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Thread: The End of the Libertarian Dream?

  1. #1

    Default The End of the Libertarian Dream?

    The End of the Libertarian Dream?

    Long on the fringes of American politics, small-government conservatives were closer than ever to mainstream acceptance. Then two things happened: Donald Trump and Jihadi John.

    By TIM ALBERTA March/April 2017


    Justin Amash can’t seem to concentrate. His eyes keep drifting toward the TV behind me, mounted on the wall inside his congressional office. The 36-year-old representative from Michigan, who arrived in Washington six years ago as a self-described libertarian Republican, is rattling off a list of concerns about the newly inaugurated president, but he is distracted by C-SPAN’s programming: Mick Mulvaney, his close friend and colleague from South Carolina—and a similarly libertarian-minded Republican—is getting grilled during his confirmation hearing to become director of the Office of Management and Budget. Arizona Senator John McCain had just finished his inquisition and was particularly harsh, scolding Mulvaney for voting to slash military spending and withdraw American troops from Europe and Afghanistan. It was a tense exchange, and Amash savored every moment of it. The ascent of Mulvaney to such a powerful position in the federal government, libertarians believe, proves that their ideology has invaded and influenced the Republican mainstream in a manner unimaginable a decade ago.

    There is, however, a complicating factor: Mulvaney’s new boss is President Donald Trump.

    In campaigning for the presidency, Trump frequently sang from the same hymnal as libertarian primary rival Senator Rand Paul, warning against regime change and nation-building abroad, decrying the allied invasions of Iraq and Libya (never mind that Trump initially supported both), and promising to disengage from a self-immolating Middle East while re-evaluating American involvement in NATO. The election of an ideologically unmoored reality-TV star was startling to many libertarians, but at least it suggested some progress in their struggle with the GOP’s interventionist wing. “The silver lining is that Trump proved you can win the Republican nomination, and the presidency, by criticizing neoconservative foreign policy,” says David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute.

    “I think the McCain-Graham wing of the party is withering,” Amash tells me in his office, referring to South Carolina’s hawkish senator. “It was dominant 10 or 15 years ago on foreign policy matters and surveillance and other things. But today, it’s a rather weak force compared to a decade ago in D.C. And it’s almost nonexistent at home.”

    And yet, Trump also pledged to oversee a massive military buildup. He threatened to “bomb the $#@! out of” the Islamic State; suggested killing the families of terrorists; expressed an interest in seizing Iraq’s sovereign oil; advocated the return of torture; and, in his inaugural address, declared he would eradicate Islamist terrorism “from the face of the Earth.” When I mention all this, Amash bursts out laughing. “Not exactly a libertarian philosophy,” I say. “No,” he shakes his head. “It’s not.”

    There are areas, certainly, in which Trumpism and libertarianism will peacefully co-exist; school choice, as evidenced by Trump’s selection of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is one example. Deregulation is another. But by and large, they cannot be reconciled. Where libertarians champion the flow of people and capital across international borders, Trump aims to slow, or even stop, both. Where libertarians advocate drug legalization and criminal justice reform, Trump and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, seek a return to law-and-order policies. Where libertarians push to protect the First and Fourth Amendments, Trump pushes back with threats of banning Muslims and expanding the surveillance state. And where Mulvaney has dedicated his career to the argument that dramatic fiscal measures are needed to prevent the United States from going bankrupt, Trump campaigned unambiguously on accumulating debt, increasing spending and not laying a finger on the entitlement programs that make up an ever-growing share of the federal budget.

    Sooner or later, something has to give. “Mick knows the numbers. And he’s going to get to, at some point, a soul-testing moment,” Mark Sanford, his fellow South Carolina representative and a self-identified, lifelong libertarian, tells me. “Do I go with, you know, what Donald is saying? Or do I go with what I know to be mathematic reality?”

    This disconnect captures the sense of uncertainty and conflict that libertarians—whether they are Republicans, Democrats or adherents of the eponymous third party—feel in the age of Trump. After generations of being relegated to the periphery of American politics, they are seeing some of their most precious ideals accepted and advocated for at the highest levels of government. But in many policy areas, there has never been a president who poses a greater threat to what they hold dear—one who is poised, potentially, to reorient the GOP electorate toward a strong, active, centralized and protectionist federal government. The Trump presidency, then, is shaping up to be a defining moment for the libertarian movement.

    But it won’t come down to intraparty disputes over marijuana, or sentencing reform, or government data collection. Rather, the viability of libertarianism—for the next four or eight years, and potentially much longer—will be determined to an overwhelming extent by the relative stability of international affairs and the level of security Americans feel as a result.

    Not long ago, libertarians were having their long-awaited moment, with Rand Paul—supposedly the candidate who could rebrand their once-fringe ideology for a new generation of Americans—gracing magazine covers and converting Republicans to a philosophy of laissez-faire at home and restraint abroad. But the reason he isn’t president today, his allies say, owes equally to the rise of Trump and that of another disruptive phenomenon.

