Guest Article by Jacob Hornberger, Libertarian Candidate for President of the United States.
One of the worst things that libertarians and members of the Libertarian Party could ever do is abandon their position
Critiques are being leveled against me for hewing to libertarian principles on the subject of immigration. My critics are saying either that libertarians are wrong to support open borders or that libertarians should abandon their commitment to open borders and join up with Republicans and Democrats in their support of government-controlled and government-enforced borders.
Among the most vociferous of my critics is an anonymous woman who goes by the name of “Dissident Mama.” Deeply upset with my unwavering support of a free-market immigration policy, she has so far written two critical articles about me, the first entitled “Open Borders ‘Bumper’” and the second entitled “Broken Bumper.”
I was tempted to ignore this critic for one reason: the anonymity of the author. Clearly obsessed with my name, the woman writing as “Dissident Mama,” who I will hereafter refer to as DM, has, ironically, chosen to cloak her own real name in anonymity.
In an article entitled “Anonymity Is the Shield of Cowards,” the publisher of the Ironton Tribune in Ohio explained the paper’s reasons for its policy against publishing pieces by anonymous writers:
….We hold everyone to these high standards. If you want to have a letter to the editor printed you must sign your name.
The same goes for getting quoted in a news story, in almost all circumstances.
See, I believe that anonymity is the shield of cowards.
If someone won’t put their name to something, I have to question the source and their intentions. With anything I do or say, I am man enough to stand up and take ownership of it. i wish everyone would do the same.
Others, I believe, simply like the comfort of being able to say whatever they want, knowing that it will never be traced back to them.
Typically, that is when the behavior devolves into an embarrassing display of human nature. The cursing starts. Insults abound. Accusations against others in the community often run rampant. And all are coming from a shielded individual….
DM expresses surprise that such ardent and principled libertarians as Scott Horton, Tom Woods, Dave Smith, and Ron Paul, all of whom DM respects and admires, have expressed support for my campaign for the 2020 Libertarian Party presidential nomination. (Actually, while Ron Paul is a good longtime friend who has written the introduction to my book My Passion for Liberty, to my knowledge he has not expressly endorsed my candidacy, although I would consider it be big honor if he were to do so.) The reason DM is surprised and obviously disappointed is because of the fact that these four individuals might hold views on immigration that are different from mine.
Ron Paul, Scott Horton, and Tom Woods are real-life heroes of mine for their deep commitment to libertarianism. The same holds true for Lew Rockwell and Jeff Diest at the Mises Institute. Lew has been a longtime friend of mine and I’d like to think that he holds me in the same high regard as I do him. The Mises Institute has played an invaluable role in my libertarian intellectual development. I haven’t known Jeff for long but my sentiment is the same for him. I just recently discovered Dave Smith, who instantly became another real-life hero of mine, owning to his hard-core, principled defense of liberty. It is a huge honor for me to receive the support of all of these people who I greatly admire and respect.
DM is obviously upset that the people she and I both admire and respect have not taken her position — to vehemently oppose my bid for the LP presidential nomination because of my libertarian position on immigration. She just cannot understand that the mutual respect that these individuals and I have for each other supersedes any disagreement we might have on immigration, especially given our deep agreement on other critically important libertarian issues, such as foreign interventionism, empire, the drug war, socialism, sound money and the Fed, income taxation, education, and economic regulation.
The deep, principled commitment to freedom principles that these libertarians have is not the only reason I respect and admire them. It is also because of their courage to publicly identify themselves in their advocacy of libertarianism. By doing so, they are willing to risk severe public criticism, from both right-wingers and left-wingers, by going public with their identity, philosophy, and positions. They have the courage of their convictions.
They are not the only ones I admire for this reason. I could point to countless more libertarians who have been willing to publicly advance liberty with their real names and identities, overcoming any fear they might have about the resulting consequences, including libertarians like Wendy McElroy, Karen Kwiatkowski, and Kelly Vlahos. Why, even socialist advocate Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and climate-change activist Greta Thunberg are unafraid to go public with their identities and views, knowing full well that they will be incurring attacks from both right-wingers and libertarians.
Imagine if John Hancock had signed the Declaration of Independence as “Anonymous” out of fear for what his government would do to him for signing his real name to the Declaration. It is difficult to imagine that signing “Anonymous” would have had the same big impact that putting his “John Hancock” in great big letters on the Declaration did.
That’s not to say, of course, that there aren’t sometimes good and valid reasons for a writer’s choosing to hide his or her identity. The story of the White Rose comes to mind. That was a group composed mostly of Christian college students in Nazi Germany in the midst of World War II. Led by a brother and sister named Hans and Sophie Scholl, they decided to oppose their own government — the Hitler regime — and began secretly publishing and distributing a series of anti-government pamphlets also called The White Rose.
The students, of course, had good reason to keep their identities secret. If they had put their names on the essays, they would have been quickly arrested by the Gestapo and executed. (As it was, they were ultimately caught and executed anyway. For an excellent account of the White Rose, I highly recommend the movie Sophie Scholl: The Final Days.Also, see my essay “The White Rose: A Lesson in Dissent.”)
