Political life for us libertarians is not easy. Every election cycle we look at the options before us and have a hard time explaining to either side why we can’t support their candidate. Both sides expect us to fall in line to the beat of W’s “you’re either with us or you’re against us.” During the last election, many of us, even those that don’t vote found ourselves exploring the remote possibility that Donald Trump might pursue a less aggressive foreign policy and that he might actually take the world in a more peaceful direction. This hope sprung not from Trump’s qualifications but from the fact that he was running against Neoconservatism personified.
We got through it, shaking our heads and hoping for the best, but it seems that after Charlottesville, quiet indignation is no longer going to be an option. Over the past few days, it has become apparent on social media that defending non-aggression and freedom of speech is now cause for being branded with a Swastika. The self-proclaimed champions of equality and justice are no longer maintaining the illusion that they tolerate opinions other than their own. In fact, they seem to be openly comfortable suppressing those opinions by any means necessary. Their current stance is that anyone that does not pull a ski mask over their heads, pick up a baseball bat and fall in line behind them is racist at best and most likely a Nazi. They have moved past questioning our ideas to issuing personal threats of violence, which in their fanaticism are completely justified.
For years we have seen prominent advocates of freedom and civil liberties branded as anti Semites and racists. Obscure facts would be dug up and used as evidence of a person’s hate for humanity. Apparently, since Charlottesville, they are now very comfortable painting all of us with their odious brush. In the current toxic environment defending the right of others to speak freely and demonstrate nonviolently is proof that that one is racist and all racists must die or at the very least be punched in the face.
This would not be too concerning, this Antifa lot don’t seem to be able to do much more than upturn a few trash cans, break windows and crack a few skulls, but they are clearly not alone. They are a product of years of conditioning and behind that conditioning is a machine that has recently spent millions militarizing the police. At some point, this movement will step back and men in riot gear will pile out of armored personnel carriers and step forward to champion the totalitarian cause. It might be at exactly that point that those of us that believe in freedom might have no choice but to stand toe to toe with fringe elements that we would prefer to have absolutely nothing to do with.
The only alternative might be to pack things up and get out while the getting is still good. Last year I followed Robert Higgs preparing to and then actually moving to Mexico. He is not alone. Doug Casey and many others have been saying that there might not be another option. I’ve started making plans and set a three-year time horizon for my family’s move, but I am now concerned that three years might not be soon enough. I am terrified that before then, these violent actors might succeed in turning us into that which we despise. Timing is everything and here’s to a little more time. Meanwhile, we must all have the courage and fortitude to challenge these wrong views and continue promoting the concepts of freedom and liberty. To not do so would be cowardly. Let’s all not give in to evil but continue to proceed ever more boldly against it.