Opinion

Why Van Jones fears libertarianism

Christopher R. Barron Chairman of the Board, GOProud

The political coalition on the left is based on a culture of victimhood. The basic premise of modern liberalism is that America is a melting pot of oppressed groups. Women, gays, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos, immigrants and the poor are all victims. The 99% is victimized by the 1% — and of course the 1% is made up exclusively of straight white Christian males. Worse than simply being victims, members of the “oppressed” groups are powerless victims, unable to change their miserable lot in life without the help of a big, benevolent government.

The single biggest threat to the American left’s political coalition is anyone from these groups who rejects liberalism and its collectivist ideology — and the left knows it. That is why the left so quickly and viciously goes after any gay person, Latino, woman or African-American who dares to wander off the liberal plantation.

Look at the over-the-top, and often personal, attacks on former Governor Sarah Palin, on former presidential candidate Herman Cain, on Congressman Allen West or even on gay conservatives like my colleague Jimmy LaSalvia.

Every plantation, even the ideological ones, has its plantation masters. The ideological plantation masters for the left are tasked with hunting down and destroying ideological escapees and with discouraging other escapees through fear and intimidation.

There are few better examples of the left’s ideological plantation masters than former Obama Green Jobs Czar Van Jones. Jones is a willing attack dog for the left, with an Orwellian ability to twist the facts.

At a recent Occupy rally in Los Angeles, Jones bashed libertarians, telling the crowd:

“They’ve taken their despicable ideology and used it a wrecking ball, that they have painted red, white and blue, to smash down every good thing in America.”

Jones went on to say, “They say they’re patriots but they hate everybody in America who looks like us. They say they love America but they hate the people, the brown folk, the gays, the lesbians, the people with piercings, ya know, ya’ll.”

This assertion is one that would make even an editor at the Soviet-era Pravda blush.

The front-runner for the Libertarian Party’s nomination is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson who — unlike Jones’ former boss, President Barack Obama — actually supports same-sex civil marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Indeed, while Obama’s campaign seeks to keep gay activists from pushing for a marriage equality plank in the Democratic Party’s platform, the Libertarian Party’s platform is expressly pro-gay. It reads:

“Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.”

The Libertarian Party and its likely nominee are infinitely better on gay issues than the Democratic Party and President Obama. The same is true in regards to the “brown folks” that Jones spoke of.

Candidate Obama promised action on comprehensive immigration reform in his first 100 days. However, President Obama has failed to move immigration reform — even when he had a large majority in the U.S. House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Governor Gary Johnson opposes the building of a costly and ineffective border fence and supports common-sense immigration reforms that reflect the economic realities of our modern economy and respect the basic dignity of all people. Again, the Libertarian Party’s platform is unapologetically pro-immigration:

“Political freedom and escape from tyranny demand that individuals not be unreasonably constrained by government in the crossing of political boundaries. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.”

Jones’ assertions are patently false. Jones knows his assertions are false and simply doesn’t care about the truth or reality. Jones fears that some of the left’s “oppressed” minorities might find the rising tide of libertarianism in this country a legitimate alternative to the decades of failure by the big-government left.

Jones and the left can’t afford for women or gays or ethnic minorities to begin to believe that not only does government not have all the answers, often government is itself the problem.

The problem for Jones and the left is that after decades of convincing minorities in this country that only a benevolent big government can protect them, they are faced with the inconvenient truth that their big-government policies actually haven’t accomplished any of what they promised to do. Faced with that stark reality, Jones and the other ideological plantation masters on the left have no choice but to attack and smear their political opponents — to use fear to keep political control over their coalition of the “oppressed.”

Unfortunately for Jones, the ideological Underground Railroad is alive and well in this country, and every single day more and more minorities are recognizing that big government has failed them. Libertarians have been, and will remain, important conductors on this track to freedom for all Americans.

Christopher R. Barron is a Republican political consultant and co-founder of GOProud, a national organization for gay conservatives and their allies. He blogs at Red Barron.