08-18-2016, 05:27 PM
Of course it's the individual vs. the collective, the intellectual substance has not changed. The relevant political issue on RPF and the liberty movement, has been how to dialogue about liberty to the public for the purposes of winning a national campaign. Given the defeats of Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012 trying to do so in the straightforward rational way, Rand Paul attempted a careful rhetorical approach, especially on foreign policy, that stressed pragmatic maneuvers, verbal compromises or empty gestures, etc, to produce a conciliatory relationship with the 'mainstream' political leadership and media (or statist establishment) towards promoting liberty.
But while effective in minor instances, this approach failed to gain votes or to reach what should have been friendly voting blocs, and failed to succeed in changing the media's coverage or leadership's statism-driven policy framework. What did appear to work was the approach of the 'outsiders,' who did reach the voting blocs the Pauls should have reached, and engaged in open opposition to the MSM's biased practices and marginalization tactics. In the case of foreign policy, Trump got farther in advancing a mainly non, or less interventionist policy by "dressing it up" with nationalism, which was his version of finessing the issue, than Rand got with the rhetorical approach. Nationalism also appeared to work well as a presentation vehicle for non-collectivist trade (anti-TPP) and migration policy, for the purposes of engaging more voters.
Liberty opposition to statism is intellectually persuasive to us, but is not emotionally compelling enough to overcome the statist frameworks influencing most of the public. We need neither embrace nationalism, nor demonize it, in order to use it as a tactic to get votes for liberty candidates and policies. Its use in foreign policy, as one example, "sells" intervention in a manner a straightforward anti-war appeal does not, because 'America First' displaces the emotional memes pushed by the War party to prioritize foreign meddling.
Our movement reached a maximum 10% plateau with the Pauls pursuing an issues-only, rationalistic approach in defacto educational campaigns. Absent solving the framework-changing dynamic above, we apparently can only educate that 10%, or liberty base vote. Going beyond that base will require getting past the status quo frameworks, and getting past the establishment obstacles that set and enforce those frameworks. That is why the future of the movement depends on adding such strategic political competences to our efforts, not just concentrating on the intellectual factors.
At the least, we can't just keep ridiculing the LP for being a failure because they supposedly lack those competencies, while giving the failures of the Paul candidacies a pass, because we want to ignore developing those competencies. The answer is not to demonize Trump, but to take cues from his and similar successful case examples to learn how to engage reachable voting blocs, how to win primary contests, and how to defeat media bias.