Republican Party pursuing big government policies.
4 – My anecdotal observation has been that the attacks on us have increased since the last election. I suspect that it’s because some members of the press feel, as some of the Clinton supporters do, that we spoiled the election.