By Tom Rhodes, 3/18/2014
You may or may not have noticed, but a disproportionate number of Libertarian party are professional computer nerds. The reason is simple, programmers and the like steep themselves in logic all day every day. They clearly see failure and erroneous outcome when bad logic is implemented. Programs fail and they have to spend three times the time debugging bad logic, the get it; doing it right the first time is easier, and undoing the poor logic another programmer is even harder. Looking at history, observing society, and being logical, the proof is obvious. Liberty, the protection of individuals rights, the rule of law, and equality under the law, provide the best standard of living for more of society than any other system. Hence programmers, computer geeks, disproportionately move to the Libertarian party.
Super eggheads like Bill Gates live libertarian values but talk like liberals. That’s because they are smart enough to know that not everybody can look at something logically and that when it comes to winning a confrontation, logic is at the bottom of the list of effective tools. So using superior logic they abandon libertarian “talk” and implement the other two more effective tools in coming out on top in a confrontation.
Those other two tools, violence and emotion. In any confrontation of any type, the side willing to use violence, and having the ability to use violence wins. PERIOD!!! Weather morally right or not, effective use of violence wins any confrontation, and the side with superior firepower and proven willingness to use it wins. Say 4 people meet and one tells all the others to give him their wallets. They refuse, he pulls out a gun shoots one and takes his wallet, then tells the others to give him their wallets. Having seen a clear demonstration of superior firepower and the willingness to use it, they quickly give up their wallets.
After violence the next most effective is emotion, we see politicians crumble all the time doing stuff that has proven to be bad and ineffective, because the emotional angst is stronger than the logic. Look at the government program “Head Start.” It has been repeatedly proven to be very expensive and have ZERO long term benefits. But when face with the emotional argument that cutting funding to head start would be cruel to poor children, and who would deny poor children a “head start” in education, politicians crumble. The emotional appeal wins over the logical facts.
Liberals have seen that emotional appeal and emotional attacks win over logic. Thus it is virtually impossible to have a rational discussion with a liberal. While you offer logical points to support your position, the liberal is offering some new way to convince others that you’re an evil monster who wants to deprive poor children of food, or hate women, or your racist. It doesn’t matter if they have an logical reasoning to support their emotional claims, they pull at heart strings. If it “feels” right the willfully embrace stupidity and deny facts. This is how liberals work, they feel good about positions that are emotionally satisfying regardless of how many people such a position hurts. Liberals have emotionally blinded themselves to believe that their ideas are well-crafted and intellectual, regardless of the facts.
The reason ultra-logical libertarian arguments don’t work is because we like liberals ignore human behavior. The LP is associated with anarchy. We have permitted esoteric discussion and anarchist ideology to permeate the LP. Thus our image is of anarchists. The fact is we should have embraced and promoted the idea that government is a necessary evil.
No amount wanting a “voluntary” society is going to change the simple fact that there has to be somebody willing to use force to protect the rights of those who can’t protect themselves. The reality is that a society based solely on voluntarism cannot work, because there is always going to be the amoral bastard who is willing to use violence to take what he wants, and they only way to stop such a person is with superior firepower. We established a government to have that superior firepower, tasked with protecting the life, liberty, and property, of everybody equally. That superior firepower has a cost, it is paid for with taxes. When the LP says “taxation = theft” what it is saying is a very emotional and loud declaration that we want a lawless society. People KNOW that “we all can’t just get along” and that some force must instill lawful behavior and protect the week. Government is a NECESSARY evil.
Look at the emotional attacks against the city who refused to put out the fire of a home that didn’t pay for fire protection. The headline read “ Firefighters let home burn over $75 fee -- again” The liberals and news media were aghast at the idea that a fully capable fire department while on site to protect a neighbor’s home would not lift a finger to protect the home of those who didn’t pay the fire district fee, a mere $75/yr. This is an example of how libertarian ideas in practice look. You can choose or not choose to pay a fee. With liberty is risk, not choosing to pay the fire district fee means you don’t get the benefit of a fire department. Seeing a family’s home burn to the ground and knowing they lost everything they own, when it could have been salvaged has such an emotional impact that the logical libertarian lesson in making wise life choices is lost.
The liberty to have a choice and keep your money or pay for fire protection is lost. The logical libertarian is instead a cold calloused uncaring heartless money grubber. Rather than feel and or see the emotional suffering because people choose to exercise freedom, in this case the liberty to pay a fire district fee or not, the emotional argument wins, liberty loses, and everybody should be forced to pay a tax, not fee for service. The liberals emotional wellbeing is more important than individuals liberty to choose to pay for a service or not.
Logic and reason are not going to win the emotional battle. The strong application of logic and reason lead to being productive. The politically incorrect fact is that the LP is overwhelming comprised of rational men and dreamy utopian anarchists. The emotional pleas of teary eyed single mothers and children win out over productive men all day long and utopian dreamers every time. Illogical emotions are leading to the use of force to make everybody comply in order to reinforce emotional satisfaction. The moral decay of our society is making it very clear that our ideas will not be refuted logically and we will not be treated with the respect we attempt to treat others. Our cool logical, rational arguments, or pie in the sky anarchist utopian ideas fall on deaf ears.
As libertarians to be successful we need to jettison our anarchist image. That means treating anarchists in the party the same way we treat liberals. We need quit being logical and rational, and appeal to the emotions of Americans. We need to play the emotion game better and harder than they do. Start with pulling at the heartstrings using examples and stories of people who die, suffer, are hurt by oppressive government. Attacking Obamacare with examples of people who were doing well but now dead because the death panels denied them service, etc. Lots of images and stories of Storm Troopers abusing innocent people, etc. Emotionally attack limousine liberals as hard as we can.
Arguing with liberals is like playing chess with a pigeon; no matter how good you are at chess, the pigeon is just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board and strut around like it's victorious. There is a way to beat pigeons - Roast Squab with Bacon and Grapes Recipe. We have the logical and rational arguments, they don’t work. We must gain both the moral and emotional high ground. Suggestions?