The temporary seizure of the U.S. Capitol by far-right supporters of Donald Trump should serve as the political death knell for the libertarian ideological base of “Trumpism.” Every day around the globe, legislators convene to deliberate over the passage of bills designed to improve the lot of the people who sent them there. These legislatures exist at the national, supranational, state, provincial, municipal, tribal, and island level. They have names like Chamber of Deputies, Diet, Senate, House of Commons, House of Representatives, National Assembly, Duma, Council of State, House of Keys, and House of Lords.
Ask any anti-government libertarian, whether they are “sovereign citizens” or anti-regulation malcontents, how they propose to handle basic government services like law enforcement, fire fighting, road and highway maintenance, national defense, standardized weights and measures, national currency, and disease prevention and control and they shrug their shoulders in bewilderment. Some of the more educated libertarians rattle off passages from the infamous Russian-American sociopath Ayn Rand and economic gobbledygook from crackpot economists like Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman.
Libertarians have never achieved serious political rule mainly because they and their philosophy cannot exist in the real world of governance. The Libertarian Party represents nothing more than parlor room discourse by political party rejects. Libertarians have only achieved political power by nesting themselves inside established political parties having a record of electoral success and governance. This has been the case with Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Rand Paul, and Paul’s father, Ron Paul, the latter running for President on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988 before becoming a Republican and being elected to the U.S. House.
The father and son Pauls are well-known for being able to vote “no,” but they never offer any solutions by voting “yes.” Democratic U.S. House Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas, a supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s good governance-in-practice “New Deal,” a continual bugbear for conservative Republicans and Libertarians, once said, “Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.” And good carpenters are as rare as hen’s teeth in the departing Trump administration. Trump leaves behind a record of shattered government, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bureau of Land Management to the Department of State to the Census Bureau.
Political lunatics like Grover Norquist, who wants to shrink the size of government to where it can be drowned in a bathtub, and Steve Bannon, who advocates beheading government officials and putting their heads on pikes at the White House gates, have no place in serious matters of governance and legislating.
Their dangerous rhetoric and that of others on the far-right directly contributed to the violence exhibited by mindless zombies in the halls of Congress on January 6. Legislators around the United States now have to worry about armed insurrectionists storming their deliberative bodies in addition to staying free of the coronavirus, the rapid spread of which was partly enabled by libertarian mumbo jumbo about the “dangers” of protective masks, mandatory closures of businesses, and, now, vaccinations.
The murderers, vandals, and thieves who rampaged through the U.S. Capitol complex on January 6, including buildings named for Thomas Jefferson, Sam Rayburn, and conservative Republican icon Everett Dirksen, are in dishonorable company. They should know that they are in the same company of other “libertarians,” including the Islamist Jihadist Jaish-e-Mohammed that detonated an explosive-filled Tata Sumo at the entrance to the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir on October 1, 2001, prior to seizing control of the building and killing 38 innocent people. Just four days before that attack in Srinagar, the Kashmiri capital, a deranged criminal with a criminal record of incest, theft, and forgery, entered the Cantonal Parliament of Zug in Switzerland and opened fire with a Swiss Army assault rifle on the members of the Regierungsräte (Executive Council) and Kantonsräte (legislature). The gunman, Friedrich Leibacher, killed eleven members of the Zug government and legislature, including Herbert Arnet, the president of the Cantonal Parliament, before committing suicide.
What occurred in Zug and Srinagar is what the far-right militia group, Wolverine Watchmen, had in store last summer for Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s bicameral legislature in Lansing.
It is past time for both armchair and terror-minded activist libertarians to return to their parlor rooms and pool halls and allow the overwhelming majority of people who believe in good governance through democratic elections and representation to take on the responsibilities associated with the legislative process. This has been humankind’s best endeavor for the common good and commonwealth since the days of democratic Athens, the Roman Republic, and the Althing of the Icelandic Commonwealth.
Hopefully, those who rampaged through the American peoples’ house on January 6, will face incarceration in another one of democratic governments’ valuable contributions to society, penal institutions. Here’s to wishing them long stays.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).