My Excruciating Experience Debating a Libertarian Who Tried to Claim That Progressivism is a Religion

stupid-peopleI have a pretty steady rule that I follow fairly well when it comes to political debates: I don’t deal with Libertarians.  It’s just not worth it.

Libertarianism is the bane of my existence.  Not that all Libertarians are bad people – they’re not.  I have several Libertarian friends (though I absolutely refuse to debate politics with them).

I always refer to them as the philosophers of the political world.  They can b.s. anything to make it sound plausible, but when you really get down to what they’re saying, it doesn’t make any damn sense.

It goes back to the question I ask every Libertarian, “Can you name one civilization, either past or present, that’s successfully been built based on Libertarian ideology?”

Some try to say the United States, but that’s complete nonsense.  How can someone claim that the United States was founded on Libertarianism when we had slavery, women couldn’t vote and we were slaughtering Native Americans by the thousands?

You know what, maybe that is Libertarianism.  A society with no real laws to protect people.  Where most people are left to fend for themselves.  We were poor, weak and disorganized.  That does sound a lot like the type of society Libertarianism might create.

I guess we could just go ask a few Somalians.  After all, their country is a paradise for small government and little or no taxes.

Another fun thing I like to point out is that if you took 10 Libertarians and asked each one separately to define what it is to be a Libertarian, or where they stood on several issues, you’d probably get 10 different answers.

Have you ever seen two Libertarians argue?  Half the time they go back and forth accusing the other of not being a “real” Libertarian.

That all being said, I recently made the mistake of engaging in political talk with a Libertarian.  This individual claimed that progressivism was a religion, just like Christianity.  He was responding to an article I recently wrote where I stated my belief that any politician who tries to interject religion into politics should automatically be forced to resign, since doing so is a blatant violation of our First Amendment.  Their entire basis for this ridiculous argument is that they worship God while progressives worship government.

And no matter what I said, they didn’t seem to understand the difference between a political ideology and a religion.

Because if you want to use the thought process that “progressives worship government” while Christians worship God, that still makes absolutely no sense.  No matter what you think of our government, the President of the United States and Congress undeniably exist.  A belief in God is based on faith.  A belief in government is based – on the fact that you can actually see it.  

Then they asked me the question which proved how ignorant they were about this entire subject matter:

“Why should I be subject to your progressive ideals while you shouldn’t be subjected to my christian ideals?”

See what I mean about the “philosophy” of it?  It almost sounds like it makes sense – but it makes absolutely no sense.

You know why?  Because progressivism isn’t a religion. 

This individual just seemed unable to grasp this concept.  Here are a few more of their comments:

“I worship an unprovable entity, progressives worship the collective/government.  Two different kinds of God.”

“Objectively. progressivism is just as much a religion as Christianity.”

“Progressivism is a religion by any objective measure. You leave out yours, I’ll leave out mine.”

Yup, I foolishly dealt with that.  

But even as foolish as these comments were, they’re about on par with most debates I’ve had with Libertarians.  Typically just philosophical sounding gibberish that sounds great to those who are often too impressionable to think for themselves.

But at the end of the day, it just doesn’t make any damn sense.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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