Well, there you have it – the Christian Science Monitor has finally coined a word for it: “liberal-tarian”. The informal coalition of purist liberals and Paulite libertarians in Congress finally has a name.
I have been warning and warning and warning people about this, and now we’re starting to see it happen – any kind of political capital that could be used for substantive egalitarian political reform being appropriated by ideologues more concerned with maintaining their commitment to principles than they are that those principles deliver any goods to anyone anywhere.
The entire point of the “liberal-tarian” challenge to the Obama Administration is to create a blood libel that reform cannot survive. “Oh yes, that’s lovely that he talks about reversing economic inequality,” goes this conjured argument, “but he is secretly scheming to take away your liberties and install a secret government. So we should focus on what’s really important, don’t you agree?”
President Obama, the “liberal-tarians” are the greatest threat that have yet existed to your administration. Please take this threat seriously. Declassify as much as you can, so people can see that this “secret government” libel is indeed a libel. Don’t just say you “welcome debate” – realise that this crap will not stop unless you declassify reams and reams of government documents, so people can see that this “secret government” is a figment of the fevered imaginations of conspiracy-theory-addled opponents to your government.
I said it before and I will say it again – most of the stuff we’ve seen leaked during the Obama Administration’s time in office has been stultifyingly boring drivel that never should have been classified in the first place. Bradley Manning has subjected himself to draconian punishment from the US government to bring to our attention completely boring information. The problem is not that there is a secret Empire, folks. The problem is that the US government classifies anything it thinks might be used to embarrass it. That is exactly the kind of information that needs to be declassified.
As long as government overclassifies, there will be an opening for conspiracy-theorists masquerading as whistleblowers to pitch their blood libel against the government. People will believe in the Star Chamber as long as government can’t explain to people why they can’t answer a straightforward question about even small matters. As long as the overclassification continues, people will continue to think the release of boring information constitutes “whistleblowing”.
This Christian Science Monitor article points out that support for this kind of “whistleblowing” unites Michael Moore and Glenn Beck. That, in itself, is enough to show how vile some discourse increasingly accepted by even otherwise rational left-wingers has become, and how terrifyingly acceptable some extreme right-wing blather has become.
This Edward Snowden we’re all hearing about now is a long-time Ron Paul supporter. According to the Washington Post, his association with Paul is of long-standing: he donated twice to his campaign in 2012.
To liberals who may be preparing to defend Snowden as an expositor of their principles, I would point out, this is not a liberal icon you’re siding with, folks. This is a Republican, and this is just another phony Republican scandal. The only difference is that now the Republicans have figured out a way to sucker you into the scandal rhetoric.
The Vietnam War is over. Watergate is over. The Iraq War is over. But the Republicans – especially the Paulite ones – know they can manipulate you over your fears about government being secretive and motivated by self-interest. Don’t take the bait.
I know my commentaries have a small audience. I write to a small group of friends on Facebook (many of whom, I am sure, have tuned me out by now), and a larger group of strangers via my blog, which is read by a handful of people, usually only on specific topics that are popular search engine queries. Despite that, I do have sincere hopes that I can get people thinking about all of this instead of just passively being a part of larger political herd mentalities.
When you see Michael Moore embrace the politics of Glenn Beck, it’s time to question what direction “liberalism” is headed. It’s especially time to question why we can so clearly see the folly of Second Amendment fetishism on the Right, but not our own Fourth Amendment fetishism. It’s one thing to proclaim something as a right, it’s another to ensure that this leads to substantive liberty, not just words on a sheet of paper. It doesn’t make sense to speak of a right to bear arms that principally allows toddlers to accidentally shoot people with untended guns. It also doesn’t make sense to speak of a right to a defense against unreasonable search and seizure which does not admit of anything that might be considered a reasonable search or seizure, and assumes that every search constitutes “surveillance” and every seizure constitutes “arbitrary government”.
Because so many liberals are going along for the ride on with Fourth Amendment fetishism, the “liberal-tarian” nightmare is going to continue, unless the Obama Administration takes clear steps to reveal that there is no secret government behind the curtain. At this point, the greatest security threat to the US is this “liberal-tarian” movement – which is why the Obama Administration must ensure we see so much more of what’s going on behind the curtain, so this ideological beast doesn’t threaten everything his administration has thus far been about.
Even with my small audience, I plan to continue to speak out firmly against the danger this ideological beast poses. Sooner or later, people should be able to see past the anti-Obama talking points and into the real motives of people like Edward Snowden. If the Obama Administration is wise, it will act swiftly to declassify documents to show Mr. Snowden for the blathering anti-government ideologue he is.