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Too Cool for Terrorism

And winning elections

Reason.com editor and hardcore Libertarian Nick Gillespie ”responded” to Ben Howe’s post on the connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ACU yesterday here. I use scare quotes around “responded” because Gillespie, in true Libertarian form, breezes completely around the essential thrusts of the post, including Hasan’s ludicrous statement that the 9-11 hijackers were not Muslims, and studiously ignores the fact that the connection being drawn was not between the Muslim Brotherhood and Muslims for America, but rather between the Muslim Brotherhood and the ACU Board of Directors. Hey, it’s easy to see how he could have missed that little tidbit; it was only in the title of Ben’s post. Why not instead whack down a nice, satisfying man of straw by claiming that we’re suggesting that Sharia Law is going to break out at CPAC? Sneering contempt and intellectual condescension has always been a useful substitution for argument with Gillespie and the big-L Libertarians.

Really, though, even if Gillespie had noted these points, it is certain that it would not have mattered to Gillespie’s final analysis. You see, there is almost nothing more important to Gillespie and his ilk than being blasé about Islamic terrorism. At this point, it has actually become tiresome. Yes, Nick, we are all very impressed at how very little you care about the government protecting the lives of your fellow citizens, and we are all admiringly agape at your daring suggestion that we have nothing to fear from Islamic terrorists. The victims of the families of 9/11, the USS Cole bombing, and the World Trade Center bombing I’m sure find you edgy and cool and would like to hear your views on the relative merits of The White Stripes and The Black Keys at their next cocktail party.

Of course, the real “point” of Gillespie’s post is for a hard-boiled Libertarian to lecture mainstream Republicans on what they ought to do to win elections. Ordinary people might find this as out of place as me lecturing Kobe Bryant on what it takes to win NBA titles, but Gillespie manages the trick with such panache that none of the other authors or commenters at Reason (who are also smarter and much more in tune with todays voters than anyone who might read such a pedestrian site as RedState) seem to notice what a majestic buffoon he makes of himself in the process. To recap, the Republican party has held the White House for 20 of the last 30 years with pro-life, anti-gay marriage candidates; the Libertarian party has never cracked double digits in a Presidential election, ever. Even in 2008, with Republican brand identity at generational lows and a relatively high profile candidate in Bob Barr, the Libertarians managed to get beat by Ralph Nader who was running without the Green Party nomination. If we are smart enough to follow Gillespie’s advice, someday the GOP nominee might well reach the soaring heights of barely beating Cynthia McKinney.

Gillespie is willing to grant us this, however: Grover Norquist is not perfect. After all, the man seems to have a soft spot for Reagan, which is of course ridiculous and something that should be rejected by all sane people who want to win elections. Praise Reagan? Rubes. Might as well go about praising Mussolini in this country. When will these Republicans ever learn?

Some well-meaning person might at this point object that I am engaging in the same sort of sneering condescension as Gillespie, and I suppose that is true enough. The reason, of course, is simple: I have no interest in evangelizing Gillespie or his ilk, and no desire to form some sort of compromise coalition with them. For every one voter we might gain from implementing Gillespie’s insane ideas (e.g., legalizing crack, eliminating the Department of Education, dumping on the memory of one of America’s most popular ex-Presidents for no reason whatsoever) we would lose at least five. And even if that weren’t true, we would still like to be able to look ourselves in the mirror most mornings. So … thanks, but no thanks, Nick. We’ll pass on everything you’re selling.

By the way, Nick, allow us to offer you some counter-advice. If you’re tired of supporting candidates who don’t even crack a full percentage point in the polls, there’s already an electoral home for people who think Islamic terrorism is a joke, that Reagan was a bad President, that drugs ought to be legal and sexual deviancy ought to be subsidized by the Federal government, and it turns out they control half of Congress and the White House right now. Yes, sadly, you’re a garden variety liberal Democrat at heart, only you have the honesty to admit that you dislike taxes. Unfortunately, you lack the testicular fortitude to join a movement that stands a snowball’s chance at actually accomplishing anything. Plus, since your thoughts aren’t really all that unique or insightful for a Democrat, you’d lose your regular TV time as a useful idiot for the Democrat-media.

We all make our choices in life, I guess, Nick Gillespie has made his. And thus we find him spending his Monday writing dishonest hackery attacking a conservative website for not participating in a conference that he has no real interest in, because of course it is all so beneath him - think Dan Froomkin, only with more Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Oh, that we were only so enlightened as to receive his wisdom.

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