Life is filled with little epiphanies. Things that make us go, “Ahhh!” I keep stumbling onto them. Okay, Lord, I’m listening.
First, there was the slimy cockroach-swarm over at Gay Patriot that basically drove all decent people away from that blog. Then the Duck Dynasty PR blitzkrieg, shamelessly played to the hilt by every fraud in the GOP. Then the blatant sham of SB 1062, the “religious freedom” bill pushed by the Antichrist Religious Right.
Enough is enough. I get it. Social conservatives have no character. Neither do conservatives in general. There are exceptions, of course, but not very many. Decades of pandering to reactionary spoiled brats has led the political Right to moral ruin.
These phonies have absolutely no business lecturing anybody else about morality. And there is nothing more asinine than the way they presume to lecture us about freedom.
After all of this, and the soul-searching it has inspired, I find myself coming to some inevitable conclusions. The main one is that I’m back where I was for most of my adult political life.
I am a libertarian-leaning liberal. I have wandered in the wilderness, for the past few years, on a rootless search for a political affiliation that fit my basic convictions, but those convictions have not appreciably changed. This is a time of tremendous upheaval for everybody in America with a brain, and only those who can mindlessly cling to one easy label or another deserve to be dismissed as inconsistent.
I have been deeply disgusted with the Democrats, because Barack Obama was supposed to be the antidote to Bush II, yet he turned out to be his heir apparent. That doesn’t make me a hypocrite; it has made turncoats and hypocrites out of those who have blindly supported this betrayal of everything liberals have ever stood for.
Libertarians are never going to win over conservatives. The GOP will never accept them. I am basically on board with libertarianism, but the Libertarian Party is an exercise in going nowhere. Only in a major political party can citizens effect change. I’m still deeply disgruntled toward the Democrats, but I have noticed a couple of things I can’t help but factor into my conclusions about where I belong.
The party in power is always the one – libertarian theory holds – that will be least interested in libertarian ideas. According to this line of thought, the party on the bottom of the heap will be the one more amenable to liberty. But this has not happened. Conservatives in general, and Republicans in particular, remain savagely hostile to libertarianism. And if they’re like that now, they always will be.
Liberals, on the other hand – even many diehard Democrats – still give libertarians a better hearing. Even now, when the theory holds that they won’t. Most of my family, friends and associates are liberal Democrats, so I can attest to this from abundant experience.
Here’s the difference. Republicans give lip-service to being congenial to libertarians (some do, anyway – those who are not social conservatives, at least). But once they hear what libertarians actually stand for, they are horrified and want nothing to do with it. Democrats, on the other hand, have been conditioned to loathe the libertarian label – and react to it with snarling, Pavlovian rage. But this is largely because they have been lied to about what libertarians believe.
If I drop the label, and simply tell them what I stand for, I find them surprisingly receptive. As a matter of fact, many of the opinions they express are (as shocked as they would be to learn this) actually quite libertarian.
In my realization of this, I have indeed considerably changed. For a while, I thought the opposite – and vociferously said so, even contributing a chapter to a book titled Why We Left the Left. I have certainly have left the statist Left, so most of what I said in that book still stands. But in my heart, though with a strong libertarian bent, I am still a great, big, old liberal.
Life is an ongoing learning process. I have learned a lot since I wrote that chapter.
Last week, I re-registered as a Democrat. That was my political party for nearly thirty years. Yes, I’m baaaaack! Real liberals have no reason to disapprove of that. There’s a reason why the words “liberal” and “libertarian” are so closely related.
Bogus, big-government “progressives” will probably never accept me, or any other libertarian-leaning liberal. They’ll try to smear us, and lie about what we believe. But this country needs real liberalism – real liberty – more urgently now than ever before.
To Hell with liars and frauds, both Left and Right. And I mean that. They truly do bear the Mark of the Beast.