I just wanted to share a video of someone who seems fairly reasonable to me. But he also seems typical of a certain kind of libertarian… the whole attitude of “Don’t tread on me!” and all of that. I doubt he is exactly my kind of person, but I respect his views.
The only thing that was slightly irksome was his criticizing the interviewer as a snotty elite. That always seems like an empty taunt. Chris Matthews isn’t a reporter who appeals to me, but I didn’t think he was out of line in forcing the guy to answer some basic questions. Of course, Mathews didn’t need to be so aggressive.
My personal issue is that it perplexes me why some libertarians feel it’s necessary to incite conflict. In the following video, Matthews states that he supports and most Americans support the right to carry arms, and Matthews then asks why this guy chose to openly carry a loaded gun to a presidential speech while carrying a sign that referred directly to violent and bloody revolt. I think that is a fair line of questioning.
From my perspective, the guy’s response seemed weak and he acted a bit evasive. He has a right to carry a gun, but if he isn’t intending to incite violence he needs to change his behavior, needs to change the way he is conveying his message. Why do some libertarians not see the connection between behavior and consequence? Just because you have a right to do something doesn’t mean you should do it.
I don’t think this guy was necessarily a rightwing extremist, but all that he is doing is reinforcing the stereotype of the rightwing extremist. Rightwing extremists do kill people and rightwing extremists who kill people do argue for the right to carry arms. Matthews asks about the history of guns at presidential speeches. The guy refuses to give the obvious answer that a number of gun-toting extremists have assassinated and attempted to assasinate many presidents. Why would he want to align the libertarian message with such violence?
I think libertarians weaken their message when they act like (or appear to act like) extremists. Most Americans don’t want violent and bloody revolution, and threats of bloody and violent revolution aren’t appealing to most people. Libertarians like this guy seem a bit disconnected from the mainstream. The average person is closer to the so-called liberal elites than to the rightwing extremists.
This is a major problem because the message of libertarians is worthy of being heard.