Consent

Posted: February 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

By R.C. Seely

RECENTLY THERE HAS BEEN a fracture within the Libertarian Party, caused by it’s current leadership. It was due to controversial comments by Vice President of the Libertarian National Convention (LNC) Arvin Vohra that make the party appear to favor pedophilia or at the very least accept it. This is an example of why the Classical Liberal libertarians in the party advocate “limited government” and not complete abolishment. It’s a “necessary evil” as Thomas Jefferson had said but at times it stops even greater evil.

The fire was flamed when LNC President, Nicholas Sarwark, defended Vohra and didn’t distance himself and the party from such declaration. Others haven’t had such trepidations, including rising stars Larry Sharpe and Merrisa Hamilton–both dropping out of the Libertarian Party and their races for political offices of their states.

While the party has always been about tolerance towards others, the stipulation has always been between consenting adults. There’s a valid reason for that. Age eighteen is when humans are considered capable of fully comprehending the ramifications of their actions, the stage when brain development is at that key stage. So the age of consent is supported scientifically not just legally. Deviation from consent laws ends up putting minors directly in harm’s way, a stance that violates non-aggression, the cornerstone of libertarianism.

All this is further compounded by the last Presidential election, with the Johnson/Weld campaign. The in party fighting never stopped from their nomination for the president and vice president for 2016. Many were alienated, for starters because they were both converts to the movement, just a couple of Republicans playing the role of Libertarians. To be fair, the US Libertarian Party was founded by a group of disenchanted Republicans in the 1970’s so that doesn’t necessarily dismiss their dedication to the cause.

What did raise concern was their understanding of freedom, especially with voluntary association, when Johnson agreed that the Christian bakery had to bake for a gay wedding, for one example. No matter how you feel on the issue, they have the right to refuse service to whoever they want. That’s freedom of association and it’s critical for a free market.
Some libertarians will claim I’m homophobic for saying that. No, homophobic would be if I said I agreed with this, that’s making it moralistic standard and not a principled one. I disagree with the bakery but stand behind their decision.

Even those who supported Johnson were concerned with Weld. I always had been and still am. He seems too establishment for my taste.

Then there is the internal bickering about what is limited government. Should we support the social safety net or not? Or maybe there shouldn’t be any government at all. Then we leave ourselves vulnerable in regards to private property issues and the original topic of consent laws. That’s the continued argument between the Classical Liberal and anarchists wings of the party. Other libertarians believe we should adopt the social libertarian–a mix of socialism and libertarianism–or a quasi-communist variety.

Sharpe and Hamilton left their association with the party because they felt the leadership isn’t listening. Sarwark, Vohra and Weld are too focused on the growth of the party that they are distancing themselves from the ideals of the party and risk further alienation. Or worse turning it into a safe space for NAMBLA. Either way, it appears the Libertarian Party is facing an identity crisis and hopefully it can correct it and become the much needed third-way the nation needs.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture with a new one–Confused Yet?: Understanding the Utterly Incomprehensible–expecting to be released this year.

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