Reason Writers Around Town: Nick Gillespie on The Lessons of L'Affaire Weigel & Just Who The Hell is a Libertarian Anyway?


Writing in The Daily Caller, Reason's Nick Gillespie takes a shot at defining just what makes someone libertarian:

In the wake of l'affaire Weigel, so much is at stake for the things that matter to journalists and their enablers (read: you, gentle reader). What, for instance, is a ratfucker exactly, and is being one a good thing or a bad thing? Can journalism withstand the apparent insistence that reporters not trash-talk sources like former members of N.W.A.? Can the MSM really move into a blog-based commentary space with anything more barbed than Howard Huge or Love Is… cartoons?

And perhaps most important for all of us in the libertarian movement (you know who you are and I'll pick you all up in my Ford Festiva on the way home): Just what the hell are our membership guidelines?…

Only John Galt knows what the most basic requirements of libertarianism are. Folks ranging from Bill Buckley to Noam Chomsky to Clint Eastwood have described themselves as partly or wholly libertarian, so maybe it has something to do with speech impediments, dumb politics, and the ability to marry younger and younger women as you approach 1,000 years old. Believe it or not, even some girls have called themselves libertarian, including the two ladies who were the top editors at Reason long before The Nation dared top its masthead with a member of the second sex.

First and foremost, libertarians like liberty, the idea that individuals have as much space as possible to make as many choices as possible (there's a reason that Reason's most recent anthology is called "Choice"). And unlike conservatives and liberals, who always fetishize some choices and demonize others, we're pretty consistent. We generally like school choice and reproductive choice, for instance, and think you should have your choice of religion (including none at all) too, and drugs, and partners in life and business.

Whole thing here.