Johns: Where Have Our Pioneers Gone?

This article originally appeared on the blog of Heretic, the magazine of We Are Libertarians.

“I have to vote for the lesser of two evils until the good candidate has a chance to win.”

You might think this sounds pragmatic, but really, it’s nothing more than glory-seeking cowardice.

Pioneers have defined our world. The first ones to stand against slavery will never have a stories written about them, but without them, we’d still have people in chains. The first people to leave their feudal lands will not be remembered in textbooks, but without them, we’d all be living in hay huts and praying at the feet of a monarch. The first humans to refuse to take their neighbor’s lands will not have their faces etched into monuments, but without them, we’d still be living in spear-wielding tribes of endless war.

Imagine a world where these brave people waited for the ideas of life, liberty, and freedom to become popular. If they waited to be the first of the winners instead of the last of the losers, we would never have evolved past homophobic, murderous, barbarous cavemen who lived short lives of meaningless death, emptiness, and hate.

I have a hard time persuading someone who espouses this “not right now” viewpoint because it’s not a matter of information. I can teach people good and bad things based on observational cause and effect. But I can’t teach someone courage. Being brave enough to do the right thing is something you either are or aren’t.

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