The Great Big Libertarian Fail

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DownloadedFileThe Pink Flamingo can’t figure out why the First Congressional District in South Carolina nominated disgraced former governor, Mark Sanford as their candidate against Elizabeth Colbert Busch.  Sanford was the WORST governor in the history of SC, since Reconstruction, and perhaps one of the worst in the history of SC, and that’s saying a lot.  His libertarian policies are still a drag on the economy in the state.  He is petty, vicious, vindictive, and corrupt.  In other words – the perfect libertarian.

Libertarians have a problem with factual accuracy.  The very definition of libertarian – that anything goes, is augmented in the right by the worship of psychopath Ayn Rand.  What is right, honorable and decent doesn’t matter.  Rules don’t apply.  Nothing applies but having no rules to get one’s way.  When a political philosophy adopts as their iconic figure a woman who admired and based her greatest fictional characters on a serial killer, then you have a problem.

“…It has a fair claim to be the ugliest philosophy the postwar world has produced. Selfishness, it contends, is good, altruism evil, empathy and compassion are irrational and destructive. The poor deserve to die; the rich deserve unmediated power. It has already been tested, and has failed spectacularly and catastrophically. Yet the belief system constructed by Ayn Rand, who died 30 years ago today, has never been more popular or influential.

Rand was a Russian from a prosperous family who emigrated to the United States. Through her novels (such as Atlas Shrugged) and her nonfiction (such as The Virtue of Selfishness) she explained a philosophy she called Objectivism. This holds that the only moral course is pure self-interest. We owe nothing, she insists, to anyone, even to members of our own families. She described the poor and weak as “refuse” and “parasites”, and excoriated anyone seeking to assist them …”

They don’t give a rip about telling the truth.  Like the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party, they don’t give a rip about the law, either. Michele Bachmann is rapidly becoming the poster child for ethics difficulties.  Or, there is the GOP Man of the Year – Rand Paul, who was caught, just this week, lying about his opposition to the Civil Right’s Act.

The Pink Flamingo’s personal favorite of their lies is about renewable energy.

“...North Carolina utilities were on pace to supply 12.5% of the state’s electricity needs with  renewable energy that has created thousands of jobs, generated billions in revenue, and reduced pollution all while saving ratepayers money. However, led by the Kochs, Grover Norquist, the Heartland Institute, and ALEC, Republicans voted to repeal the state’s renewable energy standards (RES) using an ALEC template that is gaining traction in several states under Koch brothers and Grover Norquist’s control  Norquist and the Kochs have been heavily funding and pushing ALEC’s “template legislation” to put an end to renewable energy to hasten climate change’s effect, kill jobs, and restrict states from reaping the revenue generated by renewable energy.

The ALEC bill, HB298, dubbed the “Affordable and Reliable Energy Act” was introduced by ALEC member Rep. Mike Hager and repeals the renewable energy standard that barely made it out of committee when two sane Republicans voted against it. One Republican from Charlotte, Ruth Samuelson, said the RES had helped develop a renewable alternative energy industry that benefitted rural communities and created 1,100 clean energy companies that contributed $3.7 billion in annual revenue, created over 21,000 jobs, and lowered residential energy bills by $173 million.  In fact, North Carolina’s RES lifted the state to fifth place in the nation for solar power development and was closing in on fourth place this year leading the CEO of FLS energy to claim “It’s an extraordinary success story that there’s an industry that hardly existed several years ago,” but the Koch brothers mean to destroy the industry with a “filled-in” template courtesy of ALEC….”

One of their greatest lies is about the taxes we pay in this country.  It doesn’t matter what the facts are, they make it up as they go along.  The Randian political worshipers are so wealthy and so powerful, it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is the fact that they are going to get their way, no matter who they destroy or who they harm.

