How “Celebritarians” Saved the Liberty Movement

Long before Austin Petersen entered the US presidential race, the gutters of the Libertarian Party, online chat rooms, and social media collectives, foamed at the mouth and fought tooth and nail in a figurative sense of the ideas of “purism”. With libertarians owning a large amount of the conversation in terms of online presence, a fast gangland-style purge of people occurred, as many individuals felt as if it was their sole duty to seek out other libertarians, and make them as annoyed and uncomfortable as they possibly could to the point of wanting to leave.

Quick and easy targets of these Internet gremlins were people who put themselves out there in order to promote their efforts and message. Individuals who may not be mainstream celebrities, but used the Net as a tool to find fun and creative ways to reach out to the zeitgeist of internet travelers. People like Julie Borowski, Austin Petersen, Johnny Rocket, Matt Kibbe, Jason Stapleton, Tom Woods, and others with name’s like “Libertarian Girl” and “Liberty Nerd” came out, and used imaginative and cool methods to preach the message of free markets and free minds.

These “Celebritarians” (self-made celebrity libertarians) became fast targets for people looking to make a name based solely on taking the images and reputations of these hardworking people and tearing them down out of jealousy and spite for doing something they never did – put in the work.

In the aftermath of the libertarian moments seen with Ron Paul, his son Rand, and even Gary Johnson, these temporary campaigns (yes, I’m calling Rand Paul a dead campaign at this point) were simply the shiny objects seen during a brief moment in history. The “Celebritarians” managed to keep the conversation, attention, and motivation alive when things otherwise seemed dead. Reaching newer, younger, and otherwise untouched audiences, the Celebritarians managed to take think tank level theories and boring concepts, and flesh them out into something tangible and appealing, something people from all social, cultural, and political stripes wanted to be a part of in some way.

Sadly, due to sometimes fractional differences, attempts to attack, berate, and otherwise silence these people have been taken up by those who would only succeed in new ways if they simply attempted to work together instead of focus simply on otherwise simple ideological differences. Men like Libertarian presidential candidate Steve Kerbel stated in an interview with the Johnny Rocket Launch Pad that these libertarian celebrities were bad business, and should not be taken seriously as they only promote themselves.

While some may hear that and focus on the one-sided selfish desire of individuals, the main question must be asked; isn’t a little bit of selfishness good? Sometimes isn’t it a good thing to promote yourself if in a way you are trying to promote the causes you represent? Maybe it’s time for a little more bravado and selfishness, and less about simply sticking to otherwise boring, failing, and outdated methods of marketing and promotion?

Whether you love them, hate them, agree wholeheartedly or not at all, what cannot be denied is that these brave individuals have otherwise kept a fringe, misunderstood political philosophy relevant in an era where freedom continues to be at a risk of extinction throughout the world.

Parties, causes, people, and moments die and become forgotten, but ideas are bulletproof. So why are we trying to do the enemy’s work for them in silencing the message of liberty? The answer is up to you.


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