Saturday, August 05, 2006

Libertarians: Making Themselves a Fringe Movement

Dean, at Musings of a Thoughtful Conservative, isn’t impressed by the Wisconsin Libertarian Party’s embrace of 9/11 conspiracy theories. He explains:
I have entertained libertarian beliefs several times in my life. The main reasons for not joining the party was that I am pro-life and anti-drug. But after seeing this story and this one, I will no longer be interested in the Libertarian Party.
We never took the Libertarians seriously at all, since to vote for a Libertarian candidate is to throw one’s vote away.

But any sensible person who was in any way tempted will be turned off by the current antics of the Wisconsin Libertarians.

We’ve already blogged about Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Ed Thompson’s embrace of 9/11 U.S. government conspiracy theories.

The Libertarians are not backing off of their support for this wacky class of theories.

Last night, we got an e-mail press release claiming to be “For Immediate Release by Dr. James Fetzer and Rolf Lindgren.” Both Lindgren’s and Fetzer’s phone numbers are listed.

Lindgren is a Libertarian activist, and Fetzer is the former University of Minnesota-Duluth professor who has recently moved to Oregon, WI to continue his work spreading 9/11 conspiracy theories. The release trumpets the following information:
Islam 370 Sold Out

All eight discussion groups for the UW-Madison class Islam 370, taught byLecturer Dr. Kevin Barrett, are now closed. The class begins September 5. Details here.
It’s tempting to say this shows how insanely leftist the Madison student body is (and some students probably are the sort who want a new reason to hate Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld). But it’s probably also the case that a lot of students want to take a course with a professor who is a celebrity -- even a rather disreputable celebrity.

We suspect that Mel Gibson would get a large crowd if he appeared in Madison!

The release goes on to crow about a public opinion survey:
A national scientific poll conducted by Scripps Howard/Ohio University found that 36% of American adults suspect federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East.
Ed Thompson likewise shows no desire to back out of this morass.
Ed Thompson Meets Kevin Barrett?

Ed Thompson will reportedly make the following comment during his weekly radio address on Monday, August 7, at 8:30 AM:

“I doubt any of my critics, or Mr. Barrett’s critics, did what I did last week: I met with Kevin Barrett and we spoke for several hours.”
Of course, Barrett has spoken “for several hours” in a huge variety of public forums, so if he somehow seems reasonable one-on-one, we have to wonder what he’s saying.

Does he renounce his 9/11 theories in private conversation?

What Does It Mean For the Libertarians?

In principle, libertarians might have a fairly attractive platform. Most Americans think the government taxes and spends too much (although few Americans think government spends too much on their pet programs).

Americans think that government regulates too much.

Even on social issues where libertarians have traditionally sided with liberals, they are, these days, on the “conservative” side. While no good libertarian could want to outlaw sodomy, no good libertarian could favor pro-gay propaganda being forced on kids in the public schools.

And while few if any libertarians would outlaw embryonic stem cell research, most would oppose using taxpayer money for the enterprise. In other words, they would side with President Bush.

But thinking of this sort has to come to a screeching halt when one learns that the Wisconsin Libertarians are in league with the Bush-hating left in espousing this disreputable sort of political paranoia.

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