Last week, Julie Borowski posted a video posing a question about why there aren’t more female libertarians. It’s an interesting thought, for sure. Her point in the video was that women have pressure to be more socially accepted, and since libertarianism isn’t exactly mainstream, women shy away from it.
There were a few responses – and a lot of chatter on Facebook – about Julie’s video. I saw a few times it was called sexist and over the top, and I suppose those descriptions aren’t entirely incorrect. Julie’s got her own unique style in her videos, and I think more than anything, her style was a little more pronounced in that video than it usually is.
Maybe that’s being nice. Either way, her video got me thinking about her topic, which I’m sure was one of her goals. I know that when I write, my primary goal is for the audience to give real thought to my content.
As I’ve been thinking about Julie’s post, I’ve come to the conclusion that she asked the wrong question. Sure, we want more libertarian women among us, but I think the real question to ask is why aren’t there more libertarians in general, not just women.
The answer, I’ve decided, is that libertarians are an obnoxious bunch of people who are difficult to deal with on a regular basis. (And I say this knowing quite well that I’m among that group.)
Julie’s video, while a bit unusual and probably not her best video, got obnoxious libertarians bickering in some embarrassing ways. How does it look to people when they see the back-and-forth of us all arguing about what women do/should think about politics.
The libertarian obnoxiousness was also evident in the presidential election. The Ron Paul crowd (of which I am a part) wasn’t exactly calm, cool, and collected at GOP conventions last year. Of course, much of their behavior was provoked, but libertarians did, if nothing else, prove that they can be an obnoxious bunch.
We don’t try to be like that; it just happens. Most of us have come from either the left or the right and have seen where we were previously wrong. Now that we’re right – and we’re certain that we are right – there’s no reason for you not to agree with us on everything.
Ironically, many libertarians don’t follow the libertarian concept of individual choice when it comes to other people having the right to be wrong. I’ve found that people from the left and the right are willing to discuss issues and consider the libertarian argument when it’s presented in a way that is less obnoxious. Sometimes they agree, and sometimes they don’t. But all we can ask is that they listen.
Those who went for the jugular because they didn’t like Julie’s video need to take a step back. Maybe she wasn’t entirely right. That’s certainly no reason to see how obnoxious you can be. We can simultaneously disagree and be civil.
Part of expanding the libertarian audience is different people with different personalities talking about libertarianism. So, Julie, keep making your videos. If people agree, great. If they disagree, fine. Keep doing what you’re doing.
(Just maybe use less makeup next time.)