Interesting conservation going on over at the Du Toit place.
I think the big difference between our points of view is that you havenâ€™t given up the fight, while I have. -Tamara K.
I think that pretty much the issue in a nutshell.Â Kim’s answer to that is classic Kim:
And I never will. This is the last place on Earth where freedom lives, no matter how much you think itâ€™s become corrupted and not worth fighting for.
Throwing up your hands and surrendering just because the struggle might seem hopelessâ€¦ sorry, thatâ€™s just not my style.
Iâ€™ll give up when the bootâ€™s on my chest and the bayonetâ€™s at my throatâ€”and not one moment earlier.
And even then, Iâ€™ll spit on the boot.
I’m actually not that convinced it has to come to that.Â Polls show that somewhere between 10 and 20% of voting age Americans have libertarian sentiments. Â That’s nothing to sneeze at, and if you can tap that resource, you can have a big influence on political outcomes.Â The problem here is twofold.Â Â The first is with the voting public itself.Â People won’t typically spontaneously organize for political action, and libertarian minded people are typically horses that don’t really want to be lead to water.Â Their philosophy can best be summed up as “leave me the hell alone”, which makes organizing them a challenge compared to people who have something to gain through the political process.Â The second fold of this problem is with the activists, because every political movement needs a dedicated core set of activists to organize people to action.
Over the years I’ve come to understand libertarianism as a philosophical movement and not a political one.Â The people who would form this dedicated core of activists have more energy to argue with each other, and to attend to the philosophical purity of the movement, than they do for getting their ideas out into the political arena where they can start to make a difference. Â But there is hope.
If you look at the gun rights movement, it’s one libertarianish issue that’s managed to work itself into the political mainstream and be astoundingly successful once it had sufficient momentum to affect outcomes.Â I think this model could be easily replicated with other issues if more libertarian activists would pick some issues that are short term winnable, and push those out into the political arena.
But the difficulty for libertarians activists is that it will mean making alliance with people who don’t buy your whole philosophy.Â We have many non-libertarians with us on the gun issue, and sometimes that friction comes to the surface.Â But its only through coalition building that you can get anywhere.Â A lot of libertarian activists seems to be OK with this on the gun issue, but talk about replicating that system with other issues, and they get difficult. Try to talk about which issues aren’t winnable right now, they don’t want to hear it.
Liberty is a never ending battle.Â We will never win.Â Like the game Whack-a-Mole, it’s frustrating, and sometimes it seems like you’re doing all you can to just hold the line.Â But giving up is a sure way to lose at Whack-a-Mole, so to libertarians, I offer this: “Keep whacking!”Â How’s that for a motto?