The Propaganda Machine of Beltway Libertarianism took another strike at the respectability of libertarianism by calling Neocon Jeff Flake a “Libertarian Republican.” To Reason Magazine, it seems that being anti-Trump is what makes one a libertarian. To anyone who has seen Flake’s voting record, it is incredibly obvious that Flake is not a libertarian, but his disavowal of Trump seems to be enough to make the cut for Reason Magazine. What do you expect from a “publication” with editor-in-chief Nick Gillespie who is vile enough to claim libertarian economist Walter Block is pro-Slavery? But I digress.
Now, for the rest of the article, I will go through Flake’s voting record and explain why he is in no way a libertarian, rather a moderate Republican who will work with the Democrats to grow the government. One can find Flake’s full voting record here.
On the issue of Civil Liberties, Flake is a failure and a sad excuse for a “libertarian,” even by beltway standards. Sixteen years ago yesterday, Jeff Flake voted for the USA Patriot Act, and never voted against its renewal or expansion (there was one instance in which he voted Nay on a Reauthorization, but then voted Yea on reauthorizing it on THE SAME DAY). This on its own shows that Flake is unworthy of a libertarian’s vote, and the people at Reason Magazine should hang their heads in shame for attaching the label of libertarian to an authoritarian like Jeff Flake. It worsens as time goes on, nonetheless. In 2012, Flake voted to reauthorize and expand the powers of FISA Courts, courts which allow officers rather than judges to write warrants. In addition, Flake voted to allow president Obama to indefinitely detain any individual for any reason without a Warrant. The NDAA was a disaster for civil liberties, and Flake refused to remove the worst part of the bill.
On military and defense, Flake is an absolute war mongering neoconservative. Flake, and Reason Magazine apparently, thinks it’s totally libertarian to give the president the authorization to go to war with the Middle East without a congressional declaration of war. Flake supported the invasion of Iraq, and never seemed to stop supporting this needless war. Flake even voted to expand the wars in the Middle East to a “Global War on Terror” in 2006. In 2010, Flake voted to keep troops in Pakistan. In 2011, Flake voted to give YOUR money to NASCAR in order to continue military recruitment and war propaganda from the racetrack. I suppose we can give Flake credit where credit is due: he did oppose invading Libya. He also voted to repeal the presidential authorization of the use of military force, but only after Trump got elected. He seemed to have no problem with Bush or Obama as the supreme leader of the American Empire.
And to put a cherry on top, Flake voted in support of Obamacare lite. Perhaps if Reason Magazine supports the idea of libertarian socialism, then you could call Flake a libertarian. But ultimately, the “good” senator is Flakey at best, and blatantly authoritarian at worst.
At a certain point, these “mistakes” Reason Magazine makes stop classifying as errors in judgement and become blatant attacks on principled advocates of liberty. Amazingly enough, this article praising the prince of the Beltway, Reason put out another article ripping into Rand Paul for his support of Roy Moore. The difference between Paul rubbing elbows with Moore and Reason and people like Tom Palmer rubbing elbows with Flake: Moore has a future in politics. Flake is finished. Rand Paul knows how to be diplomatic. Reason knows how to burn any bridge with any viability. Their attacks on Rand Paul, and Dr. Gillespie’s attacks on Walter Block just shows how the Beltway can corrupt the minds of so-called libertarians. It is time for libertarians to reject people like Jeff Flake, and to reject their propaganda machines, such as Reason Magazine.