I went to a Gary Johnson rally in drag to ask libertarians about peace.
It had been a while since I had put on the wig— and I was having trouble getting into my dress— but I thought this would be a good chance to get it back in the habit. After all, what do libertarians value more than freedom? Dressing however I wanted to dress seemed like the most libertarian thing I could do.
Ironically, the very first thing Johnson’s supporters did when I arrived was try to block me and my video camera from getting a shot of the stage. One guy, in particular spent his time walking back and forth to block my shot every time I moved a little. It is a typical tactic— but doesn’t seem very libertarian to me.
After the speech was done, I asked Gov. Bill Weld, “what does peace mean to you?”
He responded, “it means freedom from interference with my life.”
I shot back, “is that why it’s okay to dress like this,” showing off my wig with flower in it.
Weld responded, “yeah, you’re beautiful.”
With my ZZ Top length beard, this is not a word I would self-apply— but it was a bold choice on the part of the Governor.
Next, as Gov. Gary Johnson was driving off in his little red compact car, I also asked, “what does peace mean to you?”
Johnson responded, “what is peace?” as if he was making sure he heard it right.
I repeated myself, and so did he, this time changing his inflection to mean that he simply had no idea the meaning of peace. As he was out of ear-shot, I responded in a silly way, “that’s all you got, Gary!?”
The very first attendee I interviewed said, “peace means no violence, and preferably not a lot of noise too.” He was irritated by his own phone which was ringing.
I told him, “Tom, I love you, you’re a sexy motherfucker.”
Tom responded, “you sound like a queer.”
I quipped, “yes, and that’s okay.”
I should be clear that my “yes” part of the statement was merely an acknowledgement that I was a man calling another man sexy. Because that IS okay.
After a couple other simplistic answers, a trans-gendered person Jordan Evans had some thoughtful remarks. Jordan said, “I like living in a country where I am free to transition to the gender that I am, without the threat of danger and harm. In a libertarian society, you can do anything you want to yourself, so long as you are not hurting anyone else.”
The majority of responses were to the effect of, “peace is not hurting anyone without a just cause,” or “peace is being free to do what you want, so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.”
Jordan Evans was perhaps the most articulate person who chose to be interviewed, and finished off with, “ peace, we should all be actively striving to have. It is the tranquility that works as the glue to keep society together. You can’t have freedom if you don’t have peace.”
What I think we can all learn from this little libertarian convention is that while libertarians profess to love doing what you want so long as it hurts no one— they have a ways to go in practicing what they preach.