Lately we’ve had some commenters jumping ship and/or complaining that the Glibs is becoming a Team Red Trumpista echo chamber. I’m going to attempt to explain why I think this is not true; judge for yourself how successful you think I have been in the comment section. Or skip reading it entirely and go to the comment section to worship/condemn Trump. The tone of this piece will be exceedingly serious* and you’ll be able to tell because I’ll only have one cheesecake pic at the end.
The political internet has come up with the concepts of right-libertarianism and left-libertarianism. The reason for this, as far as I can tell, is to lend an air of legitimacy to people who are not libertarians because as a philosophy, libertarianism sounds great on paper to lots of people who want nothing to do with it in practice. IE: if you’re a Communist, it sounds a lot nicer to call yourself a “left-libertarian” because it emphasizes how you really, really, really like freedom (except for all these freedoms over behind the curtain, don’t look behind the curtain, shut up thought-criminal off to the gulag with you).
My personal political philosophy is well documented (see first vignette). Beyond that, I believe the entire concept of “right” vs. “left” is a bullshit artificial concept designed to discourage independent thought. I recognize that it gets used as a kind of shorthand in modern debate but, to be honest, it’s never made sense to me anyway. It seems as though a random constellation of beliefs was assigned to each side and we call it good; both sides have authoritarianism baked in, it’s just about different stuff. If political philosophy must be projected into a binary concept (problematic in its own way, but let’s put a pin in that), I think it can mostly be boiled down to liberty vs. control. Either you value individual autonomy or you don’t. If we must, I suppose we can change it from a Boolean to a spectrum though I struggle to make sense of that as well. BUT, for the sake of simplicity, let’s go with that. I think that, philosophically, most/all of the Glibertariat falls squarely on the liberty side of the coin.
For Glibs, however, philosophy is the easy part. Respect for liberty is what brought us here in the first place. What’s more complicated, and where the diversity of opinion lies, is in the application of said philosophy. This is where I think we can say with some certainty that Glibs is definitely not an echo chamber. The most obvious application of political philosophy is in voting patterns. For most people, that’s as far as it ever goes, though for some it goes further; eg: volunteering for a campaign, writing petitions, donating money, etc. If we again must project this into a spectrum, the poles of that spectrum could be modeled as principle vs. practicality.
The unfortunate reality of our situation is that we have two political parties that don’t respect individual liberty. One has embraced international socialism and one is in the process of embracing nationalism with a law-and-order bent. Both sides rejected any semblance of fiscal responsibility long ago. The upshot is we have the proverbial Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich choice across the board every election. These are your only realistic options for who will be in charge. Beyond that, there are third parties that may or may not align more closely with individual liberty, but (let’s be honest here) they cannot and will not ever win an office of consequence. If they ever do win, it’s usually for some irrelevant position as a short-lived curiosity. Finally, there are those who look at this fiasco and say, fuck it, I ain’t voting at all if I can’t vote for someone that I agree with on principle who might actually win.
Some fear international socialism so much that they will vote for anyone that opposes it and has a realistic chance of winning. Call this maximum practicality. Some will say, I hate both major candidates so I’m going to go third party and “throw my vote away”. Of course, it’s not really throwing your vote away; it’s valuable as a protest vote and as a way to stay true to your conscience. Call this partial principle. Then, because no matter what, whoever you vote for (even Vermin Supreme) will necessarily not align perfectly with individual liberty there are the abstainers. Call this maximum principle.
Here’s the rub: we have people representing all of these camps here at Glibs and each and every one can articulate rationally why they arrived at their conclusion. Here’s another rub: I don’t begrudge anyone their position. I completely understand why someone would look at the absolutely disastrous history of socialism and conclude that it must be stopped at any cost, even if that means embracing Team Red out of convenience. I completely understand why someone can’t hold their nose hard enough to block out Team Red’s stink and votes for a better alternative. I completely understand why someone would look at the whole thing and be too disgusted to participate. And while it may be true that, of late, Glibs has a plurality of those who chose option 1, it’s far from an echo chamber. So to those who have chosen options 2 and 3, please don’t abandon Glibs in disgust, we need and want true diversity: diversity of thought and opinion. Or tell me to fuck off and leave of your own volition. It’s your life.