One problem that seems to vex libertarianism is its inability to accomplish much. We have been advocating for various reforms and repeals for decades. The Libertarian Party was advocating for marijuana legalization and expanding government marriage licenses since the 1970s. Both issues are taking root in American society, but who is getting all the credit? Socialists/Progressives/Leftists/whatever. Ron Paul was a major candidate in 2012 and a loyal Republican who went as far as advocating the legalization of heroin on a South Carolina debate stage. Yet, more recently Bernie Sanders supporters (who apparently have no memory of anything) claim that the independent turned Democrat was the first candidate to advocate legalizing marijuana. In a sense, we should at least be pleased that our ideas are starting to be accepted and implemented, but that isnt enough. As much as most of us oppose intellectual property, its frustrating to get no credit for anything.
I planned to write this post a month ago, but as always, I got distracted and the uproar faded.
On one side, Bernie Sanders supporters were freaking out that Hillary Clinton technically got the same number of delegates as him thanks to superdelegates. Superdelegates are elected Democrat officials in each state who are automatically delegates to the convention. They were implemented in large part after the George McGovern and Jesse Jackson campaigns. Both put a scare in the establishment that a far left rabble rouser might get the nomination. Neither did in the end because they were too narrow, not because of superdelegates.
Its ironic that I am writing this, considering that it was when I read about Agorism* on Wikipedia almost six years ago that I realized free markets were superior to socialism. But there is much more to libertarianism than agorism. Indeed, I take a broad view of the idea to be a bit more inclusive. While I condemn mutualists and many so-called left-libertarians, they are on the right track, unlike communists. Since that time, Ive moved around a bit. I still like Agorism, but my experience shows that it is just not going to be our savior. It might not even play much of a role in rolling back the state.
Today, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a Jewish judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Garland appears to only be Jewish by his mother, as his father is some sort of Christian, unless he had converted. If confirmed, Garland would join Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan to become the fourth justice of Jewish descent on the Court. Garland was nominated to the Court of Appeals in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, and was tapped as a potential nominee when John Paul Stevens retired. Kagan ultimately was chosen.
It has been one hell of a weekend, and this was probably the best International Students for Liberty Conference I have been to (and Ive been to four). Highlights include meeting the Prince of Liechtenstein, Gary Johnson, and talking to young libertarians about the Free State Project as a mover. I almost didnt go. I had planned to take two weeks to do this and next weekends CPAC, but time and money constraints made that impossible. At nearly the last minute, I was able to secure a ride from a friend here in New Hampshire, for which I am grateful.