Left and Right: ‘No’ Prospects for Liberty

Social Media is a sewer. Sure, it’s a medium that makes it easy to reach out to family, share photos and even documents; but places like Facebook, and especially Twitter, have become digital war zones in which the extremes on both sides of the political spectrum go to lob “bombs” at each other. But not only regular folks; the elites get as down and dirty and, at times, even more vile than the rando “typing” from their toilet (a picture of Kathy Griffin pounding out a Trump-hate-Tweet on the “porcelain throne” just emerged, yikes).  

This morning, a friend posted that someone they have known for years blocked them on Facebook for the unpardonable sin of not believing Trump is a “Russian Agent.” Mind you, this is a couple months after Mueller reported he found no “there,” there. One of the responses to my friend’s post was that a person they’ve known their whole lives, who was never political before Trump took office, now is a ball of negativity and hatred, someone she can no longer carry on a normal conversation with. These stories are rampant about people on the “Left.” Does the “Right have a similar “syndrome?” 

A quick search on Twitter or Facebook with the terms “Trump” and “economy,” is a good place to witness the lunacy of the “Right.” Months ago, former director of OMB under Reagan, David Stockman, wrote on Facebook that the economy was not what it seemed, that it was a bubble getting ready to burst and that Trump never should have “owned it” as his accomplishment. Remember, in the primaries Trump claimed the same as Stockman, that the Fed had created this monster that would implode and gave Obama no credit for it (which is the correct thing to do, the central planners blew this up.) Stockman was met with all of the instant classics: “cuck,” “libtard,” sufferer of “Trump-Derangement-Syndrome” and on and on. These people, most of whom have received the bulk of their economic education from Trump Tweets and cable new shows who would never say the economy is at risk of failure for fear of losing their investment platform advertisers, unleash the hounds on any “traitor” who would dare say a negative word about their “God-Emperor.” 

Then there’s the extremists on the Right, and, no matter what argument the Right makes, there are extremists. 39-year-old Montana man, Curt James Brockway, with multiple witnesses looking on, fractured the skull of a 13-year-old boy for not removing his hat during the national anthem. Brockway stated at the scene that he had every right to pick the boy up and drop him on his head for disrespecting the song. The boy was reported to have bled from the ears for six hours after the attack. Brockway’s lawyer is claiming that Trump inspired this action with his rhetoric. This is a stretch, and appears to be a typical lawyer tactic, but to ignore that Trump’s negative attitude towards certain groups, and his jingoistic language, basically making anyone out that isn’t down with his program to be “un-American,” isn’t emboldening certain radical elements is to deny reality. And yes, people are responsible for their own actions and how they interpret another’s message. Agreed 100%. Still, when before the Trump “phenomena” were there people targeting immigrants with AKs, and adults breaking the skull of a 13-year-old for acting his age? 

Is the “Left” innocent of bringing violence to the forefront? The argument can be made that theirs is more rampant and organized. One need only look to the group (OK, OK, you’re not a group, whatever) calling itself ANTIFA. Running with the belief that anyone who disagrees with their assessment of the direction society is taking is an advocate of fascism, they show up in public prepared to commit violence against anyone and everyone. Recently, Andy Ngo, an openly gay reporter of Asian descent, was attacked by ANTIFA. In a public space, in Portland, Oregon, the police looked on as ANTIFA beat him and stole his camera equipment. Yes, the police stood down, and did nothing to protect him (as is their right AND mandate). Then we have the recent shooting in Dayton, Ohio that appears to have been perpetrated by an “anti-gun,” pro-ANTIFA member of the Left. He killed nine on a bar-lined street in less than 30 seconds before being taken down by 6 heavily armed, and outfitted, police officers as he tried to enter a bar. I’ll just mention “Bernie-bro,” James Hodgkinson in passing here. 

Two wildly dissimilar groups have been described here. When it comes to their thought processes, they are both grounded in a collectivist ideology that has no sympathy for the individual. To the contrary, both openly despise true liberty. One takes to the streets to crush anyone who doesn’t think like they do; the other would be happy to send the police or military to deal with their opposition. 

What’s the answer? There is only one when you have people who are not willing to talk and have resorted to violence. They need the ability to separate from each other. This is something we are taught growing up, if you have a problem with someone, don’t associate with them. This simple concept, one that most everyone the world over understands in their personal life, is balked at when it comes to politics. Whether it be tradition, the stigma of the War Between the States or whatever excuse is used, people want this gigantic group of opposing cultures to remain “intact.” 

With the evidence presented, one must wonder whether the real reason neither side wants a divorce is so they can continue to fight over a political apparatus they believe can be used to dominate the other group. They are negatively feeding off of each other like some kind of weaponized, dueling parasitic monster. Who is the big loser in this arrangement? Anyone who seeks a society based on choice and individual liberty. If politics is truly downstream from culture, after looking at the violence that is accompanying political rhetoric, will it be a shock when the State increases their already overwhelming amount of force to “keep the peace?” History shows that the bystander, the one tending to their own lives, is often caught in the crossfire. 

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Peter R. Quinones
Peter R. Quinones is managing editor of the Libertarian Institute and hosts the Free Man Beyond the Wall podcast. He released his first book, Freedom Through Memedom – The 31-day Guide to Waking Up to Liberty in November 2017. It reached #4 in the Libertarian Section on Amazon. He has spoken at Liberty Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire and is currently co-producing a documentary entitled, “The Monopoly on Violence,” which is scheduled for a 2020 release. It will feature the most prominent figures in libertarianism explaining how nations states came into existence, the atrocities they commit and what a truly open libertarian society would look like. Contact him at pete@libertarianinstitute.org