Given the coverage as of late, the general media consensus seems to be that it’s not even remotely too early to be talking about the 2016 presidential election. I say, great! That means it’s just about time for eager beavers to start thinking about 2020. And as far as I can tell, there’s only one person who has been vocal about eyeing a White House bid in the cycle after next: everyone’s favorite good neighbor, Adam Kokesh. Just one technical difficulty: He’s in jail.
Googling Adam Kokesh is like falling down an Alice-in-Wonderland wormhole — or it would be, if that tale had been written by Murray Rothbard and Sid Vicious. One minute you’re peacefully reading a story from the news agency Russia Today on Kokesh’s 2020 ambitions, and the next you’ve got some metal band called Rebel Inc. playing a song called “A Time to Kill.” Rebel Inc. is giving away copies of its CD as prizes for people who make the best YouTube videos on why Kokesh should be let out on bail.
Tangent: Interestingly, said band, whose latest album is Soundtrack to the Revolution, has performed on Russia Today TV, which is funded by the Russian government and seems, uh, less than editorially independent. In other words, a group that calls itself “this Generations [sic] Premier Protest Band!” has performed for a channel that’s backed by the Kremlin. Kids these days.
Anyway, here’s the takeaway from all this Kokesh stuff: It feels made up, like someone writing a bad imitation of a Thomas Pynchon novel. Kokesh is in jail because he made a YouTube video (you can watch it here, and I really recommend it) of himself loading a gun in Washington, D.C.’s Freedom Plaza., which is very illegal. Police searched his home and found what appears to be the gun in the video. According to the Washington Post, he’s charged with carrying a gun in D.C. outside his home or office. The video rebellion is a little underwhelming, though, compared with his original plan, which was to organize a march of 10,000 people carrying loaded guns from Virginia into D.C. That march has been postponed until next year, apparently.
Perhaps the strangest element of all of this, though, is that the whole thing looks pretty profitable — a veritable cottage industry of anarcho-paranoia. In the same way that Alex Jones preaches against the dangers of fluoride in water and also sells filtration systems to remove said fluoride, Kokesh shills a variety of T-shirts (one says “IF THE TROOPS DEFENDED FREEDOM THEY’D ATTACK THE GOVERNMENT” and another says “Being offended is F***ING BULLSH**”; no asterisks in the original). And at the bottom of the YouTube description of the video that precipitated his arrest, after a long screed calling for “The Final American Revolution,” there’s a little ad of sorts, urging: “Buy agorist! Get your metals from http://agoristmetals.com.”
Better yet, you can invest. If you wish to “Invest in the Future of Freedom,” you can follow a link beneath the same video to a page where you can “DONATE FRNS (DOLLARS).” Or you could opt instead to donate Bitcoin or even Litecoin, a less mainstream crypto-currency. As a return on investment, Kokesh will be able to “hire an appropriate lawyer.”
By the way, if Kokesh gets out of jail in time to run for president in 2020 and proceeds to win, he says he’ll abolish the federal government. That could be problematic for him, though, since he said in a Fox 5 interview that he’s 70 percent disabled from his service in Iraq (he was a Marine) and now lives on government assistance.
What are you waiting for? Go invest your Bitcoins in the future of freedom!
— Betsy Woodruff is a William F. Buckley Fellow at the National Review Institute.