Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Libertarianism Is Dummied Down and Declining

Libertarian Party members keep talking about "growing the party." I've heard this mantra for decades. Optimistic Libertarians of all factions have assured each other that Americans are really libertarians, that major party status is just 15 or so years away.

It's always been 15 or so years away. In the 1990s, the national LP sent out some junk mail promising a "Libertarian majority Congress in 2010!" They did not promise one elected Libertarian, but an LP majority in both Houses of Congress.

Wayne Allyn Root likewise, when running for president in 2008, promised that he would win the presidency on the LP ticket in 2024 or thereabouts. Victory is always 15 years away, give or take.

Well, no. Libertarianism as a philosophy is going backwards in the U.S. The "Ground Zero mosque" controversy is proof of that. Vast numbers of Americans have embraced xenophobic bigotry against Muslims.

Even "sensible, moderate" radio talk show hosts here in Los Angeles (e.g., Dennis Prager, Peter Tilden) oppose the "Ground Zero mosque" and imagine that their positions are moral. The say how the "mosque" would be insensitive to Americans -- ignoring that the people building the Muslim cultural center are Americans.

And even members and spokesholes for the Libertarian Party are "opposing the property rights and religious freedom of their fellow Americans.

At Los Angeles's Karl Hess Club last week, one longtime "libertarian" kept spouting snide smears against Muslims, hoping to entice others to join in. We didn't. But while many of the KHC attendees are not anti-Muslim, several have indeed succumbed to Islamophobic fever.

First the LP tent grew to accommodate warmongering imperialists. Now the LP has grown to include xenophobes opposed to property rights and religious freedom.

Fifteen years ago, it was a given that most Americans were not libertarians. But now, you can't even be sure that a Libertarian is a libertarian. The Libertarian Party has gone backwards. The libertarian movement has gone backwards. America is retreating from freedom and rationality, and libertarians are no help at all.

1 comment:

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