One cannot blame Edwin Lyngar for his — now former — libertarianism views. It’s easy for many to get sucked into, especially amid the endless torrents of nightmarish levels of nonsense and corruption that dominate the two primary parties.
In a land where people given but two broken options in repetition, it can be expected that many will run whole-heartedly to the first thing that presents itself as an alternative. Yet for Lyngar and countless other converts to the church of greed and self obsession, the initial appeal of the firebrand political philosophy quite often wears thin rather quickly. Sometimes, over the course of a single election.
The year was 2008. The primaries were in full swing as candidates on the left and right struggled to sell themselves to their voting public as the most left or the most right in their parties, and while Clinton and Obama slugged it out over who could claim the Democratic nomination, John McCain was rising like a mavericky sort of phoenix from the ashes of the Bush presidency.
In the middle of it all however (or rather, out on the desperate fringe of the right wing) stood Ron Paul, with a small army of sycophantic supporters, all armed to the teeth, sometimes with guns, but just as frequently, with conspiracy theories about the moon landing and boundless rhetoric about a nebulous concept of liberty.
This was where Mr. Lyngar found himself at long last. Having ascribed to libertarian ideology, if only loosely, throughout the majority of his youth and early adulthood, Lyngar was initially as enthusiastic as one might expect. In the twenty-plus years that Ron Paul and his various support bases had attempted such, 2008 presented the libertarian philosophy’s first promising shot of making a proper insurgence into the GOP.
As Lyngar and other Reno area libertarians rallied together at the local high school in preparation for the next day’s Republican Convention, the excitement in the air, at least from Lyngar’s perspective, seemed to be cut with a substantial amount of crazy.
From his own article:
[box type=”shadow”]Many members of the group were obsessed with the gold standard, the Kennedy assassination and the Fed. Although Libertarians believe government is incompetent, many of them subscribe to the most fringe conspiracy theories imaginable. Airplanes are poisoning America with chemicals (chemtrails) or the moon landings were faked. Nothing was too far out. A great many of them really think that 9-11 was an inside job. Even while basking in the electoral mainstream, the movement was overflowing with obvious hokum.[/box]
He goes on to tell of a staffer from the Paul campaign who, in prepping the supporters for the convention, stressed the importance of appearing normal so as to “just fit in.” Upon seeing her the following day, Lyngar recalls her response to his confidence in their delegation, where she joked to “Bring in the clowns.”
Lyngar, like many former libertarians, found the thrill was gone once the ideology was held up and examined in the light of reality. The glossy veneer of being a rebel faction and the clever weaving of both radical ideology and a constructionist narrative, often fades away and falls apart, once the cold cruel reality sets in that the whole thing is just a highly sophisticated philosophical justification for raw and un-tempered greed.
For him, it was the financial collapse which brought the points and problems of holding greed as a virtue into starker relief. Like many he cites a tendency to agree with them on a number of issues, such as their stances on the wars on drugs and terror. But recognizing for himself finally that the movement itself is based largely on self obsession and comprised largely of maniacs, he thankfully now recognizes that he, as a thinking person, is in his very own words, a “bunny-hugging liberal.”