    “Two people were Senator Paul’s undoing in the presidential race,” Chip Englander, his campaign manager, tells me. “Donald Trump and Jihadi John.”

    Libertarians call it “the Giuliani moment.” It was May 15, 2007, and the former New York mayor stood across from Ron Paul on a debate stage in Columbia, South Carolina. They had nothing in common—personalities and ideologies aside, Rudy Giuliani was comfortably leading the GOP presidential field, while Paul was polling in the low single digits—but they would soon produce an inflection point in the party’s modern history, one that triggered a decade of unprecedented progress for libertarians.

    As a panel of Fox News moderators mocked his opposition to the Iraq War, Paul argued that American intervention in the Middle East was “a major contributing factor” to the September 11 attacks. “Have you ever read the reasons they attacked us?” he asked. “They attack us because we’ve been over there.” Giuliani, whose candidacy arose from his heroic handling of 9/11, pounced, calling it “an extraordinary statement” and asking Paul to withdraw it. The crowd roared with approval, but Paul didn’t budge. “I believe very sincerely that the CIA is correct when they teach and talk about blowback,” he responded.

    ...
    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...ump-era-214847
    “I don’t think that there will be any curtailing of Donald Trump as president,” he said. "He controls the media, he controls the sentiment [and] he controls everybody. He’s the one who will resort to executive orders more so than [President] Obama ever used them." - Ron Paul



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  3. #2

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    Justin Amash can’t seem to concentrate. His eyes keep drifting toward the TV behind me, mounted on the wall inside his congressional office
    That means you're a low energy bore.
    * Enforce Border Security – America should be guarding her own borders and enforcing her own laws instead of policing the world and implementing UN mandates.

    * No Amnesty - The Obama Administration’s endorsement of so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, will only encourage more law-breaking.

    * Abolish the Welfare State – Taxpayers cannot continue to pay the high costs to sustain this powerful incentive for illegal immigration. As Milton Friedman famously said, you can’t have open borders and a welfare state.

    * End Birthright Citizenship – As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be granted U.S. citizenship, we’ll never be able to control our immigration problem.




    Reprinted from http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/immigration/ [Nov. 29, 2011]

  4. #3

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    Excellent article

    The more important fight will take place on Capitol Hill. With the vast majority of Republicans already capitulating to Trump, libertarian-minded lawmakers are positioned as the most vocal bloc of intraparty opposition. Ron Paul was a lonely voice of dissent in Bush’s GOP, and benefited politically when the party faithful eventually came around to some of his arguments. Today, there’s a much larger contingent in the Congress oriented toward libertarianism—Amash, Sanford, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and others in the House; Rand Paul and Mike Lee in the Senate—and it has already shown a willingness to tangle with Trump where others in the party have passed. The aggressiveness with which libertarians check Trump’s overreach, at home and abroad, will correlate with the movement’s credibility, and popularity, if Republican voters turn against the president’s policies.


    But what if they don’t? Knowing the Libertarian Party just nominated its most experienced presidential ticket ever and won just 3 percent nationally, the grave fear among libertarians is that Trump’s actions will represent the very worst of his campaign promises—intervening militarily, adding to the debt, abandoning trade, restricting civil liberties—and that the GOP electorate will love him for it.


    “If the Republican Party becomes thoroughly Trumpist,” Boaz says, “there’s not much room for libertarians.”
    That pretty much sums it up.

    If Trump becomes unpopular, and libertarians are his big critics within the party, great opportunities await us in 4 to 8 years.

    ...much as for Ron after the Bush years.

    But if Trump remains popular and/or libertarians give up and join him, we're done for the foreseeable future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MallsRGood View Post
    Excellent article



    That pretty much sums it up.

    If Trump becomes unpopular, and libertarians are his big critics within the party, great opportunities await us in 4 to 8 years.

    ...much as for Ron after the Bush years.

    But if Trump remains popular and/or libertarians give up and join him, we're done for the foreseeable future.
    He is right about Mulvaney, and if he breaks with President Donald, it will happen sooner rather than later.
    “I don’t think that there will be any curtailing of Donald Trump as president,” he said. "He controls the media, he controls the sentiment [and] he controls everybody. He’s the one who will resort to executive orders more so than [President] Obama ever used them." - Ron Paul

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPUd View Post
    He is right about Mulvaney, and if he breaks with President Donald, it will happen sooner rather than later.
    Yea, Trumpster's losing his mojo quickly.

    I see a totally different landscape by fall.

