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A close family member posted a paranoid screed on his Facebook timeline yesterday....this person used to be a Democrat until he married his wife five years ago.....and slowly but surely, he's morphed into a rabid, and seemingly right-wing "libertarian."  Reading this irrational rant is at once scary and hysterically funny.....but more than that, it's confounding.

The rant was "shared" from the Libertarian's Facebook page:

Seems like what they are worried about these days is government "tyranny."

"Recently, president Obama warned graduate students about libertarians, saying, “They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”

Did Obama really use the word "libertarians" in his speech?  I can't find the speech, but I sincerely doubt he said that.  But it's a jumping off point for what follows.

"Mr. Obama, you completely misunderstood. Tyranny is not just around the corner. It’s here. When half of your earnings are taken from you and used for foolish or harmful purposes, that’s already tyranny. When a government tells you how much you can eat or drink, or how you can enjoy yourself, that’s already tyranny. When your money is used to fund immoral and unneeded wars that serve only to enrich crony corporatist defense contractors, that’s already tyranny. When you are not allowed to exercise your natural and fundamental right to defend yourself or your children, as is the case in “gun free” school zones, that’s already tyranny."

It goes on to rail against the the unconstitutional "duopoly" of the two party system, handouts that are given out by taking other citizens money unlawfully, on and on and on.

Then it goes on to say that "freedom is coming."  All of this government takeover will be disappearing soon.  Never actually outlining any strategy for accomplishing that daunting task, it does use very threatening language.

For the life of me, I'm not sure why people call themselves Libertarians and continue to support Ron Paul, which these people do, who is a failed grifter of the first order.  They continue to send him money, and of course support his son, Rand, a U.S. Senator who will never rise above his current post, and who once said in a committee hearing that he is against big government interference in his life to the point that he is furious that he can't even buy a toilet that works because of government regulations.  Apparently, he does not know how to shop for a good toilet.  

I'm thinking now that this whole Libertarian thing is simply a way for its adherents to avoid responsibility , civic involvement, and it gives them a false enemy to rail against.  That party will never ever be in power in this country, Ron Paul lived off the government for years but was pretty much a failed Congressman, and Rand is going to ride off into the sunset of history in the end without really doing much of anything meaningful.  But their followers seem to believe that somehow they will make a huge difference in America.

These Libertarians remind me of ineffectual children throwing tantrums, but never succeeding in getting what they want.  But I guess if you want to feel somehow superior and powerful, even if it's a mirage, choosing the Libertarian Party works just as well as having a real tantrum in the town square.

My family member?  I don't know who he is anymore.  But I think he needs a therapist.  The irony of all this is that this person was an active duty Air Force member for 22 years, retired out, gets his pension, and now works as a civilian government employee for the AF, racking up a second pension.  I've reminded him of that from time to time...but he says he worked for it and deserves it....

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Comment Preferences

  •  And there it is right there (17+ / 0-)

    "I've earned it. You haven't! So therefore, Tyranny.

    Now get off my lawn!"

    Chances are, you spend too much time on the Internet, visiting right wing blogs and podcasts, and even the most devout progressive could be influenced. That level of hate just isn't natural.

  •  The Foundational Purposes of the United States: (32+ / 0-)
    We the People
    not "I your King and conqueror" or "I, the Lord thy God."

    The government is us, it's we, the people.

    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 chartered for government, in part, to actively promote the general welfare.

    And read it again: welfare comes before liberty. Get it?

    As to the libertarian lie that the only way government can promote welfare is by keeping out of engagement with society:

    Article. I.
    Section. 8.

    Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States....

    Government has the power to tax to pay for promoting the general welfare. If the way to promote welfare were to do nothing, there would be no need for a power to tax to not do it.

    The libertarians either lie about the Constitution or they oppose the Constitution and its most basic purposes.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:07:15 AM PDT

    •  Left and Right now united (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      carver, Kimbeaux

      It is strangely ironic that both left and right are now united in their dislike of the system of government in our country.

      Of course, the excerpts you quote from our constitution describe a democratic system of government.  And today, we no longer have a democratic system of government - we have a corporatocracy, devote not to promote the general welfare, but to the welfare of the wealthiest minority.  It is correct to protest such a style of government, whether you call yourself liberal or libertarian.

      I agree whole-heartedly with the libertarian ranter when he complains about public money used to fund failed wars for profiteers, or public money used to subsidize tax giveaways to private corporatations.  I too want the government "off my back" so I can seek the reproductive healthcare and birth control that is right for me, and marry the consenting adult of my choice.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:50:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Libertarianism is bullsh!t from one end (23+ / 0-)

    to the other.
    It is a scammy justification for selfishness and a tool for greeedy manipulators to con the Shallows into cutting their taxes.
    What gets me is how many otherwise reasonably intelligent people fall for this claptrap.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri May 10, 2013 at 05:22:37 AM PDT

  •  The flaw in liberarian government is (22+ / 0-)

    they think that government is tyrannical and that their own interests are the same as the corporations that actually run their world.
      They also have ridiculous misunderstanding of the tax system. IOW, they grossly overestimate how much money they pay in taxes.
      The height of absurdity is having a government job, or working for a govt contractor, or living on a govt pension and still complaining about taxes.

