That said, I’m also a libertarian. I think that free speech should be protected, even in extreme cases. I don’t think that violence in video games or rampantly-sexualized movies and television should be under the purview of congress, or worse, an appointed body like the FCC. I hate flag-burnings, but I don’t want to legislate against them. I think legalizing marijuana would create a lot of good paying jobs and wouldn’t have much of a negative impact on society, possibly even reducing the amount of alcohol-induced tragedies. I think that marriage should be out of the government’s clutches and left up to the couple and their faith, whatever that may be.
I get along pretty well with myself (most of the time) and I’ve found that I am accepted by both archetypal groups as well. However, there are a few exceptions.
Enter the Red Sashes and the Man with the Pointy Beard.
As I walked the exhibition hall at CPAC, I encountered an odd sight: four men in red sashes patrolling their end-cap booth’s air-space. I was intrigued, so I asked one of the men what they stood for; tradition, family, and property I was promptly informed. I told him that I was for all of those things. He mentioned they were a Catholic group; I stated that I have great respect for Catholics and that I was one before becoming an atheist. That atheist bit got me a bit of a funny look, but there were books to sell, so he brought me back to their table and introduced me to the leader of their CPAC delegation.
Adam Kokesh is a Libertarian Agorist Voluntaryist Talk-Show Host and Agitator. He is very good at what he does. He has a YouTube channel where he talks about Libertarian philosophy as well as conspiracies, angst, general craziness, Ron Paul, drugs, drug use, drug procurement, and how much big government sucks. I subscribe to his channel mostly for that last one. Anyway, as a subscriber, I was quite interested to see Mr. Kokesh interviewing passersby in the atrium at CPAC. After he finished up one of his interviews, I walked up to him to tell him that I while I only agreed with him maybe 70% of the time, I still quite enjoyed his show. He looked at his camera guy, received a nod to confirm that they were still filming and then asked “Why just 70%?”
“So, what are you guys doing to reach out to youths and minorities?” I asked the man behind the table, after getting the gist of the book they were selling. He responded that they were trying to fight against the “toxic culture” which has tainted my generation. I said that that was a pretty difficult task, but certainly one worth attempting. I cautioned him, though, that it would be tough to gain traction through bans and boycotts; and that my generation would respond better to respectful and open discussions. We went back and forth for a while, inching ever closer towards discussing the “RINO” in the room: Gay Conservatives. I believe I started it, though I can’t remember exactly; what I can recall is how incredulous I was when the head red sash told me that there were no such things as gay conservatives. He went on to say that gays were just tools in the Cultural Marxism tool-bag, and that their express purpose in “infiltrating” our movement was to destroy it. I vehemently disagreed, giving example after example of conservative gays that I know, many of whom are far more willing to, say, campaign for Rick Santorum than I would be. That didn’t faze him; he continued with his ramblings. I asked him how we could grow as a movement if we ostracized our allies just because of their sexual preferences. “Not just that,” I added, “we’d also continue to lose my generation, regardless of their sexuality.” “I’m from your generation and I’d LEAVE the party if we included them!” one of the red sashes burst out. The head of the group reinforced his underling, “Yes, it’s us or them.” “If you add the homosexuals, think of how many social conservatives you’d lose!” Another conference-goer jumped in at that time and tried to help my argument. He realized pretty quickly that there was no chance of swaying their opinion on the topic and advised me to quit. I had been standing there for close to twenty minutes already, and there were other things that I wanted to do, so I politely extricated myself from the discussion, hearing “Next time let’s talk about monetary policy, I think we’ll agree there.” as I left.
With the camera rolling, I explained to Adam that while I wanted a much smaller government, I didn’t mind paying some taxes- I was cut off in mid thought, something that Adam does frequently, and then barraged by questions. Was I OKAY with SOME tyranny? What was the acceptable level? Why did I need the soft blanket of tyrannical government wrapped around me? I did my best to shrug those off and refocus on my talking points, mentioning that I think we do a pretty good job with the military, even though there’s some waste in the system. He countered by asking why a private contractor couldn’t do that; surely I didn’t think that a government was necessary for people to coexist! I had an okay rebuttal almost ready to go but some famous person passed behind me, causing my interview to collapse into a firm handshake and a quick dash towards a higher view count. It doesn’t really matter much though, as Peter Schiff is a far better countervailing force to Kokesh’s shock-and-awe interview style; plus, he has enough libertarian cred to address Adam’s constituency, and possibly even broaden our base as a party.
And that’s what’s important.
It’s important, because we are being bled dry in Washington. Cuts in PROPOSED SPENDING are being packaged as real cuts. Obamacare demands to be fed. Our debt is soaring and our economy is shrinking. And I care about that because I’m also a Fiscal Conservative. Well, that and the fact that I’m a part of the generation that’s going to have address these issues or face the consequences.
Meanwhile, we have to deal with jackwagons like the red sash brigade and the “anarcho-capitalism or bust” crowd. Both talk a big game, and both need to nut up or shut up. Regardless of your sub-ideology, we need wins. NOW. I know plenty of small government social cons and interventionist libertarians; I know gays, straights and transgendereds who can all agree on a course of action even if they don’t want to shack up together; I know that our three legged stool might not be the most comfortable chair in the world, but it beats being sat on by liberal progressives that ACTUALLY want to destroy us.
So please, let’s each stop threatening to take our ball and go home. It’s not helpful, particularly given what we’re up against.