We will punish those who didn’t do it!
Open Letter to Reason magazine
by Sean Gangol
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
When I first heard about your magazine ten years ago, I was excited to actually have an outlet that represented the libertarian viewpoint. With the exception of a few obscure libertarian online journals, such as The Libertarian Enterprise , there weren’t too many media outlets that even acknowledged libertarian viewpoints. My favorite part of the magazine was always the Brickbat section where you had a series of short articles that reported abuses that people received from local authorities. I also thought it was refreshing to see that your reporting didn’t seem particularly biased to the left or the right, which was much more honest than the reporting from any of the other mainstream media outlets.
Sadly, for the past year It has felt like your magazine was expressing viewpoints that one would actually find while reading articles from The Huffington Post. In last year’ s issue about the 2016 elections, you asked a series of libertarians how they felt about the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency. Not only were the responses negative, but they seem to believe that the people who would be hurt the most by a Trump presidency, would be women, Muslims and immigrants. After reading these comments you would have thought that Trump had proposed repealing the Amendment that gave women the right to vote, while placing Muslims and immigrants in concentration camps. This is the kind of Social Justice nonsense that I would expect to find while watching videos from Buzzfeed and not a respectable libertarian magazine such as yours. Now, don’t get me wrong, Trump is far from being libertarian in his policies, especially when it comes to Free Trade. He was definitely not my first choice as president and there are plenty of legitimate reasons not to like Trump other than the same Social Justice Clap Trap that has infected just about every college campus in the nation.
I was even more disappointed to find an article featured on the online portion of your magazine that discussed the riots that occurred in Berkley, when Milo Yiannopoulos tried to visit the campus for a speaking engagement. The author seemed more upset about how Milo Yiannopoulos would be receiving more publicity from this fiasco than he was with the left-wing mob that successfully prevented him from speaking. I realize that Milo’s style of speaking is an acquired taste, but even if you don’t like what he has to say, you should defend his right to speak and be outraged at anyone who tries to silence him.
Though I think what really made me give up on your magazine were two recent videos from Reason TV. The first one was narrated by your Editor in Chief, Nick Gillespie, which was titled, Trump Denounces Racism in Charlottesville Too Little, Too Late. Not only was I disappointed with the video, but I was flat out disgusted by the extreme lack of journalistic integrity that went into it. In the video, Gillespie weighed in on the Charlottesville controversy and basically said that Trump was as the title of the video suggests, too little, too late in denouncing the racist element at the Charlottesville protests. Gillespie even went so far as to blame the death of the young protestor on the president. Basically, you repeated the same self-righteous garbage that the mainstream media has been peddling for about a month. I can understand that while you may not be that fond of Donald Trump, it doesn’t excuse the intellectual dishonesty shown by this magazine by blaming him for something that clearly wasn’t his fault in any shape or form. That poor girl would still be dead, even if Trump had spent the entire first of year of his presidency with a t-shirt that said “White Supremacy Sucks.” Besides, why do you even need to call out white supremacy in 2017? As Rush Limbaugh rightfully pointed out, there aren’t enough of these idiots to elect a dog catcher. The white nationalists weren’t even the main culprits in the girl’s death. Sure, the man who ran her down, was part of the WN group, but it wasn’t as if he had preplanned the whole thing. The reason why he even jumped into his car in the first place was because the protest had escalated into a full-blown riot, thanks to Antifa.
I find it even more dishonest that you didn’ t put any of the blame for the tragedy on Antifa, who if you ask me were the main culprits. The white nationalist had a legal right to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue and were even issued permits by the town’s governing body to hold the demonstrations. Antifa, who did not have any permits issued to them, showed up with baseball bats and homemade shields. Now, being a libertarian magazine, you all should be aware of this little thing called the Non-Aggression Principle. Under this principle the first person to throw a punch, a kick or wave a bat around is the one who is truly in the wrong. Trump was actually being generous when he said both sides were in the wrong. One side was far worse than the other. Which one do you think it was? The people waving Tiki torches and babbling nonsense or the ones waving bats? If you had a hard time answering this question, then your libertarianism should definitely be called into question.
Look, I am no fan of the White Nationalism movement, since it is another misguided form of Identity Politics. I just believe that Antifa is a much greater threat to individual freedom, than a bunch of bozos waving Nazi flags. Antifa is a violent extremist group that has started riots at just about every demonstration that involves right-wing speech. The fact that you didn ’t even mention Antifa in your video makes one wonder if you are afraid of alienating a vital supporter of your magazine. Ridiculous? No more Ridiculous than you accusing Trump of not calling out racists because he was afraid of losing a vital part of his voting base.
I honestly don’t know what you hope to accomplish with all the virtual signaling, though I do have a theory. Ann Coulter had once accused libertarians of being pansies who liked sucking up to their liberal friends. As much as I hate to agree with a woman who once talked about drowning libertarians, I think in this particular case she may be right. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you aren’t going to earn brownie points from the left or the mainstream media for calling out a nonexistent threat. The left really doesn’t care if you are actually a racist or not. They just want to silence their opponents and libertarians are no exception. The reason why they haven’t attacked us as badly is because there aren’t enough of us to pose a significant threat to the left. Once they have effectively silenced the conservatives, you better believe that we are next. That is why it is now crucial to defend the free speech of conservatives, even if we find some of the things they say abhorrent.
As much as I hate to drag this letter out, I have to address the other video from Reason TV that I have taken issue with. Just when I thought you couldn’t erode your journalist integrity any more than you did with the video on Charlottesville, you produced this piece of trash called “What the Alt-Right Gets Wrong.” In this particular video, you seem so desperate to distance yourself from the Alt-Right that you resort to all sorts of intellectual dishonesty. First of all, I think it is completely dishonest to label people with a word that hasn’t been properly defined, much less assume that they all have come to a consensus on every single issue. Now, I’m not going to go into that much detail about the issues that I had with the video, since it would probably add another five pages to the letter. I will say that I am completely mystified that anyone can be so clueless about the importance of preserving Western Values. Do you guys really think that it is a coincidence that libertarianism is virtually non-existent outside of the West? Without Western Civilization, there is no libertarianism. Are you really that clueless? I became even more disgusted when your host, Zach Weissmueller actually said that America was never great. Seriously? It sounded like something that one of those nut jobs from Black Lives Matter would say. Then you wonder why people are abandoning the movement and heading further right.
Not that I have ever considered you guys to be the representatives of the libertarian movement. On a good day, you guys represent the watered-down version of libertarianism just as The Libertarian Party and The CATO institute does. You guys actually seem more like leftists who sort of believe in free markets, than those representing the ideology of Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, L. Neil Smith and J. Neil Schulman. The fact that you probably have to Google at least half the names that I just mentioned, shows how clueless you are about the ideology you claim to represent. I feel that this magazine no longer represents the movement that I have been a part of for sixteen years and that is why I will not be renewing my membership when it runs out later this year.
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