The Libertarian Party

Remember when I wrote about the American election cycle being flaccid and hopeless? Well I’m starting to think that I may have spoken too soon. I mean sure, we are most likely going to be stuck with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton after the primaries. But there is a third party that I think may have a chance – namely, the Libertarian Party.

In retrospect, it’s bizarre that I’ve managed to overlook them because, in this election cycle, they would surely make a great alternative especially considering that public interest in the Libertarian Party seems to have been skyrocketing ever since Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the Republican primaries. At first Google searches for the Libertarian Party spiked, but over the course of the month the party has managed to get attention from the mainstream media, which to me clearly seems like the Libertarian Party is beginning to be seen as a big deal. And why not? It’s now basically inevitable that the US elections will come down to Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump, and both of them have been the most polarizing candidates of their respective parties during this cycles. Something like the Libertarian Party would be seen as a viable alternative to both candidates when you consider that the Democrats are getting the most dishonest career politician of them all while the Republicans get a misguided and barely intelligent nationalist who is turning their party upside down.

As someone who has considered himself a libertarian for pretty much all of his political life, I am more than happy to endorse the Libertarian Party. Whether it’s the Libertarian Party headed by Gary Johnson, John McAfee, or Austin Petersen, this party is the one that’s closest to my principles and the top three candidates all chime with me in certain ways (the flipside, of course, is that it makes it harder for me to decide who to support ultimately). I think that even if the Libertarian Party doesn’t win, I think they will make history. And besides, in this day and age when even Sanders is a big government advocate who is apparently in favor of Britain remaining in the EU, who is more anti-establishment than the Libertarians?

This seems to be the logo being used by the Libertarian Party this year.

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The failure to defeat Donald Trump

There is something I have come to understand about Donald Trump’s campaign, and I hope those of you who read this post understand it too. The problem with Donald Trump is not limited to his illiberal and populist politics, his contempt for certain ethnic and religious groups of people (namely Mexicans and Muslims respectively), his desire to build a wall to keep out Mexican immigrants (and his contention that Mexico will actually pay for it), and his penchant for shilling easy answers and . The problem is that this guy is what a large section of working class Americans want: a working class that is sick and tired of being treated by the establishment as an unruly people whose voices need to be ignored and whose passions need to be tamed.

That’s why it’s sad that I find memes and posts from my friends that smack of progressive political posturing. Below is the text of one such meme I saw recently:

Let me say it in the simplest way possible. If you think Donald Trump is the best person qualified to be the President of the United States of America, YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT.

Do you see what is wrong with that statement? It’s as if the person who originally made that statement was expecting some kind of resounding applause from his/her peers. But more to the point, this is what Trump’s supporters are sick of hearing, which is why they are voting for Trump in the first place and will doubtless continue to do so. And that’s because they’re sick of the political establishment, they’re disappointed by Obama, and unlike Sanders’ voters don’t think that any significant change can come from the Democratic Party. And the more we all dismiss Trump as a racist, a populist, a lunatic, or whatever, the more convinced his voters are that he is the antidote to the political establishment. Even John Oliver failed to recognize this during his Donald Trump segment, and he’s same person who admitted that he can seem like a protest candidate to those fed up with the establishment, and the same person who stated that no matter how many times you can prove Trump to be demonstrably wrong, he doesn’t care. Is it any wonder that Oliver’s #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain campaign did not work?

The problem here is we’ve dismissed the people who now vote for Trump as equal members of our “society”, opting instead to view them as children or worse – people whose views are not only wrong, but also immoral and chiefly for not conforming to the political establishment. And the fact is that referring to Trump’s voters as idiots, looking at them as they are monsters for voting for a candidate they consider monstrous (which by the way, guilt by association much?) is only proof to Trump’s voters that the political establishment is suppressing them and treating them as inferiors – the very thing they are fed up with. It’s like fundamentalist Christians with their persecution complexes: when you refute their beliefs and ridicule them, they probably just take it as persecution, and by proxy a part of their God’s plan on Earth (which apparently states that increased persecution of Christians is one of the signs that Judgement Day is coming). To stop Trump, his voters need to be convinced that he will not represent their interests and . But it requires that we start treating them as adults and thinking more about their self-interest than the raging moralism that usually comes with combating Trump and trying to dissaude his voters – which isn’t working. Until then, Trump’s ascent to political power is all but unstoppable. I imagine, though, that it’ll be damn hard to convince Trump’s voters that he doesn’t represent their interests considering that now they’re only choices are Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders. I don’t like Donald Trump or his rise to political power, but it’s the truth.

