One of the funniest days of my life was 6/7/2019, just after I became a libertarian, when I saw Chris Pandolfo tweet the following:
Libertarianism has no voting base, no political future, and no depth.
Why was this so funny? Because Pandolfo works for Glenn Beck’s website The Blaze. The voter base of which was tested by Michelle Bachmann in 2012, who got around 60 times less votes than Ron Paul did. The future of which comes seems to be merging with Mark Levin’s equally failing website so they don’t go bankrupt. The depth of which seems to be “Barack Obama is bad,” over and over and over again.
I commonly think about this Tweet because, since it was first written, the death of libertarianism has been declared time and time again. One might remember this Tweet from Josh Hammer on 3/12/2020:
A pandemic requiring national solidarity and a systemic commitment to “social distancing” is a bit of a tough blow for the radical individualists who’d excoriate a “common good”-oriented policy posture.
Within the next month, people were begging libertarian Justin Amash to run for President of the United States. Oh, and many people, including Josh Hammer, have turned against the “common good” focused lock down and instead demanded we reopen our economy.
One would thing this backlash, even argued for by those who endorsed it for the “common good” (Matt Walsh is another example), would be a tough blow for those who try to argue from “the common good” — but it isn’t, because they then move the goalpost.
To be blunt, I’m near convinced the only understanding these people have about libertarianism is “that thing the one Russian novelist believed in.” Just read this tweet from Hammer on 6/15/2020 regarding a Supreme Court case which ruled anti-discrimination laws included LGBT people:
There is no intellectually compelling reason for the continuation of a conservative/libertarian alliance. Whether there remains a compelling purely political reason is perhaps a different analysis. But that intellectual ship, to the extent it hadn’t already sailed, sailed today.
That’s odd, I happen to be old enough to remember Ann Coulter saying the reason Goldwater lost in 1964 was because he was too libertarian on issues like The Civil Rights Act Of 1964 — which Goldwater voted against. Again, “libertarian” is just a snarl word for people like Hammer which translates too “everything a Republican does that I don’t like.”
Of course, the greatest example of this happened the day before yesterday when Rep. Massie (R-KY) won his primary against a Trump endorsed candidate. Here’s what Trump had to say about the libertarian leaning Congressman:
Looks like a third rate Grandstander named @RepThomasMassie, a Congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT State, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress. He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous & costly. Workers & small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn’t their fault. It is “HELL” dealing with the Dems, had to give up some stupid things in order to get the “big picture” done. 90% GREAT! WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!
Massie won his primary with almost 90% of the vote against an opponent who represented Nick Sandmann. But remember guys, libertarianism, as an ideology, is dead. Do you guys see how this game works?
I remember when Donald Trump being elected was the end of the libertarian ideology and the start of an era of nationalism, then it was when Hawley was elected to the Senate, and now it’s the COVID-19 pandemic. (Despite America seeming to, by and large, agree with the libertarians on this — but you know.) Nationalism is always just around the corner guys, seriously, this time it really is. Why are you laughing?
Libertarianism will never die out. As V said in V For Vendetta, you cannot kill an idea. The course of history has been directed towards liberty for the past several centuries, regardless of what the authoritarians want to be the case. Liberty is the end goal, plain and simple.