There’s a saying that some libertarians are born and others are made (as a result, tragically, of experiencing misconduct at the hands of the state). Libertarianism of both origins, especially those of us from movement (old) libertarian families, has been around long before the Libertarian Party – the LP – was formed in late 1971. Needless to say, there have been liberty-centric political views long before the term libertarian became popular.
Some of us have been both libertarians and members of the LP. Now, however, after a contentious major-party election in which the LP did poorly, and more significantly after which libertarians now face an incoming administration that promises to increase vastly state intrusion into all parts of civil society, one may soundly contend that the Libertarian Party is of no use to libertarians.
I cannot imagine joining one of the two major parties, now or ever. Still, there are votes to be cast, and we will have to choose from among the principal choices before us. Those of us with views far older than the LP need no party membership to make our way in this country, or in traveling anywhere else in the world.
The recent obsessive pride with how long some people have been on this continent – so common among the radical populist right – is both wrong and futile: it’s wrong because the past confers not entitlement but obligation, and futile because most of this ilk are themselves relative newcomers by the measure of settlement on these shores. They are fanatical, destructive, and obdurate.
When one recalls one’s past, it is in reply to those few nativists who believe that the past means only what they believe it means. They are wrong, of course, but it is just as important to remember that they are not to be underestimated: they show delight and pleasure in the wrong.
Imagine, then, after an election in which the LP did poorly, and in which libertarians now face a long struggle against radical populist advocates of state power, the surprise in reading an invitation from Wes Benedict, executive director of the national LP, that
It is time to party…
You are invited to an end of the year
2016 has been a record-breaking year for the Libertarian Party!
Wes Benedict may go to hell, and celebrate there in the outer darkness for so long as he wishes.
Others of us, libertarians by birth or circumstance, inheritors of the freedom philosophy, have work to do: an authoritarianism has ruined one great political party, crippled another, and seeks to direct the lives of hundreds of millions across a continent. Some of our fellow citizens will yield from ignorance, others from misplaced hope, and a few from selfish opportunity.
We’ve work, not celebration, ahead. Our views, and not a party that so carelessly and indolently represents them, is all we need.