The Guardian, British politics, and why once again I’d rather be in America

Last night I became aware of a post from the Guardian where the author presumes to claim that to have free speech is poisonous to our democracy. The idea is that because there are trolls out there who sling abuse, express “hateful” or politically incorrect views on the Internet, or send death threats, then the Internet and freedom of speech are a threat to our democracy – which is stupid. It was part of a series of articles called “the web we want”, dedicated to “ending online abuse”. And as others have noticed, it’s nothing more than a way to showcase their inability to handle any speech that isn’t sanitized to their liking or ideologically agreeable. And if you think that’s bogus, consider that the Guardian actually published a quiz where you play a moderator and decide which comments to block and see how they stack up against what the Guardian moderators think – should you answer “Allow” to the responses, you can find out that the Guardian comprises of people block public comments on the basis of ideological difference, or even on the basis of criticizing the Guardian’s credibility as a news source. Below are examples.

 

Also, they recently vilified Stephen Fry as a privileged asshat for criticizing trigger warnings as oppressive – oh, and they tried to say it was about child sex abuse. That they go out of their way to vilify someone as privileged because of their opinion, along with that article about free speech “poisoning” democracy.

I was genuinely shocked and disheartened to see a British, and supposedly liberal, paper openly endorse articles that campaign against freedom of speech and against the right of others even to offend. That is until I remembered that the Guardian actually had an article as recently as two weeks ago where in the central platform was that the Internet is exclusively teeming with hatred if uncensored on the basis of the Microsoft Tay fiasco (you know, that chatbot learning AI that was a stupid idea anyway). And only months ago, I distinctly remember a Guardian journalist claiming that banning porn on campuses somehow gave students more freedom of choice, which is not just stupid, only makes sense if you believe that war is peace, slavery is freedom, and ignorance is strength. Seriously: banning porn actually increases freedom of choice? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

But honestly, shit like The Guardian just makes me convulse at the state of British politics – a state that has this illiberal pile of journalistic excrement masquerade as the conscience of the British press and supposedly liberal British society, where brainwashed souls preach the “evils” of liberty and how “good” it is to punish those whose views are “below the line”. Again, people who believe that war is peace, slavery is freedom, ignorance is strength and, in their case, censorship is freedom of speech and victimhood is righteousness.

To me it kind of makes sense in the UK because our political culture, at least in my opinion, isn’t like America’s – otherwise, more people besides liberals and libertarians like myself would be outraged by the literal denouncing of freedom of speech. I can’t help thinking that if this were America and an it was American paper or pundit who denounced freedom of speech in the name of public good, in no unclear terms (and I say that because sometimes politicians can get away with all kinds of bullshit if they hide it or dress it up well enough), then literally almost everyone would be against that paper or pundit.

For most Americans, freedom of speech is like one of the laws of nature, at least in the public consciousness. This is because the United States of America enshrines freedom of speech as part of its Constitution, and that Constitution is powerful in the minds of every American who isn’t one of those Christians who thinks the word of “God” trumps that Constitution – it’s even got some real meaning in my mind, and I’m not even originally from America. I admire that, and I have admired it always. It’s like an oath that politicians can easily be held accountable to by the people and the Supreme Court if they try to mess with civil liberties. What’s more, while America is certainly not perfect, in my mind it’s probably the only country that set out to establish itself on the modern ideal of liberty from birth – that was the goal of those Founding Fathers who created a new nation in 1776. I deeply admire that too. America hasn’t had a history of always living up to liberty and justice for all, but in our hearts and minds at least we know this is a genuine betrayal of values because we know those values have been at the heart of the nation’s vision from the beginning. As long as the people believe in liberty, and it’s clear in their minds that liberty is under attack, they don’t stand for it.

