JUNE 1, 2011 11:42AM

Field Guide To North American Libertarians

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They seem to be everywhere- in any internet political message board, on any C-SPAN call-in show, in the local paper letters to the editor.  Libertarians.  At least people who call themselves that.  The trouble is, there are so many creatures that call themselves by that name that it’s hard to tell the players without a program.  Indeed, the term is inclusive of many species and genera.

Timid Republican  (pachydermis incognito)  This curious beast walks with elephants, eats with elephants, votes with elephants, and breeds with elephants.  Its sole distinguishing feature from genuine elephants is that it refuses to call itself an elephant.  This species can be distinguished very easily by its stance on social issues.  Whereas most species of libertarian are open to gay marriage and pro-choice, this variety toes the evangelical conservative line on every issue.  Field identification is conclusive if heard uttering “Just because I’ve voted for Republicans in the past 20 elections doesn’t make me a Republican.”

Founder Fetishist  (tompaineus assus)  This variety can be found, magnifier in hand, parsing each and every syllable of the Federalist Papers for the divine and unerring wisdom of the Founding Fathers, whom their research invariably concludes were 100% libertarians.  This creature rejects any idea that was not actually written in the Constitution prior to 1800.  Field identification is simple once their mating call “Squawwk….Tenth Amendment….Squaaaawwwwwk” is heard.

White-Bellied Pure Blood (coocoo kluxklanus)  This species eschews specimens of different coloration.  Their persistently foul disposition dates back to the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Their fundamentalist adherence to the hallowedness of private property is absolute, trumping even such otherwise universally held conventions as equal protection under the law and civil rights.  The phrase “when private businesses are told they must serve everybody, that’s communism!” gives this species away.

Ron Paul Cicadas (paulis divineus)  This group emerges from under rocks at four year intervals to proclaim the inevitable election of Ron Paul as the next president.  Due to their small population, little is known of these creatures other than their shrill and relentless cries of adulation for Ron Paul.  It is believed that this species emerges from the ground as fully formed adults and are incapable of absorbing any new ideas or other intellectual nutrients.  Their call “has Ron Paul touched you yet?” is both pervasive and creepy.  Research indicates that this is the last cycle for this variety, as it metastasizes into the new subspecies Rand Paul Cicada.

Independent Mule (soleis survivalis)  This species believes itself to be entirely outside the social network.  They travel on public roads to publicly-insured banks to deposit their Social Security checks, then return home to their FHA loan house and on the government-developed internet post that “government never did anything for me, so government should not be helping the poor.”  This species can often be recognized by its reliance on government-supplied items like oxygen tanks and Rascal Scooters and its stubborn refusal to consider paying a nickel more in taxes to pay for any of it.

Flying Unicorn (whackus whackus)  This species is known for its beliefs which are in most life forms only accessible through misuse of medication.  Examples include the belief that businesses would spontaneously self-regulate in the absence of government, that all human rights are derived from property rights, and that the roads should be privatized.  This naïve belief in the pure magic of the free market separates it from other species, whom the unicorn looks down on as not being sufficiently “pure”.  It is readily identified by its smug expression and condescending manner.

These species wander the continent, annoying but not hindering the great packs of donkeys and elephants that rule the landscape.  These pests are usually kept under control by biennial use of elections, however individual creatures are capable of causing headaches and aggravation.  Should you encounter groups of them, it is generally recommended to avoid such traditional weapons as facts and logic as most species have developed an immunity to the truth.  The recommended survival technique is to ignore them and slowly walk away.


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humor, libertarianism, politics

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Brilliant! In the words of the Sperminator -- I'll be back!
americans can afford to have amusing political aberrations, since their participation in politics is limited to choosing a flagbearer, usually from a choice of two.

it's only when voting has consequences that insanity, ignorance and selfishness have drawbacks.
Thank you, Tom. I rather enjoyed writing this piece.

For you libertarians out there, if you're the type that is just interested in safeguarding your civil liberties, I'm right there with you. It's only when you start talking batty about all taxation being theft or all rights derive from property or we can privatize everything that you lose me.

al, yes the libertarians are amusing aberrations. I guess I consider that all voting has consequences, as we saw in 2010.
You might consider the Libertarius Purethought and Religio Anti-Christoballs. A pair of rare breeds; one thinking they can because they can and eveyrhing is alright just you wait and see, while the other finds true meaning for everything they say and do because of course they said it and did it, if not just a moment ago, then by gum it wasn't all that long ago... right now in fact.

Remember that not every lollipop is a sucker; but American voters always give 'em a run for thier money.
Sorry others haven't found this brilliant piece of work; I'll see if I can send some folks this way. Meantime, if you're interested, I have my own take on Founder Fetishist (tompaineus assus):

Original Sin
Ah yes, these sound very familiar. I get the impression there's considerable overlap between the species coocoo kluxklanus and paulis divineus, by the way.

Once when Norwonk was young, he wondered if he might properly be called a libertarian. Then he met some libertarians and realized that hell, no! He was a liberal.
LOL! Yep, it is a veritable zoo. I wish I could invent a repellent.

Tom sent me here. Enjoyed very much!
Brilliant and dead on. The only thing more disingenuous than a 'Libertarian' are the Libatives who say "I'm a social liberal and a fiscal conservative."

Which one of these (or perhaps all?) can be identified by their worshipful attitude when in the presence of any holy writ of Prophetess Ayn Rand? Seems to me the college age types reading Atlas Shrugged and wearing t-shirts with a big red S on them have been proliferating of late. Maybe its a seasonal thing?
Fun piece. Thanks to Tom for pointing it out.
R! Great stuff! Thought you might enjoy the following irony:

Ayn Rand, who actually hated Jesus and Christiani­ty is now the Goddess of the "religious right."

Could it be because she worshiped a serial killer named William Edward Hickman and stole his infamous motto, "What's good for me is right" and made it her libertarian credo?

I guess that means the "religious right's" adopted the FAITH of an atheist and the FREEDOM of a serial killer. At least we now know what we're really dealing with when we look into Paul Ryan's "doe eyes." :)
Thanks all for the kind words. With regard to the Ayn Rand worship, I debated adding one but I had a mental block and couldn't come up with a humorous animal parallel.

Another fum poke at libertarians, and some of the inspiration for my piece, is here: http://www.leftycartoons.com/the-24-types-of-libertarian/
Hilarious! I'd only add that for the sake of comedy there ought to be a scarlet-assed "something" -- I'm not politically minded/talented enough to write that joke but I KNOW it's there.
I am extremely late to this party, but better late than never. This is a helluvan essay. Really good, professional level stuff.
Thank you kindly, Redmond