There has been something I’ve been curious about for a while now. In regards to the idea that the Republican Party can be reformed and therefore liberty minded individuals should work hard to infiltrate it, I’ve noticed two fates that befall the attempted infiltrators: they either leave in disgust or get sucked into the Republican Party machine.
Obviously I’m in the former category. Just the idea of playing the political game makes my skin crawl. Yet I know many people who were good liberty minded individuals fall into the latter category. They entered the Republican Party hoping to enact change and they worked their asses off to develop the influence necessary to develop that change. However, unlike those of us in the former category, these individuals started becoming apologists for the strategy. After being shut down time and time again they continue saying that the road to reform is long and that we merely need more liberty minded individuals to achieve success.
Yet the thing that really gets me is when those poor souls begin lashing out at those of us who left in disgust. Suddenly we become the enemy as if we abandoned some kind of post during a military engagement. Instead of lashing out at the inner party members who constantly maneuver against reform, the hopeful reformers lash out at their fellow liberty minded allies. They become part of the Republican Party immune system that sees liberty as an intrusive organism, assimilated into the machine they had sworn to fight.
There is also the tendency for the hopeful reformers to ally themselves with less and less liberty minded individuals within the Republican Party. Politicians they previous deemed disgusting and tyrannical are suddenly “better than the alternative” and “can be brought to understand the liberty message.” Instead of outcries against tyrants these hopeful reformers start stating fale dichotomies by asking what we’d prefer, a slightly liberty minded candidate or a complete tyrant. It’s almost as if they’ve invested so much time and energy into their strategy that they’re unwilling to admit failure.
Perhaps it’s akin to Stockholm syndrome, they spend so much time with their aggressors that they begin sympathizing and identifying with them. It puzzles me and I’ve seen so many of my fellow libertarians succumb to it that I can’t merely wave it off as an oddity.