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By Paul Meekin
Bah Gawd! Whattamanuever! Rand Paul’s next to Kane! Rand Paul’s next to Kane! What does this mean King?! What could the future hold for us?!
Wait a second…Wait a second, Senator Paul’s got a mic!
“My friend Glenn Jacobs…has labored as a community activist eager to bring more freedom and prosperity to as many people as possible. His small government and pro-liberty philosophy of government…is exactly what we need more of in our politics.”
And like that, Mr. Jacobs is even more of a crowd favorite. For the uninformed, WWE Wrestler “Kane,” Glenn Jacobs, is an outspoken Libertarian – and is running for Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.
Jacobs’ debut in the political squared circle happened in a big bad way in 2013 – giving this speech at 2013’s Liberty Political Action Conference, illustrating a number of bizarre regulations and restrictions of our government, including how internet tax really hurts small business, and how ridiculous it is that you can’t bring a balsa wood boomerang on an international flight.
It was entertaining, informative, and direct. It’s the kind of speech that makes you angry and hopeful at the same time. Angry at the BS illustrated, but hopeful that if a pro-wrestler can understand and illustrate it so eloquently, surely someone in government can, too.
That was taking too long, so Mr. Jacobs decided to do it himself, adding himself to names like Jesse Ventura, Linda McMahon, Rhyno, Jerry Lawler, and other wrestlers that seek or sought or gained political office.
The time has never been more right. Why? Because like how Kane came to prominence during a white-hot period of 90s WWE programming known as the ‘Attitude Era’, it looks like libertarianism is about to have an Attitude Era of its own.
Names like Jason Stapleton, Austin Petersen, Dave Rubin, Ron Paul, and to a lesser extent Joe Rogan, have become libertarian media superstars – each providing a specific kind of niche or take on issues libertarians care about. Like WWE wrestlers, they intermingle, debate, and explain, while entertaining an audience that’s a little too smart and nuanced to fit in with either of the major political parties. Most libertarians support gay rights, gun rights, and legalizing some if not all drugs – positions which disqualify you from major political party-hood.
Most importantly, these superstars are providing a platform for third-party candidates and pundits who would typically need to fight and claw and scratch for mainstream media coverage. You know Glenn Jacobs running for office would (and will) be treated as a novelty by Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC. Rubin, Petersen, Stapleton? They’d take him seriously, just like they did (initially) with Gary Johnson, just like they do with Richard Spencer, just like they do with most anyone willing to speak to them in an honest way.
And that’s the crux of this Libertarian Attitude Era – respectful and tough and honest conversations via the medium of podcasting and Youtube. The fire of Stapleton, the empathy of Rubin, the grassroots of Petersen, the zen of Rogan – there’s something for everyone, and if we do this right, we might just change the world.
You can feel the ground swell. The Libertarian Republic’s roster of quality writers is increasing week by week. So is Austin Petersen’s closed Facebook page, so are the downloads for Stapleton and Rubin and Rogan.
We cannot let this electricity go to waste. What do we do? Well, in the modern day WWE, the in-ring product, meaning the matches, are the best they’ve ever been. Names like AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and many more, are on the top of the heap because they started watching during the Attitude Era, said “me too” and now here they are.
Perhaps Mr. Jacobs saw our own little Attitude Era happening and had exactly the same thought.
The moral of the story? Get involved now. Facebook comments are nice, but writing articles, volunteering, making videos – this is where the movement is won. Find candidates you support and ask how you can help – even if it means canvassing. Ask candidates you like but have disagreements with, to elaborate on their position and respond back. All politics are local, and local politicians are accessible.
The Attitude Era was in part successful because the internet was blowing up along side with it. Fans would argue about who should win, what might happen, and yearn to be involved because they were so passionate, they knew if they had the chance they could contribute and make the product better. A lot of them never got the chance.
With The Libertarian Attitude Era? Contribution is not only an option, it’s a damn near requirement. And if you’re not down with that, I got three words for ya.
…Taxation is Theft.