Faux Republicans—I mean, Libertarians —go have your own convention

Forrest Johnson

Boy, this is getting confusing. Now the Faux Republicans—I mean, the Libertarians—are butting into the New Conservative Neanderthal Party (NCNP) Delusional Convention in Tampa. I saw recently that the Faux Republicans, in an effort to get noticed, have renamed their movement the Liberty Republicans.

In Minnesota, a cradle of the movement apparently, these folks have been able to help create a NCNP party platform that is as restrictive a document regarding civil rights and citizen freedoms as you might find in any autocratic regime where social mores are controlled, say China or Saudi Arabia.

Tell me, Faux Republicans, that you believe in individual freedoms when you push an agenda where a person can’t marry whom they love.

To make things simple, like all their ideas, I’ll call them the Young and Old Neanderthals, since it appears so many of these folks appear to be younger than me, with the exception of the older ones who’ve adopted denial as if it were a religious belief and don’t seem to have learned over the years that “learning more can’t hurt.” Yes, these are young and old radical conformists who don’t seem to know exactly where they belong, so they pick the place that has the best slogans and talking points. I have chatted with a few, and like all radical conformists who pick the best slogans and talking points, their arguments seem to grow fuzzy after you get them past the slogans and talking points.

Almost exclusively white, almost exclusively middle class, they’re fun to push past the buzzwords and into waters too deep.

That’s when they close their eyes and wave their arms about as if searching blindly for their slogans and talking points that seem to act as personal flotation devices in this crazy, mixed-up world full of myth and contradiction, where we just happen to rely on one another more than we think.

When I think about the polarized viewpoints exhibited by the radical conformist, obstructionist right wing, I keep thinking of Lincoln’s words “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I hear those Young and Old Neanderthals sputtering on about liberty and living free (within conformity and reason, of course), every man and woman worrying only about themselves, as 47 million Americans live within the prison of the poverty line. I realize we might be screwed if folks don’t get their heads on straight, and realize a celebration of selfish thought masquerading as freedom has no place in a democracy.

Lincoln’s words were based on the teachings of Jesus, saying, in effect, that you can’t have freedom as long as others living with you aren’t free. Lincoln was speaking of the dichotomy between free states and slave states in the years before the Civil War, that the nation couldn’t be both one and the other—it would be one or the other.

The claims of freedom lost in this day and age are illusion and delusion. I would venture to say that most of the followers of the NCNP and the Young and Old Neanderthals are as free as birds to do what they want in this country, when they want, their movements through society restricted only by ignorance or not enough cash to buy their way into the free market vision of material American happiness.  

Most of the NCNP and Young and Old Neanderthals today complain that they aren’t free because of government intrusion into their lives, while the free marketeers track their movements through cell phones. They complain of unfair tax burdens as our public infrastructure crumbles, as the industrial food system fattens us up and throws us to the whims and profit motives of the most expensive health care system in the world. They generally claim to be Christians, yet bemoan having to take care of someone less fortunate “who won’t work because welfare takes care of them.”

NCNP and the Young and Old Neanderthals complain that freedoms have been abridged, taken away, stolen. They howl that regulations that have generally been put in place to protect the greater good, environmental or economic, are killing the entrepreneurial spirit, and howl about jobs as many corners of corporate America rack up record profits even during a jobless recovery, after having fled our shores for cheap labor. They howl about the tyranny of union labor and the freedoms of right-to-work legislation when fully 90 percent of the American workforce is without a contract between employer and employee. When questioned about specific freedoms lost—you know, the details—NCNP members and the Young and Old Neanderthals dive quickly toward their slogans and talking points, those nebulous personal flotation devices used to keep them afloat.     

Freedoms lost? Picture the granting of civil rights for surveillance of the population by drone and wiretap under the Patriot Act, the granting of citizenship to corporations, of First Amendment rights to soulless economic arrangements whose only allegiance is to the fiscal bottom line, not a democratic ideal. Freedoms lost?

The Young and Old Neanderthals have to quit kidding themselves and steer clear of the NCNP and its belief in the Backwards Doctrine. If they want to be Libertarians, then wise up and read the pamphlets about true libertarian principles. Regardless of the fact that it is mostly a useless philosophy when dealing with a democracy of 300 million people, it is still a far cry from the fuzzy and ignorant beliefs of the NCNP.

Go have your own convention. Believe in the gold standard (no). Every man and woman for themselves (won’t work). Legalize pot (yes). Stay out of foreign intervention (yes). Put your faith in the free market even though it is controlled by a wealthy smidgeon of the populace (as we all know). Libertarians haven’t quite figured out how to pay for our massive system of public infrastructure or how to deal with protecting the environment, educating children, and providing health care, but they believe in individual rights above a shared social contract that binds any culture together.

Go have your own convention and vote for Ron Paul in November. The NCNP won’t let you and your ideas in their brand of social Puritanism. Go have your own convention and be free.