Strange Bedfellows?

Former President George W. Bush recently found time to criticize Trump and his administration. For those keeping score, this is the same former President who signed The Patriot Act, one of the most egregious infringements on civil liberties to have emerged from the swamp of Washington, started the longest war in U.S. history and, for an encore, a completely useless war in Iraq to “make the world safe for democracy,” helped integrate Orwellian misnomers “enhanced interrogation” and “collateral damage” into U.S. Newspeak, and enabled the housing bubble leading to the worst economy of the past 60 years.

Perhaps most appalling is the manner in which the mainstream media embraced their former pariah. During his term, W experienced the most vehement and vindictive media coverage of any of his predecessors, only to be surpassed by Trump. His recent speech, on the other hand, elevated discourse, sounding the alarm to rebuke Trump. While eight years have passed since W wore the target now tattooed on Trump, it does seem strange to have mainstream sycophants suddenly on the Bush bandwagon. Of course, devoid of power, W represents little more than a convenient ally in the war against Trump. Should Hitler himself rise up to speak out against Trump, there will surely be those willing to overlook a little genocide for the cause.

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Politics

One of the recurring discussion topics common in libertarian circles concerns the question of political action. To some anarchists, in particular, politics is strictly forbidden. Arguments for this range from the lack of feasibility for achieving change to the assertion that attempting to vote amounts to violence; a vote for a candidate, policy, or other action inevitably brings the force of government to bear on others.

As we live in a world where political systems exist and are accepted by the vast majority of people, I see no way to exclude politics from any attempt to bring about a free society. The political arena is, at the very least, a place where new ideas and approaches can be communicated to a more willing audience. Absent the air of politics, few people appear receptive to challenges of their social beliefs.

Concerning feasibility, this argument is akin to sour grapes. Seeking a goal is valid regardless of the fruitfulness of the effort. If this were how all innovators thought, where would ever innovation occur?

With regards to the understanding that political action must result in government force, Murray Rothbard had this to say:

I see no other conceivable strategy for the achievement of liberty than political action. Religious or philosophical conversion of each man and woman is simply not going to work; that strategy ignores the problem of power, the fact that millions of people have a vested interest in statism and are not likely to give it up…

So, while politics may perpetuate violence against individuals, it is but one of the ways to move us ultimately toward liberty.

Protests And Himself

Protesting is one of several means for raising awareness of injustice. As was mentioned here before, it has recently been employed by professional athletes for that very reason. Colin Kaepernick’s decision to protest police brutality against members of his race was a peaceful means of conveying the presence of injustice. One might argue with his position, his chosen means of protest, or his motivation, but none can claim that his actions were anything but peaceful.

When Donald Glover accepted an Emmy award, he thanked Donald Trump for “making black people No. 1 on the most-oppressed list.” In Mr. Glover’s case, he’s chosen to claim injustice as a means of advancing a political agenda. Since before taking office, Himself has endured innumerable unsubstantiated attacks from every corner of the social spectrum. While his policies are just as likely to perpetuate the injustices of this predecessors, largely because they will generally emulate those of his predecessors, Mr. Trump has done nothing specifically or in general against the black community, at least not to date.

Had Mr. Kaepernick been better informed and Mr. Glover not blinded by political ideology, they might have protested the primary source of injustice against members of the black community: the war on drugs. Regardless of its roots, which were themselves political, the war on drugs rivals the welfare state for debilitating impact on U.S. minorities.