  9. #8

    Lightbulb Rand's pollster: "Rand tried to please both sides and lost" in 2016

    In a "where do we go from here" article on the Ron Paul liberty movement, Politico just added this gem:


    Tony Fabrizio, the Paul campaign’s pollster, says. “With all respect to Rand … I think he wanted to prove he and his father were different. And that created natural tensions. By trying to please both sides, he wound up pleasing neither.”

    The entire article is a pretty thought provoking read:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...ump-era-214847
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

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    Rand tried to bring the country together, but the country wanted to drive the divide even farther. They wanted to tear each others throats out and that is exactly what they are doing now. All that's left is the popcorn.
    War; everything in the world wrong, evil and immoral combined into one and multiplied by millions.

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    VP candidate in 2020?

    The D&R terrorists hate us because we're free, to vote second party

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    Quote Originally Posted by klamath View Post
    Rand tried to bring the country together, but the country wanted to drive the divide even farther. They wanted to tear each others throats out and that is exactly what they are doing now. All that's left is the popcorn.
    That was more thought provoking than anything in the politico article.
    "He's talkin' to his gut like it's a person!!" -me
    "dumpster diving isn't professional." - angelatc


    "Each of us must choose which course of action we should take: education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary changes. But let it not be said that we did nothing." - Ron Paul

    "Paul said "the wave of the future" is a coalition of anti-authoritarian progressive Democrats and libertarian Republicans in Congress opposed to domestic surveillance, opposed to starting new wars and in favor of ending the so-called War on Drugs."

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by klamath View Post
    Rand tried to bring the country together, but the country wanted to drive the divide even farther. They wanted to tear each others throats out and that is exactly what they are doing now. All that's left is the popcorn.
    Good analysis. I do wonder from time to time if Rand knew that fanning the flames of the right would prevail in the general election, might he have made any changes. I hope he is proud of the approach he took, however. Had Rand won the Presidency, the shadow government would probably have been even more ruthless than they have been with Trump. I'm glad he's in the Senate, for the time being.

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    Lol here we go again.

    Rand was considered top tier in polling before Trump arrived to the scene and took up all the attention. Rand had his anti-establishment messaging, he was supposed to be the "$#@! you vote" until the even bigger "$#@! you vote" came along.

    Tony Fabrizio isn't saying what any normal f'ing person that follows Rand doesn't know. No matter what Rand did, he wouldn't be able to please the entire libertarian block because a small portion of the movement already had their minds made up about him.

    The most ridiculous thing was when supporters and critics were blaming Rand for not being more like Trump because what Trump was doing was working. Nobody was Trump and nobody was going to be Trump, period.
    Undeniably effective strategy
    1) REGISTER - email : iowa@randpaul2016.com to request login.
    2) LOGIN & CALL - www.callingfromhome.com
    3) WIN

    Don't pay the media to attack Rand
    Every time you click on the attack articles, you are literally paying them for attacking Rand. If you really want people to see, quote the entire article and break the link.

    be ACTIVE, be EFFECTIVE, be ORGANIZED, be STRATEGIC, be VICTORIOUS.

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  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by eleganz View Post
    The most ridiculous thing was when supporters and critics were blaming Rand for not being more like Trump because what Trump was doing was working. Nobody was Trump and nobody was going to be Trump, period.
    Trump never would have even gotten off the ground if Rand had run a good campaign. The whole "America First" platform was just sitting there for anybody to pick up. Nobody did, so Trump came in and ran with it. Rand is a guy who doesn't even believe in birthright citizenship, but voters didn't even hear about it until Trump brought it up first and that was after Rand had already convinced most GOP voters he was pro-amnesty with his wishy washy rhetoric.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonPaulMall View Post
    Trump never would have even gotten off the ground if Rand had run a good campaign. The whole "America First" platform was just sitting there for anybody to pick up. Nobody did, so Trump came in and ran with it. Rand is a guy who doesn't even believe in birthright citizenship, but voters didn't even hear about it until Trump brought it up first and that was after Rand had already convinced most GOP voters he was pro-amnesty with his wishy washy rhetoric.
    Lol - I know you don't believe this!

    Trump was lifted off the ground by a media that wanted a show. It had NOTHING to do with policies. Klamath had it right in post #2. Rand was (is) trying to find serious ways to fix the country's problems. Nobody wanted seriousness. They still don't. They want to be entertained. And part of that entertainment is rooting for one team and chastising another.
    "And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works." - Bastiat

    "It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere." - Voltaire

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonZeplin View Post
    VP candidate in 2020?

    I said this a while back. If Trump pulls through on half of his platform he's getting a second term and Rand will have real shot to be President in 2024.
    "Like an army falling, one by one by one" - Linkin Park

  18. #17

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    Rip America.
    No - No - No - No
    2016

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by asurfaholic View Post
    Rip America.
    We might as well split into two countries. How would this happen theoretically? Without violence.

