Few people are more annoying than the free market apologist, the guy who interrupts your casual conversation in the middle of a party in order to reduce anything and everything you say to a cold, economic theory. For example, while remarking matter-of-factly that I’m surprised how expensive a little can of Chipotle for our “Fajita night” turned out to be, he’ll retort, “but Vinz, it’s the law of offer and demand”; face beaming with a condescending smile.

 

You know the look: it’s like the expression on the faces of a group of PETA activists watching a YouTube video about baby pandas.

 

Because, you see, we just don’t get it. These guys are smarter than us. They’ve figured it out. They hold the proverbial Holy Grail capable of explaining all of life: economics. And when an aspiring Chicago Boy starts lecturing you about the virtues of egoism, you’d better run away as fast as possible if you don’t want to be dragged down into one of the most boring possible conversations ever. You can’t discuss beauty in painting or music with these guys, unless you’re willing to talk about “the public’s acceptance” of Van Gogh, for example. Why in God’s name someone would want to reduce a Jimi Hendrix album to “the value of living with Experienced rather than not”, beats me. All I know is that these guys are capable of making life, as a whole, the most boring, rational and predictable theme of conversation, ever. Listen to a free market apologist ranting against taxes and social policies; it’s enough to put a strung-out cokehead to sleep.

 

I do understand their point, though. I’ve read Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Hayek, the works. I’m willing to concede you may have an argument, even though your project of turning life into a gray, Aristotelian, rational cost-and-benefits equation seems as joyful as an evening with Mr. Burns. And the whole smug, paternalistic, “you’re just a bunch of irrational animals, hoi polloi that gets manipulated by autocrats every time”, is too much to stomach. But do your thing. Go chase John Galt into a mountain where people worship a golden dollar and never smile, if that’s your utopia.

 

My problem is strictly political and can be phrased as such: If you guys are so smart, Ivy League, Austrian economists reading, über-people, how come you can’t come up with a decent candidate for the Presidential election in the United States? Out of the hundreds of millions of citizens, and the thousands that enthusiastically uphold ideas like eliminating the minimum wage, all you could come up with was Bachmann, Perry, Romney, Gingrich and the now defenestrated Herman Cain? Really?

 

I mean, I’m not exaggerating when I say that your ideas are represented, or supposed to, by the Republican Party. And these are the best guys you could find to defend your theory?

 

If the free market is so self-explanatory, if you look down on anyone who seems alarmed by inflation and tut-tut him before explaining “quantitative easing”, if the Chicago Boys are so intelligent, how come you picked these ignorant, ill-prepared candidates?

 

Look at it from my point of view, as a foreigner: the rest of the world is under the impression that Republican voters are more misinformed and uneducated than Democratic voters. You fight consistently to destroy the stereotype of the gun-toting, Midwest soccer mom with no clue where Mexico is as your core voter, and you explain that your free market views make sense.

 

So, in order to uphold your views, you pick Rick Perry? The guy who’s so “rational” and “logical” that he advances absurd syllogisms such as “if gays can go to the army, why can’t we pray in school“? Or Bachmann, the lady that has no idea as to when the human species appeared? Cain? The candidate who didn’t have a clue about Libya whilst at war with that country? Romney? The politician that holds 10,000 dollar bets during a debate? Seriously?

 

Personally, I’m far from believing the Democratic Party is the best party ever. But how can you expect us, the rest of the world, not to perceive the Republican Party as a bunch of ignorant, incoherent, rambling zealots?

 

It might all be a big joke to you. But I come from Latin America, a region that always has to deal with the consequences of your terrible political decisions. So please: get serious. Or at least, stop being so smug when talking about economics or politics. If you’re a free market apologist who votes for the Republican Party, you should be ashamed of the candidates that represent you right now.

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