There now seems to be a small rift growing between Glenn Beck, who claims to be evolving into a libertarian, and a number of the libertarians he hopes to attract with his new media project. Of course many are skeptical of a guy who, for many years supported the Bush administration, seems always to have supported the U.S. government’s wars overseas, and backed this guy for president in 2012.
That he recently accused the founder of Students for Liberty, Alexander McCobin, of being a jerk and a Nazi makes this all the more comical. McCobin was addressing the annual conference of Students for Liberty (SFL) when he suggested Beck’s libertarian cred may not be up to muster. Beck it seems was upset that he’s not being taken seriously and used his radio show to air his grievance.
In response, McCobin challenged Beck to “engage [young libertarians] in a meaningful conversation, embrace the positions where libertarianism is substantially different from conservatism, and work with [them] for a truly freer future.” He also offered that while he may call himself a libertarian, there’s no reason anyone has to accept Beck’s transition. As Andrew Kirell sarcastically put it: “We are glad for your newfound support for legal marijuana, gay marriage, and your backing down from Bush-era hawkishness. But many of us libertarians prefer to say ‘thanks but no thanks.’”
One peculiar point raised by McCobin in his letter to Beck was “that libertarianism is difficult to define, and there is significant room for debate.” Actually no, it’s rather simple to define, and there shouldn’t be any room for debate.
Libertarianism is simply the political system wherein the initiation of force is not acceptable. The use of force may only be used in defense against aggression and where force is being unjustly applied to persons or property. Beyond that all interaction is to be under voluntary terms and any system which deviates from this may not be accurately described as libertarian.