In the UK, as far as I know we don’t have anything as binding and powerful as the US Constitution. To me, we are only partly a liberal, secular society, and we have a parliamentary government whose members to me only endorses freedom what it suits them, and usually it’s just us liberals and libertarians, and a few papers and journalistic outfits, who are against that. And in this country, the police can sometimes arrest you for offensive speech (like in the case of Matthew Doyle), and the police in some parts even think they have the power to police online speech (like in Glasgow for instance). To me, The Guardian are now only acting as a voice for an illiberal political establishment in the UK – a voice that’s polite enough to appeal to the.

Also, the main powers of our government are unscrupulous vampiric conservatives and often vaguely illiberal socialists, or at least they seem illiberal to me; under Ed Miliband they actually agreed to Tory censorship of the Internet, Gordon Brown’s administration asked their former drugs adviser David Nutt to leave for challenging the government’s drug policy (he suggested drugs like cannabis should be reclassified because they are less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco), and even now there’s quite a few Labour MPs who’ve had a tendency to endorse illiberal policies such as blasphemy laws and maintaining the criminalizing of prostitution, the latter especially in the wake of Jeremy Corbyn’s statement that we would decriminalize prostitution. Then there’s Labour MPs who are just crazy. There’s actually a Labour MP named Aysegul Gurbuz who was recently suspended because she claimed Hitler was “the greatest man in history”, and another MP named Carolyn Harris who pulled the hair of her aide after she found out she was a lesbian. The Tories may be assholes, but Labour are sometimes not much better. Not to mention, Britain’s history is not one of a country that valued liberty, but of one that valued the absolute rule of monarchy under “God”, and even though we have a secular parliamentary government, we maintain a royal family that does nothing and has no business existing – this fact alone tells me that either we still endorse royalty as part of our British identity and heritage, or that it’s not clear where our values lie.

Those who know me might be able to imagine why I don’t feel I belong in such a culture. And in all truth, I would probably rather live in an imperfect country where liberty is still visibly enshrined as the highest ideal and has sought liberty from the beginning than a country than country that is supposedly secular and liberal but will embrace illiberalism when it suits them. No matter America’s imperfections, even it’s clownish political behavior, no matter how many times I’ve criticized it, it sometimes feel like I’d rather be in America than be immersed in Britain’s noise.

statue-of-liberty

Now if only immigration weren’t such a problem.

There’s something you should know about Robert Morrow

Last month I had heard about a guy called Robert Morrow who had just been elected in Travis County, Texas as the chair of the Travis County Republican Party, and how he has already had a reputation for being, in his own words, “Donald Trump on steroids”. He’s been known for a series of tweets where he talks about outrageous conspiracy theories surrounding Barrack Obama, the Clintons, the Bush family and other politicians such as Rick Perry, accusing them of bizarre sexual activities and various abuses, and he particularly accuses Hillary Clinton of abusing various women. He’s also tweeted about how much he loves breasts and at least once he bragged that “if you Google ‘Robert Morrow 11 inch penis confirmed’ you get over 11,800,000 hits I’m just sayin'”.

For some reason I decided to check in on his Twitter feed after my brother joked about that time he told Time Warner Cable News to “get ready to have some fun reading my Twitter feed”, and what I found was truly a surprise. Apparently, his Twitter feed is filled with pictures of anime girls, and he spends his time rating “waifus” that people send to his Twitter account. Just look at it, if you dare. At first it might seem his account got taken over by a horny anime fan (not that I’d be complaining), but nope, that is actually Robert Morrow posting.

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Robert Morrow depicted in what is apparently fan art

When I found that out I just thought, “Wow. I never thought I’d see the day”. No really, I never thought I’d see an American politician (let alone one of the Republicans) actually have an anime-filled Twitter account, and we’ll never see another politician like him again. That’s the only reason I took the time to write about this guy. It’s such a shame that Morrow himself is basically a troll let loose in political office, what with his braggart tendencies combined with his obsession with scandalous conspiracy theories, because if he was just a guy who liked sex and anime and didn’t like the political establishment I think he’d be alright. But since this is a guy who thinks he’s Donald Trump, and sort of acts like the bastard offspring of Trump and Alex Jones, it’s no wonder the Republican establishment wants to get rid of him so badly.

