If you take very seriously the words of a few particularly loud libertarians, you might be led to think that they aren’t, rather unfortunately.
An old article of mine, from May of this year, has been resurrected. It explored the question: are conservatives welcome in the State libertarian party? A simple question with a really simple answer: yes, conservatives ought to be welcome in the libertarian party.
I am a libertarian. I believe that everyone, no matter who they are, has the freedom to do whatever they wish so long as it does not affect everyone else. This is the most basic premise of libertarianism. I am obliged to tolerate the peaceful existence of everyone around me, no matter their faith, color, nationality, etc. This is obvious. I would never call for the suppression, by the law, of their rights solely because they are different than I.
However, it is not wrong of me to disagree with other people’s life choices or opinions, because as mentioned above I am still obligated to tolerate them so long as they exist peacefully.
Let’s take a simple, non-inflammatory example. I happen to think that marijuana, while not as harmful as it’s put out to be, is a pointless thing to consume, and simply put: I don’t like weed. As a libertarian, I intend that statement to mean I don’t like it, but I support the right of my neighbor to consume it so long as it does not affect me. Simple, right? Nowhere have I called for state intervention or government regulation, nothing that runs contrary to the libertarian philosophy.
Most people would say that this is an entirely reasonable thing to say or think. However, following the logic of some loud libertarians, such a sentiment would make me less of a libertarian (as if their opinion really matters) because I don’t 100% endorse the consumption of marijuana. I don’t call for government intervention – what more do you want?
It could simply be that some certain sorts of personalities can never be satisfied with anything, always looking for something to argue about. Or, and equally as likely, it’s an attempt to steer the libertarian party (which ought to transcend conventional political boundaries) into leftism.
So let’s take another example: Muslims. There is no doubt that we are obligated to tolerate them, to guarantee to them all the same rights that we are guaranteed. In past articles, I have expressed my disagreement with the philosophy of Islam, and how I personally find it contradictory to libertarianism. Nowhere have I said that they ought to be banned or oppressed, nor have I said that I fear them or their religion; only that I disagree with it and find it contradictory to the message of liberty.
Suddenly, that isn’t okay. Following the logic of some loud libertarians, I have to endorse and personally approve of Islam 100% to be considered a proper libertarian, that lives up to their definitions. If I don’t, it’s bigoted and Islamophobic. This is just plain silly.
As stated before, there is room for Conservatives in the Libertarian party. Conservatives are not all racists, not all anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, let us not forget. And conservatives can come to the understanding that no matter what they believe and practice in their personal lives, it is never right to force it on others.
The especially concerning thing is there is not an equivalent push to discourage liberals from joining the party, as there is with Conservatives. Not that I want to turn them away, that would be hypocritical, but this miniature controversy shows the real possible motivations of some of these loud libertarians. Is it to keep the party pure, or to push it to leftism? Remember, modern liberals are not all that different from many conventional conservatives. They still believe that government force and coercion ought to be used to accomplish their ends and protect their interests.
But to satisfy those prickly personalities that never are happy unless they have something to complain about? An impossible task. But fortunately for us, it isn’t up to them.