I originally wrote this in January, days after the attack on the Capitol. Only small edits have been made since my original draft. Had you predicted in January 2017 exactly what would happen during Trump’s first term in office, I surely wouldn’t have believed you. To be fair, I’m generally skeptical of predictions, no matter who they come from. I’m convinced the only predictions to come true are overly broad. But I digress.
I’ve been aware of the QAnon movement probably only slightly more than the average American for the past couple of years. I have individuals close to me who may not identify with the movement or even know about the anonymous individual “Q” but are definitely influenced by and believe many, if not all, the conspiracy theories rooted in the movement. With the attacks on the Capitol building this past Wednesday, it became apparent which of those individuals believe the 2020 election was rigged and fradualent (it wasn’t).
Many of my friends, family, and colleagues, if asked, will report that I associate myself with the libertarian political philosophy. They’d probably feel comfortable saying that I support the likes of Ron Paul, Justin Amash, and Gary Johnson. What they probably don’t know is that my Libertarian cred is even higher with my subscription to Reason magazine. But I have recently found myself slightly disaffected with the Libertarian party. Some of it is personal philosophy changes, some of it is recent events, and some of it is just misalignments that have always existed that I never saw.
Dear Senator Paul, I write this letter at risk of coming across as an over-the-top, idealistic fanboy of yours. I did not love your endorsement of Mitt Romney in 2012, but I was willing to look past it. You really won my support with your 13 hour filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan in 2013, opposing the use of drones against American citizens. Then even more so when you fought, right up until just before the vote, against sending aid to the Egyptian coup later that year (I watched it live).
A couple of years back, I deleted my Facebook account. I first got it in 2006 before many of my friends and family ever did. I loved Facebook. But as time went on it slowly became more and more of a waste of time. If my feed did not show what someone was eating or a click bait title, it was an opinionated and scathing flame war of comments. As Facebook culture started to grow into what it is now, I would participate in all these activities and many times I was the immature, generalizing, and heated friend stuck in his preconceived notions that you always rolled your eyes at.