Socialism is a bit like asking somebody to breathe
carbon monoxide. In fact, it’s exactly like
asking somebody to breathe carbon monoxide.
Once More, With Thinking
by L. Neil Smith
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
It’s entirely possible that I explain myself too much at times; it annoys me when I have to do it. It means I didn’t do my job right (mostly I have always thought of myself as a teacher who had to construct his own classroom) in the first place. Unlike a public school teacher, no one is obliged to attend my classes or listen to what I say. That just makes it more challenging.
The other day, I was perusing the Internet, as one does, when I saw a message from a longtime friend of mine telling some third party that he thought I might have made a mistake, voting for Donald Trump. Two responses came immediately to mind: first, that I have been engaged in politics since 1962 and I don’t make mistakes like that; second, that I thought I had made my reasons for voting that way “perfectly clear”.
Apparently I had not, so I’ll take one more shot at it now and then forget it. If I can’t teach this lesson, then nobody can, and given that most people’s reaction to Trump is more visceral than cerebral, it probably can’t be taught. I don’t vote with my gut, or by the seat of my pants, I vote with my brain.
Aside from Trump, there were five other political alternatives to choose among in 2017. Here is the way the situation looked to me:
First and foremost, there wasn’t any way I was going to vote for Hillary Clinton. Her overt policies would have been the same disastrous left-wing garbage as Obama’s, possibly worse, and her covert policies are flatly criminal and murderous. She has illegitimately accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars, fostered the deaths of at least dozens, and treated the hungry children of devastated Haiti (just to name an example) like used dirt. She is, as the poetic James Woods has put it, “a drunken hag” who left good men to die unspeakably on the Benghazi sands, when she might have saved them with a single phone call. Instead of acting like a betrayed wife, she attempted to destroy the lives of the women her husband preyed on.
Besides, with the single exception of Senator Eugene McCarthy in 1968, I have never supported a Democrat Presidential candidate and likely never will.
In a recent The Libertarian Enterprise article concerning Democratic Socialist House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, I fairly thoroughly spelled out what’s wrong with her (she’s a perfect air-head, unfortunately) and with socialism, democratic or otherwise, in general. When you boil it down, it’s a socio-economic “theory” based on theft, an attempt to make stealing from other people sound respectable. That’s all Bernie Sanders meant to me at the beginning of the 2017 campaign, and when all was said and done, he sold out to Hillary Clinton. At that, I guess it’s better than being axe-murdered (we call it Arkancide) like Leon Trotsky.
I didn’t really know much about the Green Party’s Jill Stein (I still don’t), but I have been fighting against green politics all my adult life. I have never believed that the Earth needs saving, but that politicians can utterly ruin uncountable human lives pretending to do it. That’s why the villains in most of my Ngu Family Saga novels (you should read them) are from the “Mass Movement”, a 22nd century eco-fascist organization trying to stop offworld imports for spurious reasons. A hundred years from now, historians will laugh at those in our century who gave any notice to trendy idiocies like Global Warming. Me, I’d rather be laughed at for something else.
Last, and certainly least, there was Gary Johnson, ex-Governor of the Socialist State of New Mexico, and the nominated candidate of what’s left of the Libertarian party. No LP candidate ever knew less about libertarianism. Campaigning, Johnson said one incredibly cretinous thing after another, never mentioning, as far as I know, the Zero Aggression Principle or even the Bill of Rights, and allowing as how some gun laws might be acceptable to him—and by implication, to other libertarians. Nor would he take any offers (they were made) to teach him the rudiments of elementary libertarianism. His stupidity cost the Party all the votes I influence and it cost them my lifelong loyalty and effort. Good job, Gary, you bucket-head.
Now, assuming you’re a libertarian and rational (I didn’t write this for The Conservative Enterprise, after all) who, in the sacred name of John Moses Browning would you have given you vote to? I’m sure there will be plenty panting to rush in and self-righteously proclaim, “You could always not vote!” The trouble is, I did my tour of electoral pacifism, about a decade of it, in the last century. It left me with a very bad taste in my mouth, placing my fate meekly in the hands of unknown others. If I had withheld my vote and Hillary had won, I would feel guilty even if it doesn’t make statistical sense. I have also enjoyed rejoining my civilization after fifty-six years of pressing my nose to the glass.
Maybe it’s my age.
Donald Trump is neither a Democrat nor a Republican. He is certainly not a Libertarian, nor does he claim to be. For once, that’s quite all right. When I need my roof fixed, I don’t ask about the roofer’s politics, only if he can fix my roof. Trump is an uncategorizable one-off, possibly unique in history. He has traits in common with Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and even Lyndon Johnson. He built beautiful tall buildings in the business-hostile environments of the world’s biggest, most-corrupt cities. He’s just the guy to fix the American roof that was shot full of holes by three previous Presidents who happened to be evil morons.
Award-winning novelist and essayist L. Neil Smith is a retired gunsmith, Publisher and Senior Columnist of L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise and the author of over thirty books. Look him up on Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon.com. He is available, at professional rates, to write columns, articles, and speeches for your organization, event, or publication, fiercely defending your rights, as he has done since the mid-1960s. His writings (and e-mail address) may also be found at L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise, at JPFO.org or at https://www.patreon.com/lneilsmith, to which you can contribute, directly. His many books and those of other pro-gun libertarians may be found (and ordered) at L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE “Free Radical Book Store” The preceding essay was originally prepared for and appeared in L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE. Use it to fight the continuing war against tyranny.
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