Mind your business.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Labels Don't Matter

Kevin Williamson apparently didn’t care for my treatment of his recent National Review cover story:

Before you accuse somebody of being a Republican Establishment hack, you should check to find out whether he's a Republican. I am not. Nor do I support any Republican candidate at the moment. Or vote, for that matter.

These are facts, not matters of interpretation.

Kevin D. Williamson

It tickled me pink that this professional writer descended from his precipice to engage with a speck in the blogosphere that is so anonymous I haven’t even heard of me.

In my rebuttal to his original article, I basically called Mr. Williamson a hypocrite. What surprised me in his brief comment was that he didn’t appear to take issue with this claim. Rather, the fact that I implied he was a Republican Establishment hack is what put him in a snit.

It’s also interesting to see Williamson take the trouble to leave a comment for an insignificant blogger when in his own piece he engages in the customary dig at Ron Paul supporters writing angry e-mails anytime Paul’s reputation or ideas are besmirched. An impartial observer might say this is the pot calling the kettle black.

But I can empathize with Williamson in the wrong title department. I just don’t see it as a big deal.

I am often called a libertarian. In fact, I am a Republican. This is probably an easy mistake to make.

I write for a website called “The Humble Libertarian.” I’m certainly not against libertarians but I’m also not offended at being called a libertarian. I just feel the libertarian label is sometimes an inaccurate moniker to describe my political philosophy.

I don’t write about drug legalization or the privatization of roads. I had a piece rejected from this site because I expressed disgust for open borders and multiculturalism, and I won’t vote for Mitt Romney or Rick Perry because both are too liberal.

As the political landscape is currently constructed, I have good reason to ally with libertarians because we share the same goals of decentralization, fidelity to the Constitution, restraint in our federal government, and protecting the liberty of the individual. I am called a libertarian because they are the company I keep.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I identify myself as a conservative, not as a libertarian, and my writing reflects that I am concerned with conservatism as a philosophy. In one of my more commented-upon articles, A Wealthier, Less Principled Mitt Romney, I took Donald Trump to task for not being conservative enough, particularly on abortion.

So I’m a Republican but people call me a libertarian. Williamson isn’t a Republican and I make the mistake of thinking he’s a Republican hack. Was it an easy mistake for me to make? The labels don’t matter.

In his comment, Williamson says that he doesn’t support any Republican candidate right now and implies that he doesn't even vote, two statements that would seem mutually exclusive. But reading his glowing treatment of Perry where he glosses over the forced vaccinations and his Paul piece which harps on such malevolent people as the Birchers, I think we can already see whom he prefers.

A reading of Williamson’s NRO archives from 2008 suggests that he clearly preferred the Republican McCain over Obama because the Democrat is the candidate he habitually chose to write against. He also approvingly linked to The Case Against Barack Obama, by the reliably Republican Guy Benson, Mary Katharine Ham, and Ed Morrissey. There certainly was a case against Obama but the purpose of being anti-Obama was to be pro-McCain.

If November 2012 rolls by and Williamson doesn’t favor the Romney/Perry/Christie-Rubio/Cain ticket, I’ll gladly eat my words about his Republican hackery. But if Election Day comes and he expresses his support for Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Chris Christie, or some other Johnny Come Lately, we’ll know which side of Williamson’s bread is buttered.

It says in the Bible, "By yours fruits you shall know them." I realize that I'm called a libertarian because I align with them and sympathize with their causes. Similarly, by Williamson's writings one can also see where his true sympathies lie, regardless of his affiliation.

Carl Wicklander,
Regular Columnist, THL
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