Salon continues its obvious mission to discredit libertarians with anecdotal ad hominem


Salon recently ran this piece, which chronicles a young man’s encounters with “discipauls” — feverishly extreme supporters of Ron Paul.  These fringe examples of people who consider themselves libertarian apparently turned the author off of all libertarianism.  The basic thrust of the article is this:

Of course, libertarianism has not taken hold in any meaningful way, because it is not a middle-of-the-road philosophy at all. In the right hands, it could be, but its current practitioners are keeping it on the margins of political discourse. The two best descriptors that come to mind are “extreme” and “rigid.” Libertarians could build up quite a bit of goodwill with their fiscally conservative and socially liberal leanings, if they didn’t insist on leaning so damn far.


How do calls from crazies, received by some random intern, form an adequate representation of the full spectrum of libertarian “current practitioners.”

The facts are as follows: progressive media outlets such as Salon did a 180 on civil liberties and war after presidential power changed hands. Libertarians didn’t. Therefore, libertarians are a political threat — seen by the fact that a *Republican* who considers himself *barely libertarian* has been the civil liberties star of the Senate in recent times.

So what is “keeping [libertarianism] on the margins of political discourse”? It is the fact that the establishments of both major US political parties are bad on war, bad on civil liberties, and bad on deficit spending. In 2006, libertarians and democrats were on the same side on all three issues. Not anymore.  What is scaring the editorial board at Salon is the fact that libertarians have been gaining good will, because they haven’t changed their tune on either their social tolerance or fiscal responsibility — as 2012 Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson likes to put it.

Expect more hit pieces as 2016 draws nearer.