Unhinged Views of Libertarianism

Reason: Hit & Run linked to a funny clip by Penn and Teller on the Patriot Act, but the real story here is how liberals (wild guess here, but valid) seem to perceive libertarians. Just check out these choice quotes from the comments:

“Penn & Teller made a few horrible episodes vilifying Chomsky and glorifying David Horowitz (college episode).”

“Have you seen conspiracy episode? They looked like Jeff Gannon and Armstrong Williams.”

[In response to: “These guys are libertarians”] “Which means, they were in tune with Repugn’ntOnes’ values until they [Republicans] went cultist theocratic, yet they still supported judge Janice Rogers Clown.”

“It’s fine and dandy that he’s against the Patriot Act, but Penn is generally a wingnut enabler.”

“This video clip is disinfo. Many of those who have already commented, noted that these potty mouthed guys have an agenda of their own. A clip like this does more damage to the cause of peace and honest governance than three years of nonstop Bill O’Reilly and Sean “Chubby” Hannity combined. It was not funny and had many untruths in it. In other words, it stunk.”

“Libertarians are basically insane. They have decided to live in a fantasy world with no government because they don’t like government or paying taxes. Well, I don’t like either, but grow up damn it. We all live on a planet with other people and we have to deal with them. Government is necessary. The trick is to make government accountable to the people and the least intrusive institution that it can be while being an ADVOCATE for the common good against private (read: CORPORATE) interests. Keeping the government in check is why it is imperative to have a free flow of information and a dogged, responsible news media.
As much as I like and appreciate P&T for their skepticism and deflating of sacred cows (which is healthy), I can’t stand libertarians. They are basically anarchists in all but name. They need to grow up and get a life.”

You better believe we have a major fucking publicity problem when people don’t even know what the hell we stand for.

Friday Fun Link [Hit & Run]
Penn & Teller: The Patriot Act is Bullshit [Crooks & Liars]
HaloScan Comments

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. “I don’t care what you say about me, as long as you say something about me, and as long as you spell my name right.”

    — George Cohan

    At least they know *of* libertarians. That’s better than not even knowing such a thing exists.

    But the charges of anarchism are justified…just look at the LP’s site!

  2. I read that thread Stephen, pretty depressing. But the P&T show’s popularity I think more than makes up for what any influence negative comments like that may have.

  3. I see no mention of Anarchy on the lp.org site.

    I see no… “get yer guns” or “bomb the senate” or anything inflammatory at all. Unless you are referring to the bomb sitting between the donkey and elephant, which does not constitute anarchy.

    It’s a mediocre donation banner, nothing more.

    psst…. shhh come closer…. I’ll let you in on a secret… The Republicans and the Democrats are NOT the government… you are… I am…. this would be the very essence of “of the people and for the people”.

    So….. if having a desire to change the way people think and the way our government runs from within the system in a non violent way (which would be the essence of a patriot) is anarchist then count me in.

    Quote from Wikipedia on “Patriotism” to help those who may not have a clue.

    And then… in the U.S. we can throw Christianity in the mix… oh your muslim…. terrorist… oh your buddhis…. liberal pussy… oh your hindu…. stupid cow lover….

    Welcome to America the land of the free-enough and the home of the brave-arm-chair-commando.

  4. The quote from wikipedia:
    In politics, the words patriotism and nationalism are often confused. Patriotism is loyalty to the land and people. Nationalism is loyalty to a nation or government. Therefore a rebel who is against the government and not a nationalist, can be a patriot if he is loyal to the people. Even unoppressive governments confuse the two words.

  5. True that some recognition is better than plain ignorance, but also true that we have to become identified as a viable alternative and not just a bunch of crazies. Christopher “I like to complain” Monnier is right about the great need to moderate the message. Libertarians are either seen as pot-smokers, Ruby Ridgers, anarchists, or a combination of all three but rarely as members of a party worth serious consideration. Plenty of opportunity in the next few years, but trying to preach no government and no taxes will not get us many votes.

    I like the comment by the socialist nut job about private (read:CORPORATE) interests. Not very well read is he? “We cannot love jobs but hate the companies that provide them” Sen. John Kerry.

  6. Reason knows us very well and they go out of their way to mock us. I’ve always found it petty and weak. The high level marketing of the party that Joe Seehusen is doing is the best corrective. He’s already winning over Cato and the National Taxpayers Union, two other important small-l orgs which have also looked down on us in the past. I’d like to believe that Reason will change its tune on us once we show them the level of seriousness they want from us. “We just need to show up,” says Joe, “magic happens when we do.”

  7. Yeah, we have publicity problems–but that isn’t news, is it? We have some ‘nutty’ ideas and we definitely have some nuts in the party, I guess the least nutty of us should start opening our mouths instead of letting the strangest among us be the most vocal.