This election cycle, libertarians had two large demographics to target: the #NeverTrump conservatives, and the Bernie Sanders supporters. Despite being much closer in philosophy to the conservatives, the Libertarian candidates opted to make crossroads with the left. Touting lines such as “73% of what Bernie Sanders says, I agree with,” they thought it would be a slam-dunk to reel them in.
Yet despite their ardent attempts at watering down the message in order to bring socialists into the fold, the leftists still thought that Gary Johnson was too radical. And then to add insult to injury, they are now blaming Gary Johnson for Hillary Clinton’s loss. Furthermore, if this election was an indication of anything, it’s that the country is sick and tired of leftism, and leftists are beginning to become the minority. Trump won the election, Johnson failed to hit 5%, the GOP retained both the House and the Senate, and the GOP controls the majority of state legislatures.
They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. Libertarians set out to turn leftists into their target market, but their target market wants nothing to do with them, which puts us back at the drawing board. Notwithstanding, many of the libertarians who failed to make any inroads with leftists again seek to form a pact with them in the wake of a Donald Trump victory.
Even though these leftists just voted for the biggest warmongering neocon in the race, they are convinced that leftists will once again turn anti-war, anti-authority, and be ripe for the message of liberty. However leftists have no understanding of economics and would jump at the opportunity to steal half of our income, force us to fund their welfare and birth control, force us to fund their healthcare, force us to fund their college educations, force us to give up our guns, force businesses to raise their minimum wages, force us to practice our religion only in the confines of our homes, force us to get vaccinated, force us to give them safe spaces, force us to give up our cars, force oil companies to close their refineries, force us to use solar and wind power, force us to give up any surplus of resources, force us to associate with people against our will, force us to provide services against our will, force us to barter in only Federal Reserve notes, force us to break windows to create jobs, force us to eradicate property lines, force us to give dues to the United Nations, force us to be part of an involuntary collective, force us to shut up if they don’t like what we have to say, and force us to give them a platform for this dangerous ideology – and despite all this, there are many libertarians that believe they will suddenly adopt the ways of small government just because Donald Trump has become President of the United States.
Make no mistake. These leftists are not protesting government, and they are certainly not protesting authority. They are protesting the fact that their flavor of authoritarianism lost and they have to wait another four years to try to implement socialism. They may appear to be anti-war and pro-Civil liberties during Trump’s presidency, but it will all be a front, and four years from now they’ll once again be ready to go to war and take away your civil liberties.
As Tom Woods states, “They are not giving up on their religion.. The state is the source of all progress in the world.. The state is their god.. A sudden conversion to limited government, moreover, would mean an abandonment of the left’s very raison d’etre: permanent revolution, carried out via coercion.”
If leftists cared at all to adopt libertarian views, they would not be taking to the streets yelling that Hillary should be President since she won the popular vote. Majority rule is the antithesis of liberty, and the electoral college was put into place to preserve a smaller government and safeguard our nation against tyranny.
If you really think you’re going to convert someone to libertarianism who needs a safe space because a man whose ideas they hate became president (despite our current president doing the same things), then you’re in for a rude awakening, and are frankly wasting your time. Leftists did not want to have a rational discussion during the election, and they are even less rational now. Libertarians need to learn from their mistakes of the past and stop trying to create a relationship with an ideology that has no overlap with ours. Leftism is antithetical to everything we believe in. Their philosophy is premised around destroying private property, while ours seeks to protect it.
Reaching out to leftists has been, and will continue to be an utter waste of time. As capitalists, we should understand that time is our most precious resource, and we are letting it go to waste by trying to convert people to our philosophy that have nothing in common with us. It’s about time we start using it more wisely if we want to move towards a libertarian society.