The Cults of JFK and Reagan – Freedom Philosophy


Plagued with boredom and overconsumption of libations to do much else, I found myself on YouTube watching Bill Maher (this was two minutes ago).It was a particularly cringe-worthy video citing his love of JFK compared to Ronald Reagan – the Democrats’ and Republicans’ most popular leaders.

The cringe-worthy element belonged to the fact that JFK was one of humanity’s worst war criminals. His actions against Cuban civilians constitute terrorism. His use of chemical weapons in South Vietnam against food crops is possibly the worst war crime America has involved itself with. Even his rise to power involved clear electoral fraud – usurping the democratic sovereignty of even his own people.

The penchant for Americans to cry foul over school shooting is rooted in natural law to have empathy for children suffering. It takes a serious campaign to enable people to overlook that they have admiration for people who have killed children.

The enabling propaganda almost always involves a cult-like leader who has garnered the trust of the populace. Rather than involve themselves with the complexities of foreign or economic policy the masses will opt for a character-assessment. JFK and Reagan were both winsome and humorous and engendered an undue level of trust.

The Republican support for Reagan is equally baffling. His tax reform involved corporate and income rates that were to the left of even Obama – who my Republican friends dislike.

Reagan’s support for the Taliban and al-Qaeda, whose anti-American ideology was well-known, are not traditional Republican causes. He terrorized the people of Iran via his support for Saddam Hussein and Iran’s own Revolutionary Guard. His war against democracy in South America lent itself to the anti-Americanism we see to this day.

America, with $20 trillion in debt and mounting war crimes, is in the position of requiring significant overhaul with their government. Instead, they’re treated to increased tribalism. Their passion for an exalted leader, with vilification of the opposition, clouds judgment on looming economic, ethical, and national security issues.

America isn’t isolated in this. Canada likewise has a near-messianic following for Trudeau. It’s baffling because he clearly doesn’t champion the causes he campaigned on.

He’s embroiled in ethical controversies in the Middle East, he’s subsidizing fossil fuel companies, he’s plunging Canada into deeper debt while the country has its own debt crisis. But this doesn’t impact the left, they’ve made up their mind and Trudeau is a good man. He can claim to support feminist causes, but his support for misogynistic states is deplorable.

The thesis of this article is to answer a popular libertarian meme that has gone viral. It asks the question, “how is it that it’s easier to convince people to give up their children to war, half of their income, and their liberty, than it is to convince them that roads can be built by the free market.” The answer is an organic propaganda machine that always involves the illustrious leader, who will look after the interests of the people when a clear examination of reality indicates otherwise.

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Brandon Kirby

Here's the new one: Brandon Kirby has a philosophy degree with the University of New Brunswick, and is a current MBA candidate finishing his thesis. He owns an AML service company servicing hedge funds in the Cayman Islands, a real estate company in Canada, and has been in the financial industry since 2004. He is the director of Being Libertarian - Canada and the president of the Libertarian Party of Canada.