Ilyka’s got this great post at Pandagon about the preponderance of “experts” on the Internet who pop up in the wake of things like the Virginia Tech shootings or the Supreme Court abortion decision recently to tell you that THEY KNOW exactly why things happened or why things are good or bad or etc. etc. etc. Mostly an enjoyable post all around …. except — and I’m going to nitpick here — for this sentence:
It’s been made especially plain throughout April that the most insulting thing you can tell a fundie, a men’s rights activist, a libertarian, a pro-life absolutist, or a bigot, is simply “You don’t know.”
Awwwww, man. Really? You’re gonna lump us with the fundies and the bigots and the men’s rights activists?
I see this crop up from time to time on blogs like Pandagon (which is, like, one of my favorite blogs in the whole wide blogosphere, so I mean no disdain), or in a recent City Paper article about the madman shooter from the fall at Virginia Tech, or in reviews of action movies that use the word “libertarian” to describe crazies who blow up a lot of stuff ….
I know a lot of smart and well-reasoned and not-crazy libertarians, including: me, Raee, my ex-boyfriend/roommate, my ex-boyfriend/roomate’s ex-roomate’s boyfriend, a Christian hippie we use to do theater with, Raee’s brother, and my dad, not to mention all the friends and other people I’ve met at specifically libertarian-oriented events and all the “professional libertarians” I know.
And most of these people — like, 98% — are very intelligent, thoughtful, rational, open-minded human beings who have never honestly advocated anarchy or completely abolishing income taxes or whatever it is that people think libertarians do. They do not live in mountain-side huts hoarding guns and plotting the overthrow of the government. They are not just apologetic Republicans who want to be able to smoke pot. And they don’t go around talking about Ayn Rand all the time (another thing you hear about libertarians ALL THE FUCKING TIME from non-libertarians). (Now would not be the time to bring up that I went to an Ayn Rand Super-Double-Objectivist Monster Truck birthday party a few months ago).
In fact, I have only once met any of Those Sort of libertarians in person, ever, at a Reason Magazine happy hour, although they are the sorts you frequently find commenting on Reason’s blog (which is why I generally don’t bother with the comments section there — smart writers, stupid smarmy commenters) or at Protein Wisdom and such.
So I’m not saying that Those Sorts of libertarians don’t exist. But liberals have hippies, okay? And feminists have Maureen Dowd, remember? So sometimes libertarians have crazy apologetic-Republican-smarmy-douchebags, sure. But mostly not. I swear.