Well, c’est la vie.

The prospect of America under Donald Trump

With the rise of Donald Trump, I think we’re all worried about whether or not he’ll actually become President of the United States of America. Judging from what I have heard of him, I really don’t like the prospect of him becoming President. He’s a lunatic, he’s a clown, he’s a charlatan, he’s a failure but he thinks tells people he’s great, he sucks but he thinks he’s awesome, he has the makings of a dictator who will herald America’s decline, and he doesn’t care who he screws over if it means getting what he wants because few people have ever said no to him. And not only do his followers at his rallies beat up anyone who isn’t a white American, he actually encourages his followers to be violent! He’s truly one of the ugliest souls running for the Republican nomination – or for that matter, running for President.

A friend of mine asked a month or two ago if I still wanted to come to America. To be honest, I’m hopeful that Donald Trump will lose the Presidency, even if he becomes the Republican nominee. But if Trump does win, I’m probably going to have to stay away from America. Believe me, I do not want to see what America will become with Trump in charge. His America will be very unfriendly to anyone seeking enter the country, deeming all foreigners – especially Muslims – as hostile and invasive influences, and there are those who have quickly noted the resemblance of his campaign to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Germany during the late 1930’s. No doubt his America will be one where hatred and fear will roam free at the expense of liberty. And from what I’ve heard, his America will be a country that forces its military to commit war crimes, such as killing families in order to defeat terrorists – not the actual terrorists, but their families who probably have nothing to do with terrorist activity; something that would probably only make the terrorists angrier, or put them in a position where they can advertise themselves as martyrs. Did Trump learn nothing from the Bush administration’s mistakes? All in the name of “taking America back” and “making America great again”.

All’s I know is that I don’t plan on staying in the UK all of my life, so if America goes to shit I’d have to go somewhere else in the future.

The laws of “God” and the laws of Man

Recently, I heard that the Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks published an editorial for a local newsletter wherein he wrote that the people have a “moral obligation” to obey the police because their authority comes from “God”, which is stupid (for reasons I’ll get into later on). In the editorial, he claims that the government allows criminals to do whatever they please until they are proven guilty while law enforcement officers are immediately found guilty are found guilty as soon as it appears they have done something wrong, which is just as stupid. This man has no idea about the concept of innocent until proven guilty. No is “allowed” to commit crimes, and being presumed innocent until proven guilty doesn’t mean you get to walk free until you’re found guilty. You can be arrested if you are suspected of having committed a crime and if you are found guilty of committing that crime you will be punished, but you can’t be sentenced for that crime until you are proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are guilty through hard evidence and a court of law. That’s how what innocent until proven guilty means.

Meeks published his editorial just days after a Grand Jury declined to indict a deputy of his for assaulting Deanna Robinson, who was pregnant at the time, and also declined to indict Robinson for allegedly assaulting the officer. Here’s the thing, Meeks complains that law enforcement officers are immediately found guilty as soon as it appears they have committed wrongdoing, which would presume the absence of the involvement of a trial, but I’m a tad confused what he thinks “appears” means because the video clearly shows the deputy assaulting the pregnant woman, which would be taken as visual evidence. Does he not recognize it when an officer of the law is exerting undue force against a pregnant woman? Or is it that he simply doesn’t believe law enforcement officers should be held accountable for any kinds of abuses.

