I often describe my socio-political belief system by saying, “I’m basically a libertarian.” Do you want to know why I use the qualifier “basically?” Because the libertarian movement is replete with nutbags.
There is ample evidence to that effect, and even among libertarians who aspire to be officials of the Libertarian Party, there are plenty of folks who are clearly a couple cans short of a six-pack. Perhaps the best and most recent “Exhibit A” example of that is the stunt pulled the other day by a man who was a candidate for chairman of the Libertarian Party. The Libertarian Party held its national convention this past weekend in Orlando, Florida, and during the proceedings on Sunday, chair candidate James Weeks took to the stage and proceeded to dance and take off his clothes in a sort of striptease that proved to be nothing short of a visual trainwreck. At the conclusion of his “routine,” Weeks withdrew his candidacy for chairmanship, and announced to the assemblage that he took his clothes off in response to a dare.
There was more. Gary Johnson, the former Republican governor of New Mexico who received the LP’s nomination for president, happened to say during a debate that he supported the continuation of government-issued driver’s licenses, and, additionally, that blind people should not be allowed to get driver’s licenses. The response? He was booed for saying those things. Another candidate for the nomination, Austin Petersen, was also booed by the crowd when he said that it should be illegal to sell heroin to children. Let me say that again: Candidate Austin Petersen, who ultimately lost the nomination to Johnson, was booed for saying that it should be against the law to sell heroin to little kids.
Like I said…I like the basic idea of libertarianism, but I also refuse to accept that saying one is a libertarian obligates that person to support a societal free-for-all, tantamount to anarchy. I don’t believe that a broad rule of law designed to do no more than maintain basic order and functionality within a nation is incompatible with libertarian ideals, but as long as there are so many Libertarian Party faithful who do, then this “movement” goes nowhere.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large