  •  Utopian fantasy (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Essephreak, ChemBob, carver, jan4insight

    I think libertarianism is just the latest in a long line of utopian fantasies. People see a world that they don't understand, that is cruel, complex, and passing them by... And they think, "If only ___, it'd all be better."

    They'll come up with any kind of justification to keep their fantasy intact. If you point out to them that Somalia is essentially a libertarian state, they'll come up with a litany of excuses for why that's not so.

    Funny thing is, it's not that much different from communism... Which promised the same utopia, but by other means.

    Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

    by walk2live on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:01:39 AM PDT

  •  I think there are two kinds of libertarians... (9+ / 0-)

    First, what I would call 'ethical' libertarians.  I find a lot of my economist colleagues in this camp.  These are people who believe in individual self-determination but recognize that there are places where collective action solves problems that individual action cannot.  They understand problems with underprovision of "public goods" and they also recognize that society is a force, for good or ill, of its own. They are skeptical of government intervention, but are persuadable by a compelling case that individual liberty can be enhanced by the collective action.

    The second group is what I would call 'antisocial' libertarians.  These people simply believe that there is (or should be) no society at all.  They want the 'nasty, brutish and short' state of nature that Hobbes wrote about.  They want it because they see themselves as "supermen" (superwomen) who can outcompete everyone else.  Some of these folks, in my opinion, fall dangerously close to antisocial personal disorders.

    You wanna f*%^ with Big Bird? You gotta come through me.

    by DaveV on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:23:15 AM PDT

    •  A lot of them are situational libertarians. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kimbeaux, chrismorgan, DaveV, FiredUpInCA

      Consider the career military person. Hard to name an institution more socialized - certainly the medical care is entirely governmentally supplied. You don't get to pick your doctor or hospital, you go to the base, or post, infirmary & see the doctor that's there. When you retire, you're on Tri-Care for life. Just a terrible tyranny, right? Well, for the rest of us it is, for them, "they earned it."
      I grew up a military brat, I don't remember a lot of complaints about the medical & dental care. I don't think you'll find many retires eschewing their benefits. For the rest of the country, however, a national plan modeled on the military's would be putting us all in chains.

      Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

      by rasbobbo on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:20:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have always (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    seen a streak of need for attention, I'm so much smarter than you, and a bit of 'I've been bullied, so now I gonna bully back'

  •  from the actual commencement speech: (6+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

  •  Agree about libertarian anger, but this phrase... (4+ / 0-)

    ...does seem apt: "immoral and unneeded wars that serve only to enrich crony corporatist defense contractors"

  •  I joined the California Libertarian Party in 1998 (8+ / 0-)

    after I discovered the book "Ain't nobody's business if you do" by Peter McWilliams.  Peter was a passionate advocate of personal libertarianism -- the government has no business outlawing things like drugs or prostitution or gambling, as long as every person affected by these activities consents to the outcomes. I joined the party after Peter gave a speech at the LP convention.

    However, I soon discovered that the LP was not full of progressively-minded people like Peter, nor were they very interested in personal libertarianism.  Oh, they paid lip service to it, but that wasn't what they were about.

    No, the Libertarian Party even then was mostly just a bunch of nasty, selfish tax cheats and gun fetishists. Regressive assholes for whom the Republican party, even in the late 90s, just was not dickish enough.  I never renewed my membership, and the next time I moved and had to change my voter registration, I went back to being a Democrat.

    In the 15 years since, Libertarians have devolved even further than I could have ever possibly imagined.  Outright racism, paranoid conspiracy theories, science denialism, and every Rambo/Wolverines/NRA gun nut power trip fantasy you can think of are now normal, all swirled together into a toxic, disgusting slimeball of concentrated idiocy.  Libertarians are the most willingly duped people I have ever met.

    The few facebook friends I have that identify with the party post the dumbest crap -- like posting a meme saying "Government has never done anything ever!!!1" on the very same day of NASA's spectacular landing of Curiosity on Mars. And you can't even point out the facts to them because they aren't interested in facts (they live on Libertarian Fantasy Planet, after all).  Just sad.

  •  Libertarianism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    carver, DrLori, jan4insight

    is the adolescent male mind set to political theory, says this mother of an adolescent male.  But you don't have to be male to have this appear attractive.  (Still, I suspect it might help).

    There are many folks who look back on their teen aged years as a utopia, therein lies the appeal of libertarian ideologies. And the patterns of logic and behavior seem to fit as well.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:46:28 AM PDT

  •  Libertarian relative (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrLori, Kimbeaux, Val

    Sounds like your relative is saying " don't let the evul gobermint touch my Medicare". He made his money all his life off of the government, as well as his pensions.  Time to live on his own. Let unfettered capitalism feed clothe and house him.  This happens to them all.  One of my relatives harps about how his sports drink business doesn't need the government.  I asked him where the 99% of the product, ie the water comes from.  He has yet to show me his private desalinization plant.  Such is their logic. Me me me.