Think Progress
Think Progress

Along the way, they have violated numerous ethical and moral values that western societies cherish.  The great irony is the ‘christian’ side of the libertarian equation claims to worship the Ten Commandments, yet these are rules that Ayn Rand couldn’t bother dealing with.  She detested Christians and Christ.  When you base a political movement on someone like Rand, you adopt their values.  Lying is one of them.  Also lost in the excitement is any sense of morality, decency, compassion, and kindness – the very qualities that have made this nation great.

We are known for our morality, honor, decency, compassion, kindness – our willingness to step in there and help when ever and where ever.  Libertarians, based on Rand, don’t do that.  A person is responsible for their own lot in life, primarily being poor.  If they aren’t wealthy, and aren’t willing to lie, cheat, steal, and even destroy others to get that way, then they are weak and can be crushed underfoot.

All that matters is protecting that lie that we are spending far too much money as a nation, and we need to strip this nation down to nothing in order to make We the Little People of the United States of America suffer in order to teach us a lesson.  We are nothing, to be crushed under the boots of libertarian policies.

“…One month and 5 billion cable hits on White House tours later, a flurry of great reporting is allowing us to answer for ourselves the question of whether President Obama has “cried wolf.” If we want, we can ask the Americans who are losing their jobs at military bases in Tennessee, Illinois, and Virginia. We can ask the health-care employees facing layoffs in New York, or the contractors in Oklahoma, or the teachers in Iowa, or the workers cleaning up nuclear waste in Washington. We can ask the children in Ohio and Pennsylvania who will no longer receive the early education that Head Start provides. We can ask the scientists and researchers at Duke and the University of Florida who must end their pursuit of discoveries that could change or save lives. We can ask the hungry families in Utah who can no longer rely on the local food pantry, the disabled tenants in California who will lose their housing vouchers, the elderly cancer patients in South Carolina who are being denied their chemotherapy treatment, or the 39-year-old Army veteran in Maryland who believes the only way to survive his pay cut is with another combat deployment….”

Libertarians, who now control the conservative media, the conservative punditry and the talking head air-waves, keep ramming the Randian talking points at us, telling those of use in the GOP who reject them that we are not now, nor have we ever been Republicans.  We are harassed and threatened.  We have betrayed the conservative movement, but, they are so rankly ignorant of history, so intellectually dishonest, that they refuse to face the fact that they are the ones who are lying.

The Pink Flamingo found a little piece at Think Progress.  I would like to present it to all those adorable little Randians and their supporters such as Paul Ryan, Steve King, Eric Cruz, Rand Paul, Michele Bachmann, Charles & David Koch, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Medved, Laura Ingraham, anyone who supported Mitt Romney, and the forces of idiocy within the GOP.

Think Progress
Think Progress

This country is in bad shape.  Did you know that after a person looks for a job for 4 weeks, they are no longer counted as being unemployed.  They are not even a statistic.  What is fascinating, with near record numbers of people unemployed, the GOP and the media is not talking about jobs.  They are talking about gun and gay marriage.  It is as if they are trying to ignore the fact entirely.  If the discussion was about jobs, the GOP would be seen as something rather strange.

“...Americans will never have to worry over a foreign enemy destroying this country because Republicans have been doing a fine job for over thirty years with their despicable “get government out of the way” mantra that has borne fruit in all but two Democratic presidents’ terms. Bill Clinton presided over the greatest economic growth since Eisenhower and he accomplished it with higher tax rates for the rich and increased environmental regulations. President Obama created over 4 million jobs with one tiny infusion of government money that will go down in history as saving America’s broken economy thanks to Republican deregulation and outrageous spending on tax cuts, two wars, and a gift to the pharmaceutical industry Americans will be repaying for at least a generation. Still, Republicans in Congress are holding firm to their anti-government agenda that is killing jobs and starving an ever-increasing poverty-stricken population including children and seniors. However, where they are blocked in Washington by a Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama, they are thriving in Republican-controlled states suffering destruction of jobs, education, and social programs while corporations reap the benefits….”

What’s a normal Republican to do?

