In 1717, Francois-Marie Arouet was arrested for writing a satirical poem about the king of France and religion titled, La Henriade. He was promptly imprisoned in the Bastille. Upon his release from this prison he said, “I thank your royal highness for providing me with food, but I hope you will not hereafter trouble yourself with my lodging.” (Ancient and Modern Freethinkers, Bradlaugh)This man went on to rename himself Voltaire. His literary works are celebrated to this day as masterpieces. Not only is he loved for those works but also for his wit and comments on the politics and religion of his time. Voltaire is credited for helping to influence the French people to rebel against their oppressive monarchy.
During the American attack on Ticongaroga, an important victory in the American Revolution, Ethan Allen was quoted saying, “Come out of there you damned British sons of whores,” as he and his Green Mountain Boys captured the fort. He later went on to become one of the most successful generals of the American Revolution. (Nature’s God, The Heretical Origins of the American Republic, Stewart) He was described by Herman Melville as, “a wild beast; but a royal sort… His spirit was essentially Western, and herein is the peculiar American tradition.” Allen also stripped naked at a trial when the British hauled him in for his activities. He was also the founder of Vermont.
In American culture, we hold rebellion and revolution in high regard. Our culture loves those who speak their mind and push back at control. This is easily exemplified in music. Our musical heroes are Elvis, Jim Morrison of The Doors, Hank Williams Jr., Marilyn Manson, Axel Rose of Guns N’ Roses, Madonna, 2-Pac, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, and Lady Gaga. The list goes on and on. We want our heroes to be edgy and controversial.
This is no less true in politics. Donald Trump based his campaign on attacking the establishment. As we have seen, this was all just campaign rhetoric, as libertarian leaning GOP Rep. Justin Amash Tweeted early last year- “It didn’t take long to drain @realDonaldTrump. No shame, Mr. President. Almost everyone succumbs to the D.C. Establishment.” We all knew Trump was fake, but he had to play up a rebellious nature to get votes.
Most politicians run on being “an outsider.” Bernie Sanders ran as a rebel. Even John McCain called himself “a maverick.” Time and time again, politicians claim to stand for those traditional American qualities of rebellion, revolution, and individualism. In many cases this is nothing but theatre designed to get votes.
I have seen a few exceptions that have held office, Ron Paul, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky in the GOP, or Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat. Of course, there are many people running for office in the Libertarian Party seeking a real shift in politics. They are seeking renewed focus on individual liberty and returning the power back to the people.
One of those people is Adam Kokesh. Adam is cut in the mold of Voltaire, and Ethan Allen. He, today, is in jail because of unjust laws and unethical policemen. Just like Voltaire, his response to this is wit and refusal to submit to the yolk of slavery. He stands and says NO! in the face of oppression. Boldly, he refuses to submit. Like Ethan Allen, he has taken the fight for freedom to the authority and takes action to make change for the liberty of us all.
It certainly cannot be said that he is faking it, like so many other contemporary politicians. As a media personality and activist, his entire life is broadcast on Youtube, Dtube, podcasts, and many other outlets. We have seen him dance at the Jefferson Memorial, and load a shotgun on the National Mall. We have seen him put a mic in the face of political figures and ask those questions they do not want to answer.
I have seen many people attacking Adam for just these qualities. They say we need to vet our candidates, or that he is too extreme. Many who sit behind their keyboards while he is out there taking action question him. I have heard thousands of times how the Libertarian Party needs someone to standout. If I hear, “we need someone who can attract millenials,” from some of these people less than a minute from saying Adam is too “edgy,” I think my head will explode. They say we need this or that throw away that cannot win in the GOP. If they cannot win in the GOP and are not Libertarian, why the hell do we want them?
So, is Adam edgy or dangerous? YES! Thank God! He is dangerous to those who are stripping away natural rights. He is absolutely edgy, and controversial. I certainly prefer “edgy” to “boring”. I love Gary Johnson, but I could have taken a nap through his entire candidacy. He was not able to break double digits against Trump, and Hillary.
Adam is the real deal. It has been said that I am following him. That is, obviously, a silly statement. If you read or watch anything he has done, he consistently pushes everyone to think for themselves and be an individual. So we, as Libertarians, need to stand for what we say we do. We need to be rebels like those founding fathers so many of us quote and feel inspired by. We need revolutionaries for our time. There are many, but I know of only one asking the Libertarian Party to Localize Government. His name is Adam Kokesh, and again, for the record he is EDGY.
-Marcus Pulis (Press Secretary)