Indiana Daily Student

EDITORIAL: Revival of the Wild Wild West

<p>Illustration by Chase Bogan</p>

Illustration by Chase Bogan

Extreme liberals are often derided as socialists while ultra-conservatives are called fascists.

With the resolution of the standoff between the FBI and the Oregon terrorist group lead by Clive Bundy and his family, a new political extreme was introduced into the American political vocabulary: radical libertarianism.

When the protestors were asked to surrender, most of them obeyed orders. Of the two protestors who refused, one was killed and the other wounded in the ensuing actions.

Not only are the members of this militia domestic terrorists, but they are also extreme libertarians.

Libertarianism has been a quickly growing political philosophy in the United States.

The philosophy is nationally spearheaded by Ron and Rand Paul, who are arguably the most outspoken and influential libertarians currently holding national office. Libertarians believe in personal sovereignty and freedom from the interference of government.

The preamble of their national platform states they “defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest” and they have a distinctive laissez-faire outlook on policy.

Mainstream libertarians are certainly the party of small government, but they do see the need for a strong military and governmental intervention in order to create free and fair markets in which to conduct business.

Libertarianism holds an uneasy place in the center of the American political spectrum.

It has a hands-off approach to social policy that aligns closely with liberals but also a desire for a small government that appeals to conservatives.

Because of this middle ground, many people consider libertarianism a naturally moderate position.

But the recent events in Oregon have shown there can be extremists in any political group. The aftermath of the protest shows exactly what happens when you take libertarianism to the extreme.

The Editorial Board believes it is important to call a spade a spade, and, in this case, we believe Clive Bundy and his rag tag group of political terrorists represent a worrying trend of radical libertarianism.

Since the beginning of the Obama administration, a powerful and aggressive anti-government movement has been growing mostly in the southwestern region of the U.S.

The Oregon militia crisis was only the most recent and highly publicized standoff between government officials and anarchists in the last few years.

The Southern Poverty Law Center writes that there have been more than 1,000 anti-government groups formed since 2008 compared to 150 before President Obama’s election.

Regardless of whether the doctrine of the Bundy militia are radical anarchists, the group’s anti-government libertarian sentiment parallels this rise in anarchism.

With a romanticized view of the ol’ Wild Wild West fresh in its imagination, domestic terror cells are growing in response to perceived government overreach into the private lives of citizens.

Since 2009 there have been 17 shooting incidents with anti-government protestors and terrorists.

Many people fear the rage of today’s radical conservatives, but much scarier is the radical libertarian movement showing its face in the mainstream.

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