Libertarians Just Aren’t Cool, Deal With It

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I know that as soon as you saw the title of this article you thought to yourself, “This isn’t about me.” Well I hate to break it to you, but it most likely is so shave your neck beards, burn your fedoras, take the hot pocket out of your mouth, and listen up. If libertarianism is going to grow we must address the biggest hurdle that we face today: how to market libertarianism. There are a number of issues that must be dealt with, but the one that seems most glaring and which has lead to the stereotypes that I have used to get your attention is that libertarians are just not cool.

As libertarians we must realize that our message is not mainstream yet, and therefore each of us is an ambassador when marketing it. Being an ambassador comes with a certain amount of personal responsibility to be self aware so that you do not completely disenfranchise someone you are engaging with. No one wants to be around a person who causes them discomfort, whether that is because they are a socially awkward basement dweller, a loud obnoxious internet troll, lack personal hygiene, or just generally unaware of normal human behavior.

Don’t despair, however, for it is possible to change your ways and I am happy to be your guide in this endeavor with a few simple tips:

 

  • Learn how to talk to people. Yes, I know that this is easier said than done, but if you want others to listen to you it is important to mimic human social behavior. First and foremost; give up the ‘muh roads’ comments and other insults that work only to drive people who do not understand the inside joke away from you. They will simply feel confused, left out, and insulted which any normal person will tell you is not conducive to swaying someone to support your cause.
  • Secondly; you do not need to be closer than arm’s length to talk to someone. I know it has probably been awhile since you last had physical human contact, but if I can see the beads of sweat running down your forehead and chins, you are too close. Personal space is a thing, and I’m pretty sure encroaching on it is a violation of the NAP or something. Also, if you find yourself speaking to someone whom you find attractive, it is impolite to stare at them and mouth breathe in their general direction.
  • Normal people like things other than politics and things they see on the Internet. You may find pop culture boring and trivial, but when all you do is act like everything that people enjoy in society is beneath you it only serves to make you look like a condescending prick. Besides, you know who Beyoncé is; stop pretending you don’t.
  • Your personal appearance matters. I wasn’t joking about the fedora and quite frankly if you wear a bow tie you only look ridiculous. You are neither Indiana Jones, nor James Bond. Just look presentable without looking pretentious. It’s really not difficult and it doesn’t even have to be expensive. Trends are trends for a reason; it’s not a bad thing to look “hip.”
  • Your personal hygiene matters as well. If I can smell your body odor when you are talking to me, it’s an issue. Please bathe. Dousing yourself with half a can of Axe body spray does not count as bathing.

If we ever hope for the message of liberty to become mainstream we must focus on marketing, and the most important part of marketing is to be presentable. So, please, libertarians, try to be cool.

 

* Christopher Lee McKitrick is a writer and political commentator. He is a New Hampshire native, beer enthusiast, and lover of freedom. You can follow him on Facebook @mckitrickliberty.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Amen. In the tech industry we had a saying, “A mediocre product with great marketing will beat a great product with mediocre marketing every time.” Libertarians as a group are remarkably emotionally unintelligent, and some of the biggest names have been emotional idiots. Milton Friedman talked about this in his keynote at the 1990 ISIL conference in S.F. (catch it on YouTube), although the “emotional intelligence” term wasn’t being used yet. We try to win people over with logical arguments because it’s…logical. But a logical frontal assault actually drives people deeper into their current beliefs, causing them to build their defenses higher and deeper. Instead, you have to pick some common ground, no matter how trivial, and build on it. It takes time and patience. Mary Ruwart talks about this a lot. And amen to the fashion and hygiene remarks. There are much more ADULT ways we can express our individuality….

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