My boyfriend drives an older car with a 2008 Ron Paul presidential campaign bumper sticker and, over the last few months, someone has been repeatably peeling away the edges of the sticker and keying his car, especially around the sticker. The bumper sticker was meant to convey a message of peace and hope 13 years ago. Ron Paul isn’t relevant, the libertarian party isn’t a threat, and it is just a gosh darn sticker.
I don’t understand the motivation behind the vandalism.
I conducted a quick internet search and apparently, in our modern society, libertarianism is now considered to synonymous with white supremacy and Neo-nazism. Anyone who does or ever has identified as a libertarian is, essentially, evil. People like me are being demonized for desiring a world in which everyone can speak their mind, defend their property, and exercise their freedoms with minimal government involvement.
In my lifetime, I have seen my government grow in power and irresponsibility and would like to see that power distributed amongst small, local communities–states, counties, and towns–so that resources are best utilized in support of the people.
Over the last several years, I have worked personally to acquire the resources necessary to support members of my community in the case of an emergency, so–like in the case of the pandemic–I have water, medical supplies, and cash on hand and ready to share. I have learned basic triage and ham radio skills so that in the time is takes FEMA and other government agencies to respond, I can help my neighbors. I believe in taking personal responsibility and encouraging others to do the same, but also in stepping in to assist if those around me aren’t as prepared as they could be.
Does that make me evil?
I love my country, I love my fellow citizens, and I love discussions where we delve into conflicting opinions because it’s an opportunity to learn and re-calibrate. Regardless of our skin color, upbringing, profession, or economic status, every single human has gifts and has overcome unique challenges. We are all different, yet very much the same. We are all playing on the same team and need to get in the habit of looking out for one another, and building each other up rather than promoting further division.
Libertarians aren’t gun-wielding, psychopathic racists. At least none of the ones I know, and I’ve met hundreds over the last decade at various conferences, camping trips, and gatherings. Rather, they are empathetic, community-oriented people who understand that the American government can’t respond as quickly as the individual. They store extra water and food, volunteer on the community emergency response team, offer free civics and preparedness courses to the community, host ham radio towers, and develop mutual aid apps on the blockchain. The goal is self-sufficiency, in support of one’s neighbors and community. If I take care of myself, I can help take care of you, and neither of us will be dependent on the government for assistance.
I don’t care about the car, and my boyfriend doesn’t either. It’s simply a mode of reliable transportation.
However, I feel deeply hurt after reading article after article painting me to be worst kind of person. The friends I’ve volunteered alongside, learned from, and have felt continually supported by are good people… the best kind of people. We are Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Yaqui, and Caucasian. We are firefighters, teachers, doctors, stay-at-home-parents, and politicians. We are young, old, and everything in between. We are wealthy, impoverished, and squarely middle-class. We are straight, gay, and still figuring out who we are.
Libertarians exist across a vast spectrum, but every single one I have met views the right to exercise their personal freedoms as an opportunity to support their local community. They are the most giving group I have known, even more so than religious communities of my childhood.
I am not on social media and don’t have insight into the current dialogue around who is considered to be “evil” and who needs to be cancelled. However, if you do come across any media portraying those who wish to uphold our “outdated” and “racist” constitution as evil, I implore you to dig a little deeper and consider that the media you consume may not be fully accurate and transparent.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The constitution is so much more than permission to engage in hate speech and violence. If you take the time to research the topic and listen to people with differing options, you just might find that Aunt Jemima, Mr. Potato Head, Dr. Seuss and I aren’t quite as evil as the media would have you believe.