  20. #19

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    Duh. Imagine if Rand had hired Bannon back when he was rising in like 2011-2012? Talk about wasted potential. So heartbreaking

  21. #20

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    Rand was accused of being mean to women "reporters", so he went on the Megyn Kelly show and apologized. Kelly accused Trump of being mean to women so he told Kelly to go fukk herself. People like a fighter.

    Also, in that same (first) debate, Rand in the first 90 seconds started ranting about how Trump wasn't a "real Republican." He squandered his father's outsider branding and positioned himself as a party hack.

    That's why Trump beat Rand.
    Last edited by RonPaulGeorge&Ringo; 03-06-2017 at 09:51 PM.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonPaulMall View Post
    Trump never would have even gotten off the ground if Rand had run a good campaign.
    That's not true. No one was able to beat Trump because not only was the enviroment ready for Trump, but no one was willing to say and do what Trump did in order to win.

    That being said, even if Rand had actually run a good campaign (he didn't) he wouldn't have beaten Trump. However, there is no excuse for doing as lousy as he did in Iowa.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by eleganz View Post
    No matter what Rand did, he wouldn't be able to please the entire libertarian block because a small portion of the movement already had their minds made up about him.
    Actually, if Rand had handled things differently from the beginning, such as the Romney endorsement, then most of Ron's people would have stuck with him. He did worse than Ron did in Iowa '08, which is really inexcusable.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonPaulMall View Post
    Trump never would have even gotten off the ground if Rand had run a good campaign. The whole "America First" platform was just sitting there for anybody to pick up. Nobody did, so Trump came in and ran with it. Rand is a guy who doesn't even believe in birthright citizenship, but voters didn't even hear about it until Trump brought it up first and that was after Rand had already convinced most GOP voters he was pro-amnesty with his wishy washy rhetoric.
    This is completely delusional.

    If only Rand ran a good campaign? The only good campaign is the one that wins.
    Undeniably effective strategy
    1) REGISTER - email : iowa@randpaul2016.com to request login.
    2) LOGIN & CALL - www.callingfromhome.com
    3) WIN

    Don't pay the media to attack Rand
    Every time you click on the attack articles, you are literally paying them for attacking Rand. If you really want people to see, quote the entire article and break the link.

    be ACTIVE, be EFFECTIVE, be ORGANIZED, be STRATEGIC, be VICTORIOUS.

    How to plug a TWEET in post [ TWEET] [/TWEET ]

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Collins View Post
    Actually, if Rand had handled things differently from the beginning, such as the Romney endorsement, then most of Ron's people would have stuck with him. He did worse than Ron did in Iowa '08, which is really inexcusable.

    Equally inexcusable for someone with your supposed experience to compare the political climates of different presidential election cycles.
    Undeniably effective strategy
    1) REGISTER - email : iowa@randpaul2016.com to request login.
    2) LOGIN & CALL - www.callingfromhome.com
    3) WIN

    Don't pay the media to attack Rand
    Every time you click on the attack articles, you are literally paying them for attacking Rand. If you really want people to see, quote the entire article and break the link.

    be ACTIVE, be EFFECTIVE, be ORGANIZED, be STRATEGIC, be VICTORIOUS.

    How to plug a TWEET in post [ TWEET] [/TWEET ]

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
    I said this a while back. If Trump pulls through on half of his platform he's getting a second term and Rand will have real shot to be President in 2024.
    After Trump it will be a democrat that gets elected.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Collins View Post
    In a "where do we go from here" article on the Ron Paul liberty movement, Politico just added this gem:

    The entire article is a pretty thought provoking read:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/sto...ump-era-214847
    They did a story like this about Sanford a few weeks ago. Another article by Politico featuring lamentations of libertarian politicians. Divide and conquer.
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
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    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by eleganz View Post
    This is completely delusional.

    If only Rand ran a good campaign? The only good campaign is the one that wins.
    Yes, but "winning" doesnt always acheive electoral victory. Ron Paul won, but he didn't get elected. Rand's Presidential campaign did neither.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by eleganz View Post
    Equally inexcusable for someone with your supposed experience to compare the political climates of different presidential election cycles.
    You must have a reading comprehension problem. I never wrote that Rand was able to have won the nomination.
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by eleganz View Post
    Equally inexcusable for someone with your supposed experience to compare the political climates of different presidential election cycles.
    Indeed, Trump didn't beat Rand.

    ISIS and Mexicans did.

    If the election had been held in 2014, President Paul would be entering his second year.

    Likewise, in any other cycle, one not dominated by ultra-nationalism, Trump would've been laughed out of the room.

    Quote Originally Posted by RonZeplin View Post
    VP candidate in 2020?
    Not if Trump's the POTUS candidate

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by MallsRGood View Post
    Indeed, Trump didn't beat Rand.

    ISIS and Mexicans did.

    If the election had been held in 2014, President Paul would be entering his second year.
    LOL, you really believe that?
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

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