Pictured: Randy Meeks

He states explicitly that the authority of law enforcement over the people comes directly from “God”, which in this case can only mean the Judeo-Christian deity Jehovah since he refers to the Bible as supposedly mandating his views. Specifically he refers to Romans 13:1 and 2, which together state:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” Romans 13:1

Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” Romans 13:2

It’s not hard to imagine why this is inherently problematic, or just plain entirely wrong. If you believe the above verse to be true, then it suggests that law enforcement officers are infallible, due their authority having been established by a “higher power” so to speak. The problem with this is that this means that law enforcement officers can do whatever they want to people, even if it wildly exceeded what we would consider to be their authority because to them nothing exceeds their authority, and even if it consisted of killing, raping, and generally abusing the people they are supposed to be protecting. You can’t let law enforcement become infallible because it means they can’t be held accountable for any abuse, wrongdoing, misconduct, or incompetence on their part, and it also means the people can’t demand any redress of grievances caused by abuse, wrongdoing, misconduct, or incompetence, which in my opinion can only do more harm to law and order than any sort of good. In any case, we would definitely have authoritarianism at work, individuals would have no liberty and law and order would be inadequate because it is based on brute force and tyranny rather than sound governing principles.

The other problem is that, in any case, the idea that the authority of law enforcement and governments is mandated by any sort of “God” is complete bullshit because, when you think about it, it’s entirely inaccurate. All systems of law, order, and government are, and have always been, constructed by human beings. They are human constructs, they require human investment, and without human beings they are nothing. No matter how much they are inspired by anything “divine”, they are human. It doesn’t matter what the Bible or any texts like it say, because human history contradicts this assertion indefinitely and consistently.

But of course, this stuff is all something that the foolish Randy Meeks has failed to account for.

What’s the problem with immigration?

I’m only gonna talk about immigration on this site ONCE, because in my country it’s sometimes all people talk about, and people are often idiots about it. Sometimes it can feel like in the UK there are only two types of people about immigration: people who hate immigration and think everyone should go back to where they came from, and people who are definitely against the former group and what they say but I don’t think they say much about immigration itself. One thing a lot of people do say about immigration is that immigrants always take our jobs, and I can’t help but wonder why it’s always idiots who think that because it sounds like they don’t like the thought of being replaced by competent foreigners.

Sounds all too familiar.

People also somehow believe that immigrants always commit crimes and leech off the system, even when no tangible evidence is presented. There are more studies that the majority of immigrants don’t commit crime and indeed tend to do no harm whatsoever to the country they emigrate to. Yet it always persists among right-wingers that immigrants are a constant threat to their country. As sad as the attitude against immigrants is to hear in the UK, or indeed any other country, I feel it’s even more heinous and problematic in America. The United States of America as we know it was started by people who migrated from Britain to the land we now call America, and since then America has constantly been improved by immigrants. Hell, a lot of America’s famous exports and cultural icons that much of the world takes for granted wouldn’t be here without immigrants. Without the French, you’d have no Statue of Liberty to greet people immigrating to New York City while bearing the torch of liberty and the tablets of the law, and proclaiming “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. Without the Germans, you’d have no hot dogs or hamburgers that are enjoyed in America and much of the Western world. Without the British to bring rugby to America, you wouldn’t have American football. Santa Claus was invented in America, but he was likely based on Germanic traditions and customs that were brought to America from Europe. And as a modern example, one of Google’s founders was originally born in Russia back when it was still known as the Soviet Union, so if you might not have Google as you know it without immigration. In fact, there are lists of people who were immigrants and went on contribute to America or become famous, such as this one. No matter how you look at it, immigration has constantly benefited America, the diversity constantly brought from other countries has led to the creation of what should be America’s unique essence, and it’s stupid that this has to be pointed out to people who should already know this because America should not be so hostile to immigration that it’s hard for people to get into America legally. Legal immigration should not be too complicated, and you shouldn’t be living in fear of being forced to leave a country you really want to live in because you don’t have a job or aren’t married.

Now I now I haven’t quite had the full immigrant experience, but I do plan on immigrating to America one day, so I dread the prospect of how hard immigration and life after immigration would be. And I don’t anticipate migrating to America to be all that easy for me in particular, because I couldn’t go to New York without being harassed by customs and treated like I could’ve been a spy just because they didn’t get that I was a British national who happened to speak in an American accent. And I sure as hell don’t hope to get this kind of treatment the next time I go to America, let alone when I decide to emigrate there.