There are rumors, numerous rumors that all is not well in the no man’s never never land that was once populated by noble elephants.  There are rumors, lots of rumors, none of them very complementary to the status quo.  I think it is safe to say that the once noble GOP is basically DOA.  We’re looking at one huge libertarian fail, of total annihilation, mutual assured destruction.  There’s no use going into the entire Koch Machine.  In a way, it’s simply icing on the rancid Randian cake.  The seeds for the destruction of the GOP were laid before the Koch Brothers began their Goldfingerish take-over of the country.

The roots in this current debacle were sewn by Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan, and Rand’s rather psychologically stunted followers such as Paul Ryan.  They say that emotionally stunted adolescents who are attempting to make it in the grown-up world of college gravitate toward either the Tolkien or  Rand.  Tolkien fans have a tendency to grow up, with many of them taking their place in the world of science fiction and fantasy, moving out of their parent’s basement, and having a life of their own.

The Libertarian devotees of Ayn Rand are a different breed, altogether.  Rand was a psychopath, who admired, ad the perfect man, a truly reprehensible serial killer who delighted in dismembering a little girl and basically almost doing the Hannibal Lecter thing, dumping her body parts where her father could find them.  Rand found this man the perfect man, modeling her legendary John Galt, some say, after William Edward Hickman.

“...Over the years, Atlas Shrugged has attracted an energetic and committed fan base. Each year the Ayn Rand Institute donates 400,000 copies of works by Ayn Rand, including Atlas Shrugged, to high school students. According to a 1991 survey done for the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club, Atlas Shrugged was situated between the Bible and M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled as the book that made the most difference in the lives of 5,000 Book-of-the-Month club members surveyed, with a “large gap existing between the #1 book and the rest of the list”. Modern Library’s 1998 nonscientific online poll of the 100 best novels of the 20th century found Atlas rated #1 although it was not included on the list chosen by the Modern Library board of authors and scholars.

In 1997, the libertarian Cato Institute held a joint conference with The Atlas Society, an Objectivist organization, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the publication of Atlas Shrugged. At this event, Howard Dickman of Reader’s Digest stated that the novel had “turned millions of readers on to the ideas of liberty” and said that the book had the important message of the readers’ “profound right to be happy”. In 2013 John Goedde, Chair of the Idaho Senate’s Education Committee, proposed that Atlas Shrugged be required reading for all Idaho high school students, with mandatory testing on the tome a requirement for high school graduation. Although legislation to that effect was introduced, the Senator had no plans push the plan for adoption.

The C-SPAN television series American Writers listed Rand as one of twenty-two surveyed figures of American literature, though primarily mentioning The Fountainhead rather than Atlas Shrugged.

Rand’s impact on contemporary libertarian thought has been considerable, and it is noteworthy that the title of the leading libertarian magazine, Reason: Free Minds, Free Markets, is taken directly from John Galt, the hero of Atlas Shrugged, who argues that “a free mind and a free market are corollaries”.

The Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises admired the unapologetic elitism he saw in Rand’s work. In a private letter to Rand written a few months after the novel’s publication, he declared, “… Atlas Shrugged is not merely a novel. It is also (or may I say: first of all) a cogent analysis of the evils that plague our society, a substantiated rejection of the ideology of our self-styled “intellectuals” and a pitiless unmasking of the insincerity of the policies adopted by governments and political parties … You have the courage to tell the masses what no politician told them: you are inferior and all the improvements in your conditions which you simply take for granted you owe to the efforts of men who are better than you.”

Acclaim has not been unanimous. Nobel Prize-winning economist and liberal commentator Paul Krugman alluded to an oft-quoted quip by John Rogers in his blog: “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”

When you have an entire political movement built around a psychopath who detested Christ, who felt that the means justified the ends, it’s shocking that there aren’t more Mark Sanfords in the world – God Help Us All!

When a person builds their life around such a political philosophy, don’t expect honor, fairness, or decency.  Don’t expect them to ply by the rules, or anything remotely resembling goodness.  There is nothing but a black void where the soul should be.  That is now what the GOP has become, a black void without a soul.

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