Mistaken Anger

Libertarians often speak of blowback; this is a term coined by the CIA to describe the unintended consequences of U.S. interventions and meddling in foreign countries.

Something that I think gets ignored or discounted is the concept of domestic blowback; it is the same principle, except the intervention and meddling occurs within the country.

For some reason, people have a hard time understanding that if foreigners don’t like what the U.S. does in their country, Americans probably won’t like it, either.


Scott Hornberger at Future of Freedom Foundation offers a fairly accurate assessment as to why people are growing discontent with D.C.’s policies, calling it “misplaced anger.”

That’s why people are angry. Their system just hasn’t turned out the way they thought it would. Rather than direct their anger toward Washington and rather than looking for scapegoats, like Muslims and illegal immigrants, Americans would be better off engaging in self-examination and asking why they continue to believe in socialism, interventionism, militarism, and imperialism, especially given that the Founding Fathers and our American ancestors rejected them all.

However, I think there is more to this than that. Libertarians aren’t jumping on the Trump wagon for these reasons.

Free Northerner penned what is probably the most frank, raw condemnation of the modern mainstream Republican movement I’ve come across in a long while. If you want to understand what is driving so much of the momentum behind Trump’s campaign, this is it.

While Hornberger picks apart Trumps’s positions, FE explains why people support him despite all the unsavory aspects of his character, and while you may not like FE’s conclusions, as with Cantwell, dismissing the causes for the effects you’re seeing is dangerous.

People might wonder why I keep discussing the presidential campaign and Trump in particular, especially when I first mocked the whole discussion, but I think I need to differentiate between the politicians themselves and what their support, or lack thereof, tells us about the political environment. Aside from observing human behavior, I have very little interest politically in Trump himself or the other candidates.

My primary fascination is how people take politicians and turn them into emblems or representations of a larger group or idea, even if the politicians themselves reject these labels (most are more than willing to embrace them).

One unintended benefit of elections is that they generate conversations and dialogue that normally wouldn’t occur. This allows us to get a glimpse into the mindset of the average voter and better predict political trends. They also expose the vulnerabilities within political coalitions when divisive issues cause rifts, schisms, and other disconnects, thereby revealing their actual priorities compared to what their public rhetoric would have us believe they prioritize most.

One excerpt from the post that I thought was worth quoting (emphasis added)

Trump is absolutely right that he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and [not] lose voters.” In fact, it could win him voters. This is how much we hate and we fear you: if he took the media class, lined you all up on your knees along 5th Ave and personally put a 9mm in the back of each of your heads, he’d get cheers. Almost nobody would sympathize with you because we know you’d sit by contentedly watching while the left dragged us into the street, if you didn’t join in yourselves to prove you’re not racists (and fail, again, like always).

Libertarian who aren’t jumping on the Trump bandwagon need to understand that there are more than one reason people are siding with him, because like with Ron Paul his movement is more than about him (for better or worse).

Any Republican party official or leader, as well as mainstream “conservative” groups with half a brain should read this and take it to heart. This is the attitude of people who may smile at you in public or express their views timidly when asked, but privately they despise you. This is the voice of the typical person who will join a “right wing death squad” and throw you and others out of helicopters if the right circumstances arise.

In our current political climate, the rise of “fashism” will be a form of domestic blowback. What’s worse, these people will not play, or fight, by the rules. The Establishment will be completely unprepared for it, as we already see now. You can call these people whatever you want, but what does it matter? They don’t care what you think anymore. You have become the enemy, and your tactics only worked when the pretenses existed.

What’s sad is this is all predictable. And avoidable. But it seems that damned be him who first cries “Hold, enough!”

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