This was originally a facebook status.
I wish my progressive friends stopped using “libertarian” as an insult. I also wish they avoided insulting generalizations, like associating libertarians with the worst people who have that ideology. Libertarianism is a political ideology. It has many values in common with progressive thought – especially social values. I many ways libertarians have supported and done great things.
I am not saying there aren’t racist, or sexist, or extremely radical and simple-minded libertarians, there are. I’m not saying libertarianism cannot be criticized in general – I especially don’t understand why some of the people whose main values are liberty and individual responsibility should support GOP and conservatives more than they support progressives, but all of those are that – criticism. You can even reject libertarianism, or call it harmful. All of those are stuff of rational debate.
What I dislike is constant dehumanization, acting as if being a libertarian instantly rejects someone and makes all of their points about everything moot, to treat someone with scorn and disrespect, to automatically assume someone is sexist or racist.
If I didn’t know better, based on the reaction people show to the world “libertarian” one would assume something like KKK was mentioned.
Let’s not do that. Let’s not act as if we have a monopoly on good values, on important priorities, and more importantly, on human goodness. Let us refrain from creating a category and making that category synonymous with evil. Let us give chance to an individual to be seen as an individual.
I’m friend with many great libertarians – and socialists – and Marxists. They challenge me on a daily basis, and I learn and grow from them. I am offended as a friend to see abusive language directed at them because they’ve been lumped into a dehumanizing category.
We’re better than that. Let’s be better than that.