As insulting as it is to be labeled a fascist, and as easy as it is to respond vehemently with anger, it’s more productive to reply with facts and logic and take an opportunity to expound upon what libertarianism actually is.
If you do it right, you will blow minds. You may not claim a libertarian convert, but you will broaden the discussion and open the door to more tolerance from your left-wing punk friends and acquaintances.
The trick is to be honest about the things you disagree on while focusing on the things you agree about.
Last year, I started a blog called “Confessions of a Conservative Punk,” and the choosing of the term “conservative” wasn’t an accident. I consider myself a libertarian-conservative a la Barry Goldwater, the father of the modern conservative movement (that was stolen by neo-cons and the Religious Right).
When people message me to tell me how stupid I am they’re surprised when I reply in a calm, rational and friendly manner. They’re also confused to find out that I’m anti-war, for legalizing marijuana, pro-gay marriage and willing to call out George W. Bush as readily as Barack Obama.
And I let them know I disdain fascism, racism, corporatism and blind loyalty to the US empire as much as they do.
Libertarianism and freedom can’t exist without tolerance and giving other people the right to be “wrong.”
Because I feel that logic, facts and history are on our side, I’m hopeful that libertarianism will seep into mainstream punk culture, but that can only happen if we make friends. It’s easy to scoff at anarcho-communist rhetoric; it’s easy for them to scoff at anarcho-capitalist rhetoric.
We have to stop scoffing and start talking.
Always take the opportunity to smash stereotypes.