In case it wasn’t already abundantly clear who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, Twitter, of all things, will help separate the sheep from the goats.
Only a few days after Julian Assange endorses Libertarianism as “the only hope” for US electoral politics in an online Q&A session, Time magazine senior national correspondent Michael Grunwald tweets “I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.” About a half-hour later, Grunwald deletes the post and tweets “Fair point. I’ll delete. @rober1236Jua my main problem with this is it gives Assange supporters a nice safe persecution complex to hide in”.
So, in case everyone missed that, Michael Grunwald would like the world to know that the reason he deleted the post was not because it painted upon his forehead in bold, red letters, “I am an evil, blood-thirsty, spin-doctoring apologist for The Man.” No, it was because he didn’t want to give supporters of leakers like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Bradley Manning more evidence that we really are living under a tyrannical Police State. God forbid a view so clearly false and paranoia driven would begin to gain credence in the mainstream (sarcasm). Never mind that peaceful, non-violent anti-establishment groups are being classified and targeted as terrorists. It’s all in their head; “a nice safe persecution complex” they use to morally justify their own cause to themselves. The label of Persecuted Minority must never, EVER be applied to them, lest the public view them sympathetically.
This all begs the question. If it really was such a blatantly stupid and evil thing to say, why would a sharp guy like Michael Grunwald even tweet it to begin with? What caused that fail-safe mechanism that exists between what we think and what we say/do/tweet to malfunction in Mike’s brain? What could have emotionally charged him, an American journalist, with so much rage, and at Julian Assange in particular, to publicly long for his murder over Twitter? The only news worthy headlines to come out about Assange over the past few days has been his endorsement of the Libertarian movement in the United States. Coincidentally enough, Assange mentions drone strikes in his support for both Ron and Rand Paul. My money is on Mike’s hearing of that piece of news is what triggered such a hateful public expression in a form that I’m sure he thought to be very tasteful and witty at the time.
Still, why all the hate, Mike? Why do you want Julian Assange dead? Why do you want him silenced? Why do you want him to disappear? I know why, and so do you. It’s because Assange’s endorsement of Libertarianism is HUGE. Absolutely huge.
“In relation to Rand Paul, well, I’m a big admirer of Ron Paul and Rand Paul for their very principled positions in the US Congress on a number of issues. They have been the strongest supporters of the fight against the US attack on Wikileaks and on me in the US Congress. Similarly they have been the strongest opponents of Drone Warfare and Extra-Judicial Executions.” Assange then goes on to elaborate the “interesting phenomenon” of Libertarianism, of people taking the Non-Aggression Principle, the idea that physical violence should not be initiated against an innocent person, to its logical policy conclusions, such as the opposition to foreign invasions and coercive collection of taxes. While he then clarifies that he does not fully advocate such policies, the main thrust of his statement is clear. He sees supporting the Libertarian Movement to be in his own best interests, as well as in the best interests of mankind as a whole.
This sort of comment by such a well-know and important international figure represents a major tipping point in the political paradigm. Assange knows that large number of his supporters and followers on the online social networks are young progressives, and he is speaking to these people when he says how the entire Democratic Party, which many of his supporters see as their political vehicle, has been “co-opted by the Obama Administration, or co-opted by DC social networks” into an alliance with the Neocons in the Republican Party in a heavy push towards a Police State. He even explicitly says that this push towards tyranny is “not a Conservative movement. A Conservative movement says ‘hold on to what you’ve got’…the Republican Party, insofar as it is coupled to the war industry, is not a conservative party at all.” This sort of language, clearly designed to make Libertarianism more palatable to not just Progressives on the Left, but Conservatives on the Right, is the sort of language you might hear from Tom Woods. In fact, I would not be the least bit surprised if Assange actually reads LewRockwell.com.
It seems that what Assange sees as the strategic political imperative, and what his comments appear designed to encourage, is for there to be a convergence of the Anti-Establishment Wings of both the Left and the Right into a single freedom movement under the a broad banner of Libertarianism. He wants his young, Progressive audience, who are tech-savvy and opposed to regulation and censorship of the internet, to see the success of the Libertarian Movement as also being in their own self-interest. Despite Assange’s own ideological disagreements with Libertarianism, he sees “the Libertarian aspect of the Republican Party is, presently, only useful political voice” on the American scene. Assange’s endorsement could mark the beginning of a complete realignment of the American politics, characterized by a splintering in both the Democratic and Republican Parties, replacing the old political paradigm of the vague and meaningless “Left vs Right” into a clear, more ideological “Freedom vs Tyranny.” The longer Julian Assange is alive, the more chances he will get to make these sort of statements and use his international platform to support the Libertarian Movement, the only movement with the real potential to topple and destroy the power of The Establishment.
That is why Michael Grunwald wants Julian Assange dead.