Civics: the politics of independence and self reliance

James Pogue:

“When people who would abort a baby the day it’s born, threw kids under the bus during the pandemic, take kids to drag shows, and saddle our children with crippling debt,” Mr. Massie tweeted in October, “tell you how to live because they’re concerned about sea levels in 100 years, hide your children.”

It’s a debate that cuts to the heart of American politics. Mr. Massie’s version of being the “greenest member of Congress” is an explicit throwback to a Jeffersonian vision — of America as a country of people who live and work close to the land, with minimal government interference and a maximum of personal responsibility for the future of the nation. It is also a vision of rugged self-reliance that has long informed back-to-the-landers on the left, but that many on that side of politics now regard as the most insidious of American political poisons, one that has made collective action on issues like climate change impossible to achieve in this country.

“If Thomas Jefferson could have had solar panels at Monticello, he’d have had solar panels,” Mr. Massie told the libertarian economist and podcaster Matt Kibbe in 2019. “The less you have to go to the store and buy, the less dependent you are on Walmart — it’s not just that you’re greener, but you’re more independent.”