Where Are the Libertarians?

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With the federal government’s tail-between-its-legs announcement that people don’t really need to wear a mask outdoors, we are seeing the first sign that America’s dictators may be yielding some of their usurped power over, well, everything we do.

For more than a year, the broad mass of the American people have suffered the greatest assault on individual liberty that has ever afflicted them. They have been told they could not leave their houses, they could not go to work, they could not go to school, they could drive only for reasons considered by government officials to be necessary, they could not visit their dying parents, they could not celebrate a wedding, they could not provide a decent funeral, they could not get closer than six feet from one another, they could not see one another’s mouths.

It now emerges — actually, for people who can read statistics, it long ago emerged — that little or none of this was necessitated by any form of “science.” But leave that aside. Never in American history have people been bullied, restricted, and, in the favorite phrase of the oppressors, locked down like this. It was all carried out with the stroke of a pen by officials wielding arbitrary and irresponsible power.

For more than a year, the broad mass of the American people have suffered the greatest assault on individual liberty that has ever afflicted them.

 

Now please tell me what self-identified libertarians have done about this. Please tell me what self-identified libertarian thinktanks have done about this. Please tell me what something called the Libertarian Party has done about this. Because I don’t know.

I know that conservatives have done a lot about it. They have mounted protests. They have been arrested! They have raised the alarm in endless hours of radio and television. They have lit up their websites with analysis, complaint, and solemn warning.

Some individual libertarians have been there too, together with some pungent libertarian websites. And libertarian thought has coursed through almost everything “conservative” — because you don’t imagine that conservatives would have developed this iconoclastic zest for freedom if it weren’t for a strong and chronic infection by libertarian ideas.

But labeled, branded, established, official, donor-funded libertarianism — where has it been? While all this stuff was going on around it, that form of libertarianism was worrying about trade policy, studying the economic benefits of open immigration, and protesting efforts to meddle with Big Tech. Well, thank God libertarians are no longer living in a bubble! They’re living in executive suites with everyone else who Matters.

Never in American history have people been bullied, restricted, and, in the favorite phrase of the oppressors, “locked down” like this.

 

And that’s good for them. Obviously no one has taken their jobs, put them in cuffs for being on the beach without a mask, dumped their kids out of school, gotten tough with them for walking in the park when they’re supposed to be locked down, canceled their diagnostic procedures until sometime later (date unspecified), kicked them off social media, or treated them like traitors if they stroll outside, breathing normally, disregarding the orders of the state.

Very good. Very, very good. How comfortable to be asleep at the switch, while all the trains of tyranny rush past.

3 Comments

  1. Great essay. I just don’t understand why so many, even on some libertarian sites, seemed happy to give up their freedoms and seem to want to hold on to restrictions. Thank goodness, the mask mandate is over here (in AZ). Funny that in the media, we have been hearing that mask wearers shouldn’t be harassed while the only people I have heard from who have been harassed are the unmasked. Coupled with months of people going on about how masking shouldn’t be made political & yet now I have seen multiple reports on how those on the Left want to continue to wear masks to avoid being mistaken for those on the Right.

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