But I find myself drawn to cranky, ranting libertarians on the internet. My first was The Survival Podcast. Run by a fast-talking, entreprenuerial, gun-loving, Arkansas-dwelling, libertarian modern survivalist named Jack Spirko, this podcast is usually fascinating, frequently educational, and occasionally off-putting. Awesome.
Recently I have come across another source: The Adaptive Curmudgeon’s Blog. A more mysterious figure, this one is written by a Northerner, living in the country, obsessed with heating with wood, and espousing the concept of personal responsibility.
As I am a New England-raised, knee-jerk liberal, practically pseudo-socialist, environmentalist, Unitarian-Universalist, over-educated, sometimes flakey, quasi-pagan lesbian, this may be a surprise to many who know me.
When I started listening to Jack Spirko about a year ago, I realized it was actually the first time I had spent any amount of time listening to someone who articulately and intelligently argued a completely different viewpoint than the one I grew up with. Most of what I had considered the absolute unquestionable givens of any reasonable point of view (Europe is better than America, Democrats are better than Republicans, the State is responsible for taking care of all of us, guns are evil and should be banned outright…) were completely rejected by this guy. I listened with fascination. This guy made a lot of sense. (Except when he doesn’t. I still think the climate-change denyers have their heads in the sand.) But regardless, is my viewpoint worth anything if I can’t even listen to someone holding an opposing point of view without freaking out? If I am so easily swayed, is my viewpoint remotely correct? If I believe anything that I hold to be universally true, it must be the idea that we do not all have to agree on anything–religion, politics, sexual preference, dietary choices. It is fundamental to the religion I belong to, to the country I live in, and to my deeply held beliefs that we must acknowledge and respect opposing points of view without villifying or refusing to listen to anyone who disagrees with us, simply because they do disagree.
Plus, these guys are funny. Go challenge yourself, and check them out.