by Max Brantley
Now he's gone and offended the Libertarian Party by characterizing them on his Facebook page as "enemies of freedom, liberty and the Constitution." He seems to think Mitt Romney lost because of libertarians, which gives you some idea of his intellectual throw-weight.
Riling a Libertarian is a good way to trigger an extended rejoinder, as any talk radio show host can tell you. Just for sport this morning, I pass it along, with Bell's offending Facebook post.
REPRESENTATIVE NATE BELL SAYS LIBERTARIANS ARE DOMESTIC ENEMIES
Mena, AR - Nate Bell, a Republican State Representative from Mena, AR, made waves on facebook yesterday when he took to social media to vent his frustrations about our nation’s largest third party.
Bell called Libertarians and Gary Johnson supporters “enemies of freedom, liberty and the Constitution,” on his personal facebook page, which can be viewed by the public.
“The negative effects of Gary Johnson's efforts to suppress GOP turnout … directly and indirectly contributed to President Obama's re-election.,” said Bell, who was re-elected on Tuesday. “Gary Johnson and his followers’ efforts to aid and abet the President's re-election qualify them as enemies of freedom, liberty and the Constitution,” said Bell. “I swore an oath to defend that Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic and I will do so.”
Rodger Paxton, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Arkansas (LPAR) says that Bell has gone too far in his accusations. “Bell is basically calling us domestic terrorists,” Paxton said. “As one of the 15,977 people that Representative Bell considers a ‘domestic enemy’ and as someone whose First Amendment rights he wants to suppress at the polls, I am appalled.”
Libertarians from Arkansas immediately took to facebook to express their disgust.
Bell, self-described as “having many libertarian views”, said that the libertarian response was not friendly.
“So much for tolerance of dissenting views, I guess that only works when you agree with them.” said Bell.
“This is nothing more than a fallacious attack on the Libertarian Party by someone who obviously doesn't understand libertarianism,” said David Pangrac of Van Buren, Vice Chairman and the LPAR’s 2012 Third District Congressional Candidate. “If every single Gary Johnson vote had been cast for Mitt Romney, he still would have lost the election to Barack Obama, so the basis of Bell’s rants is based either on ignorance or misinformation.”
Meg Kunert of Conway said that Bell’s opinion only strengthened her resolve. “If speaking the truth and standing true to the Constitution of the United States makes me an enemy to freedom, then you might as well go ahead and place the shackles around my neck,” said Kunert.
The libertarian philosophy is based on the non-aggression principle, which states libertarians do not advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or personal goals.
On Tuesday, the LPAR made history with the highest vote totals for a Libertarian Presidential candidate in Arkansas. More than three times as many Arkansans voted for Gary Johnson in 2012 than voted for the Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Bob Barr, in 2008.
“We have fought for two years to gain ballot access and give Arkansans more choice on the ballot,” said Paxton. “It appears that the constituents of Mr. Bell’s district have elected a representative who does not care about the Constitutional right to free speech by attempting to silence those who disagree with him.”
Bell has since removed the post from his facebook page.
The Libertarian Party of Arkansas is a state affiliate of the National Libertarian Party. The LPAR has been active since the mid-1970′s and has consistently placed a Libertarian presidential candidate on the ballot since 1980. In 2011 the LPAR became an official political party after meeting the requirements set forth by the state.
For more information please visit www.lpar.org or find us on facebook.