2020 Libertarian presidential candidate and former LNC vice chair Arvin Vohra posted the following essay, critical of Libertarian Party members, on his Facebook account yesterday:
During the last three years, I have intentionally provoked you all with the most controversial topics I could find. I’d like to take a moment to tell you why.
The question that divides Libertarianism from Statism is this: does government know best? If it knows best in the most complex and emotional areas, it probably knows best in every other area as well.
If there is some area in which you say, “This is so important that we need government to get involved,” then you can’t be surprised when others do the same for their area.
Many of you got upset when I pointed out that, “I oppose all government” also means “I don’t think government can effectively decide an age of consent.” It’s nothing new; this issue has been discussed by Murray Rothbard, Walter Block, and Mary J. Ruwart, all of whom came to similar conclusions. Each of those great thinkers has rejected government as the solution, and shown how voluntary solutions can work better.
Today, most of you have rejected that. You’ve said, resoundingly, absolutely, that you believe government should decide age of adulthood. In doing so, you’ve established this axiom: If something is important, government should handle it.
And now, you’re getting exactly what you asked for. The two most popular candidates also believe that if something is important enough, government should handle it. Amash and Gray both support one kind of UBI or another. Amash supports government schools, government controlling borders, government controlling healthcare. From the axiom that most of you start from, the notion that if it’s important, government should handle it, their views make sense.
From their perspective, and yours, anything that matters should be handled by government. The only thing unimportant enough for the free market is, perhaps, soda prices.
Despite all your virtue signalling over the last years, this isn’t about nice or mean; it’s about your belief that important things should be handled by governmnent. Education, medicine, income – you’ve gotten two candidates who both agree that government should handle all of that.
At some future point, you might be ready to fight for the kind of culture change that leads to political change. But right now, most of you aren’t. If you still believe that government should handle the important stuff, and that freedom should only handle the unimportant stuff, you’re not ready to meaningfullly fight for Liberty. If Amash or Gray get elected, I don’t see them doing anything different from Trump. They have both already called for government increases…and the convention hasn’t even happened. They’re still talking to Libertarians, and already calling for government growth. And despite your protestations to the contrary, that’s what most of you want. You want big government, but you want to adjust it to suit yourself a bit more. You want a welfare state, just one that you like a bit better.
If you think soldiers are heroes, you can’t be suprised when others think ICE or DEA agents are heroes. If it’s cool to blow up foreign kids, is it really so terrible to lock them up? Is blindly following one immoral order worse than blindly following some other immoral order?
If you think government should provide education, can you be suprised when someone else thinks it should provide healthcare (Amash) or income (Amash, Gray)?
And are you really going to be surprised when more and more voulntarists join the GOP? It’s not that any of us think the GOP shares the values of Liberty. It’s that we strongly doubt whether or not you do, and the GOP has easier ballot access, debate access, and a guaranteed 30-40% in any race. If the LP wants to grow government, but just slightly differently from the GOP or the Dems, is it any shock that so many voluntarists joined the GOP, so many more have stopped bothering to vote, and so many more see the LP as a laughingstock?
Your favorites are talking about growing government. UBIs, medicaid increases, and extra funding for government schools are what the LP favorites are fighting for.