On Love and Libertarianism: A Perspective


Well, my dear libertarians, here we are at the precipice of a new chapter in American history, desperately trying to keep our eyes and minds clear while everyone else is either punching Nazis or forcing gays into electroshock therapy. And here I am, stuck in the NAP with you.

I jest, but the left has indeed been kicking and screaming their way into the beginning of Donald Trump’s presidency. The Women’s March on Washington, which is now said to be the largest political protest in American history, seemingly had the only goal of letting the world at-large know that young and unemployed lesbian art historians were unhappy with Vladimir Putin writing in Donald Trump’s name in the ballot box 65 million times. We know guys, we know.

But, I’m a believer that there’s nothing and no one you can’t learn from, including our social justice warrior comrades, and there’s one facet of the ladies (dammit! I assumed their gender) doth protesting too much that I found particularly interesting.

A common protest chant/sign/t-shirt constantly rearing its head at the protests reads “Hate Does Not Make America Great Again,” which is a cheeky reference to Trump’s campaign slogan. It’s poignant because, you know, all Trump talks about is how much he hates people.

At this point, the only thing I can think of which Trump certainly hates, is the mainstream media and not Twittering for long periods of time. However, the phrase seems to have the presumption is a hater compared to the administration of Barack Obama, in all its grace and omniscience.

I won’t comment on that in this article, although I could, because what I find much more important is that in acting so uncritically toward a president they adorned, liberals are facing an existential crisis now that a president they hate is clothed with the same immense power.

There’s another assumption in there, too. Namely, that liberals have a copyright on love in politics and they are the only ones who care about love in political discourse. I think that deserves a real response.

Because, of course, libertarians are just a bunch of neckbeards praising Scrooge McDuck as he controls the Illuminati at the expense of defenseless minorities, while the brave progressives are on the front lines fighting injustice. At least that’s what I imagine Michael Moore thinking on a daily basis.

That may, or not be true (I don’t personally see that many Che Guevara t-shirts at the homeless shelters, but whatever), but it does elicit some thoughts about love as a regulated force in governance. For a libertarian, the starting point would be to ask what the role of love is in government, if any. Maybe even what the role of love is in a good society.

Here’s an idea on love that I like from Fyodor Dostoevsky, who wrote in The Brothers Karamazov that “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams.”

For those of us who cried in our cars listening to My Chemical Romance after a high school break up, there’s a lot of truth to this. Love is hard work, and a lot of suffering is usually accompanied with it.

In other words, it’s nothing like the airy-fairy love that leftists love to propagate. Throwing money at poor people won’t make their lives better. It’s been tried and it’s been failed.

Here’s the reality on love. Most people have very few people that they can actually say they love so much that they would die for them. The only people I can say I love without a second thought is my family, friends and the pink power ranger (so hawt).

There are plenty of other people in my life, like my neighbor who lives down the road. I can say I love the guy, but if he gets killed in a car accident I won’t spend the rest of my life crying about it. I would be sad, but it would affect me a lot less than my mom dying. Our love for people deepens and grows proportionally to the amount that we work and suffer for them. You see this all the time with spouses and parents. To really love someone means getting in their head space and learning to deal with them even with all their faults and annoying tics. It requires a lot of work; it just does.

For leftists to say that their political goals are motivated by their deep and profound love for fellow humans is not only untrue, it’s also asinine. Most of the protesters are too young to have experienced the real, catastrophic love that totally tears your world apart, and part of the reason I’m attracted to libertarianism is because it doesn’t use such naive propaganda to further its goals.

The goal of government is not to administer love, and the demonstrable evidence where it has tried to do so only highlights how absurd the project is.

There’s another point I would be remiss not to talk about, and that’s the fact that spending tax money for social policies enforcing a welfare state, which is the ultimate goal of love in leftists political rhetoric, is by its nature untenable and uncompassionate.

Turns out, the Founding Fathers were much more interested in creating a government that wasn’t tyrannical than smoking weed and listening to the Grateful Dead in drum circles.

The fact is we’ve strayed so far from their vision that it is now commonly accepted as not only legitimate, but moral and loving, to take money from the citizenry and give it to people the government deems more worthy of having it is a testament to how far we’ve fallen as a country.

Not only that, but the money has to first be sorted into incompetent bureaucratic machines that spends that money in the most inefficient way possible.

This is the immorality of the welfare state that the left bases its entire ideology on. It is immoral, inefficient and wrongheaded. Even if you fund HUD 10 times more than their current budget, there will still be poor and homeless people in America because HUD sucks. Anyone who works in homeless shelters on a local level will tell you the same thing.

So this is, I submit, where libertarians can create a footing in the love argument. Government cannot regulate love, only the individual can. In Christianity, loving each other is supposed to connect you to God and your fellow man. I’ve never had that spiritual ecstasy while filing my W-2 form, so I assume it doesn’t count when you’re forced to supposedly provide aid via incompetent bureaucrats.

And this is where I’m optimistic, because if you remove the government’s responsibility to help the needy, suddenly it’s incumbent on you to help them. Suddenly, things like family, community and society are important again, and people begin to feel a sense of responsibility for each other.

I live in Louisiana, and when the flooding last August devastated homes all around the state, it took weeks for federal assistance to get here. In the meantime, good ole’ Cajuns got in their boats with supplies and started to look for people they could help. And all without a single tax dollar.

So for the leftists peeking out of their safe spaces and reading this, I humbly submit that coerced compassion isn’t compassion at all, and maybe there are more efficient and moral ways of doing things that can really make the world a better place. If we really bought into that idea, we’d never have to worry about another president ever again.

* Corey Vaughn is a Louisiana-based writer who should probably learn how to advertise himself better.

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