  •  I See That Nonsense Too (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, jan4insight, FiredUpInCA, Val

    I have a bunch of libertarians on my wife's side of the family. Actually, they are firmly the camp of those called "Preppers". I see more pictures of goats and chickens along with the usual stuff about tyranny. The thing that strikes me about them is that the libertarians I come across are to the last incredibly condescending. It's as if they've figured it all out and that the rest of us are dumb rubes. Now I'm not saying we're not dumb rubes but who are they to remind me.

    I always piss them off by posting a comment to their prepping statuses that says, "There will be two types of people after it all falls apart. Those who prepped and those who will take it away from them". Angers 'em every time.

    "Look here," he was yelling. "Look here, the bunglers—"

    by The Lone Apple on Fri May 10, 2013 at 06:48:17 AM PDT

  •  It's tyranny if you can't (4+ / 0-)

    walk around at an elementary school brandishing your AK-47?


    •  tyranny (0+ / 0-)

      how can they be so blind to economic and corporate tyranny? libertarianism sounds like a philosophy that rich powerful corporate criminals came up with to con their victims into supporting their interests.

      "Today is who you are" - my wife

      by I Lurked For Years on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:26:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When ever I meet a libertarian, I point out that libertarianism in the U.S. simply means that moneyed interests make all the decisions that control our lives.  That's not my idea of freedom.

        There's something called "the public interest", and it has to be protected with strong public institutions.  The cut-government crowd wants us to be at the mercy of private interests.  

        These people who seem to want a winner-take-all society are of course assuming that they will be among the winners.  They may be in for a rude awakening if it ever really happens.  

  •  Ignorance of how taxes work is a big problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This idea that we pay half our earnings in taxes is nonsense.  Nobody ever actually bothers to figure out their effective tax rate (which is very easy to do).  They just buy a lot of propaganda.  They don't know how marginal rates work.  They don't know where government spending goes.  They simply don't make any effort to understand.  

    Our side needs to do a lot more to educate people on how the tax system works and what is supports.  Ignorance is the other side's friend; knowledge is ours.  

  •  This (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    denise b
    When your money is used to fund immoral and unneeded wars that serve only to enrich crony corporatist defense contractors, that’s already tyranny.
    An issue on which most of us can find common ground.

    And other issues such as common sense and pragmatic solutions to firearms regulations, and the endless and costly - "war on drugs".

    While I don't agree with the inflammatory and reactionary rhetoric - this whole "us vs them" attitude only serves to divide us on issue that if we were united - could lead to real change.

    Conservatism is an obsession with the past ... with little regard for the future.

    by RUNDOWN on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:02:18 AM PDT

  •  Libertarians are right! (0+ / 0-)

    It's those pinko commies that are ruining our nation.  They take away my hard earned dollars to pave roads, educate children, prevent disease and control outbreaks, inspect food, clean water, remove waste (including shit!)....

    Bastards all!


    Socialist? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    by Kimbeaux on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:10:36 AM PDT

  •  It's so hard for me to listen to his rants...... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't want to sever the relationship, but this is like a huge elephant in the room...and if he really believes this stuff.....what a disappointment....he's my adult son.

    Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

    by lutznancy on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:26:23 AM PDT

  •  this guy (0+ / 0-)
    gives them a false enemy to rail against.
    Knows a thing or two about "false enemies":

  •  libertarians are magical thinkers (0+ / 0-)

    Even the ones that aren't just frothing teabaggers in denial live in a world of make-believe.  Even if they're not Randroids, they've got Adam Smith, Milton Friedman, and Friedrich Hayek to quote about how laissez-faire capitalism is the greatest engine of freedom and prosperity that has ever been created, so no wonder people who don't value freedom and prosperity are so bitterly opposed to it.  They're the ones who go on about how "those who sacrifice freedom for security (i.e. the welfare state), will have neither", because a lack of perfect freedom reduces your ability to act in service of your self-interest.

    They're like little kids who are just desperate to be allowed to cross the street and go to the free market playground where common sense and fair play replace arbitrary and self-serving rules and regulations, where no-one wants to do anything bad because they know that no-one will want to play with them if they do, where taking the big risks and blazing your own trail will realize rewards that will not only satisfy all the basic needs (food, shelter, health care, education, etc.) that people turn to government to provide, but also everything awesome and expensive that government cannot - or will not - provide ... blah blah blah.  They really do think we're all morons and/or cowards who want to be infantilized by the nanny state and demand that everybody else be too.

    There's a reason there's so much overlap between libertarians and fundies: both believe in an all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfectly moral entity that dictates all of nature and human affairs, is the sole arbiter of right and wrong, and has a keen interest in the well-being of people, and if only we'd embrace it and submit to its clear simple rules, we'd live in a paradise.

    •  Yup (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The irony is that my son, who is the self-described Libertarian has been in the Air Force for 22 years, retired out and tried working in the private sector for a few years, but just could not cut it (got fired) and went back to working for the AF as civilian employee, building another government pension!  He gets medical care for life as well....he does not see the contradiction at all!

      Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

      by lutznancy on Fri May 10, 2013 at 09:28:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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