Naturally, I was curious as to why DM would want to keep her identity secret. Could it be that she had a valid reason for choosing to do so? Maybe U.S officials had placed her on their kill list for state-sponsored assassinations. Or maybe she had received death threats from some extremist or terrorist groups.
So I did a bit of investigating, and I ended up discovering the answer in two one-hour interviews between DM and a Dr. Ed DeVries, who runs an Internet show entitled The Dixie Heritage Hour, which represents itself to be “the Web’s most trusted defender of Southern Heritage.”
DeVries states at the beginning of Part One of the interviews that once he discovered that DM was a “faithful subscriber” to the Dixie Heritage Letter and a “faithful reader,” he reached out to her to ask her if she would like to appear on “TBR Radio Presents the Dixie Heritage Hour” and that she replied, “I would absolutely love it.”
Part One of the DM-DeVries interview is here.
Part Two of the DM-DeVries interview is here.
During the interviews, DM emphasized how important speaking the truth is to her. She decried “cowards” who, unlike her, have a “lack of strength” when it comes to speaking the truth. She states:
I’m critical of Christians a lot, you know, because, you know, we are supposed to stand for truth. It’s not the just the truth of Jesus, I mean it is truth. You know, I mean if someone is pushing moral relativism and it makes you feel better because you’re part of the crowd, I mean to me that’s just not a thing a Bible-believing Christian should do. So, yeah, I give Christians a lot of grief sometimes which probably loses me some Christian readers. I’m just like we’re either into truth or not. Just pick a team and then let’s move forward with this. Because I do feel sometimes like I’m battling my own people. And its very frustrating.
Interestingly, throughout the two hours of interviewing DM, not once did DeVries ever ask her what would seem to be an important and relevant question: Why has DM chosen to hide her identity?
Nonetheless, during Part Two of the interviews, DM provided the explanation for her anonymity:
And then going back to the Facebook thing and, you know, getting angry at people on there, that’s another thing that like uh I wanted to have personal relationships with people on my normal Facebook page where church people are and family members and old ladies I know. And you know sometimes you don’t want to have people’s politics shoved into your face all the time, you know, and sometimes I don’t want to know what people are thinking. I really like that person and I really hate that they want to take my guns away. You know, stuff like that, people you go to church with. So that’s another reason I kinda decided to have this alter ego so that I could be very truthful and also, you know, maybe not get my husband in trouble who has a very corporate job for having this insanely radical wife according to modern standards.
So, there you have it. DM doesn’t want her Facebook friends, her fellow church members, and her husband’s employers and co-workers to know who she really is and what she really believes and stands for. The person who prides herself on speaking the truth and who decries others for failing to do so has chosen to live a double life — one life on the Internet in which she anonymously states her real views and castigates and condemns those who disagree with her and another life in which she presents a false depiction of herself to friends, fellow churchgoers, and her husband’s co-workers and bosses at work.
DeVries’ The Dixie Hour, the Internet show on which DM was interviewed, is hosted by a website called The Barnes Review, which sponsors a collection of books that have, to say the least, some interesting titles, such as Debating the Holocaust; Auschwitz: A Judge Looks at the Evidence; The Gas Vans: A Critical Investigation; Auschwitz: The Case for Sanity; Auschwitz: Crematoria I and the Alleged Homicidal Gassings; Sibibor: Holocaust Propaganda and Reality; Auschwitz Lies: Legends, Lies & Prejudices on the Holocaust; The Leuchter Reports; The Hoax of the Twentieth Century; and The Holocaust Hoax Exposed.
In fact, a particularly interesting exchange took place between DM and DeVries during Part 2 of the interviews (37:00):
DeVries: Well, that’s another reason that we are going to do, you know, like a Pink Swastika broadcast.
DM: That sounds great.
DeVries: Because, okay, for example, in the upcoming issue of the Barnes Review, there’s an article and basically a chemist is explaining why Xyklon B gas could not have been used to for mass extermination.
DeVries. It was, it was, that the science of it just doesn’t pan out.
DeVries: But what it would have done — is you put someone in a shower room, spray them with hot water that has this Zyklon B gas, you know, coming out with it.
DeVries: What you would do is kill all the lice on that person.
DeVries. So in other words those mass extermination chambers in the concentration camps.
DM: Oh, were to get rid of the lice.
DeVries: Yeah. They weren’t to put a hundred people into the shower room and kill them all.
DeVries: It was to get get all of the lice off of them before they put them into the, you know. So, yeah.
Once I heard that exchange, it became apparent to me why DM, even while telling people how important truth is to her, might want to maintain her double life.
DeVries wrapped up his second interview by telling DM that this had been one of his “funnest” interviews ever. For her part, DM told DeVries that she would “love” to interview him because, as she put it, it would be “juicy,” “awesome,” and a “great interview.”