Should Americans be worried about Libertarians?

By Ted Belman

After Rand Paul’s stunning victory he got into trouble in an interview when asked about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He thought it went too far. He had a lot of splaining to do.

So, should Americans be worried about Libertarians?

Eric Dondero, Publisher/Editor of Libertarian Republican, wrote a major article commenting on Palin’s praise of America’s “libertarian streak” . In it, he recounts Palin’s extensive libertarian background. That got me to look up the Libertarian platform.

Huffington Post asks How’s that Liberterian thingie workin’ out for ya?

It seems to me that purists of the left or right variety should never have power. Idealogies must be tempered by reality and common sense.

Palin praised the Republican Libertarian streak rather than platform. There is a huge difference. She is saying that some of the principles of libertarianism are worth remembering. In fact she keeps stressing these principles in her calls for limited government, lower taxes and more freedom.

Reagan was realistic although guided by basic values. I think this applies to Palin as well.

Her dalliance with libertarianism will come home to haunt her in any run for the nomination or presidency.

Sultan Knish covered the Libertarian issue in his Friday Afternoon Roundup.

Keiko has an interesting video that shows the real face of Alex Jones… as if anyone needed to see it,  but I regularly see emails that quote him or Lew Rockwell, or that actually think Rand Paul’s victory was a good thing. It’s not. If you could say one good thing about Ron Paul, it’s that he spent less time weaseling about what he really believes. His son on the other hand does nothing but weasel and the entire Maddow mess is the product of a weaseler who tries to have it both ways.

This is after all the same Rand Paul who on the Alex Jones show said;

…”the message has to be broadened and made more appealing to the entire Republican electorate because you have to win a primary.”

Now he’s going to have to try and broaden the message again, and try to keep track of all his own weaseling.

Rand Paul’s mistake was assuming that the left would give him a pass, the same way it gave dear old dad a pass. The difference is that the left only gave Ron Paul a pass because he was against the War on Terror, and mainly because he was undermining McCain. Now that Rand Paul has actually won the primary, the honeymoon is over and he’ll be a punching bag for his old buddies. Which is why Rand Paul was stupid enough to go on with Maddow expecting the same kind of soft shoe treatment that most of the media gave his father, but instead got exactly what he should have expected. A chance to embarrass himself on national television by backpedaling all over the place.

Genuine GOP Mom has more coverage on the pass that Rand Paul got during the primary, which just got revoked

It’s not as if the national media ignored the Kentucky contest. To the contrary, Washington political reporters headed out to cover the horse race — who’s up, who’s down — and wrote extensively on how the election plays into a larger narrative of tea party candidates like Paul fighting against the GOP establishment.

Somehow lost in all that coverage was any focus on Paul’s views on the Civil Rights Act. Indeed, a Lexis-Nexis search for “Rand Paul” and “Civil Rights Act” yields no results for the weeks after the Courier-Journal editorial ran.

So if Paul’s view is controversial enough to dominate cable news and the political blogosphere all day Thursday, how come it wasn’t an issue in the month leading up to Kentucky’s primary?

“For years, I’ve felt that the relationship between Ron Paul supporters and establishment conservatism is one of the most interesting, relatively unexplored dynamics in modern U.S. politics,” Maddow continued. “I intend to keep covering it, and I hope that Rand Paul and Congressman Ron Paul and members of the movement they’ve inspired will continue to be willing to participate in the conversation.”

This is an exact counterpart to how the media gave Ron Paul a pass, ignoring his racist newsletters, until they couldn’t ignore them anymore. And then they quickly gave him a pass on them too. But that pass would have been revoked the instant Ron Paul became the official Republican candidate.

Before you jump to a conclusion, you should understand Rand Paul’s position.

The Washington Post published a two part defense by David Weigel.
Part I. Rand Paul flap.
Part II Defending Rand Paul,

This is about the libertarian dream of a colorblind society, faithful to the Constitution, with as little regulation of business as possible. I’m sticking up for Rand Paul here for a couple of reasons.

— He believes this because he despises racism and believes almost all Americans agree with him.

— This debate is more interesting and honest than the usual slippery debate we have about race, law, and regulation.

How does Paul’s opposition to racism explain his position here? He’s a property-rights absolutist, and he believes property rights, and the choices of consumers, are the only constitutional remedy to discrimination against race, against disability, against anything else. I think Julian Sanchez puts it best:

Strong property rights have often been the friend of unpopular minorities: Jim Crow laws were imposed precisely because racists feared the South’s rigid caste system would collapse if business owners were free to integrate, as historian Charles Wynes noted in his 1961 study Race Relations in Virginia. After that long apartheid imposed on consumer preferences, it might have been too sanguine to hope market forces alone would have ushered in desegregation as rapidly as the Civil Rights Act did. But history is littered with tribal boundaries shattered by commerce, and formal law yielded no instant solution either.

That is the north star for Paul. He does not believe that the Constitution allows the government to force businesses, landlords, etc. to change how they do business and who they do business with. And he fears that doing so in the name of positive social change puts us on a slippery slope to extra-Constitutional measures in the service of negative social change — taking away guns, putting people in camps. You can disagree, but that’s where he’s coming from.

May 22, 2010 | 41 Comments »

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  1. You cannot condemn Obama the candidate for his associations with extremists and radicals of different stripes but then give Palin a pass when she does things similar. Maybe not yet of the same magnitude but I am speaking to the principle. If you weren’t such a blind groupie of Palin you would be down on her in similar fashion to your critiques of Obama.

    People both liberal and conservative praised Herr Hitler because he built super autobahns and kept the trains running on time along with civic order. Different strokes for different folks.

    For different reasons There is a commonality between what antisemites Like Ron Paul and probably his son Rand want and what I want and that is the Political divestment of Israel by America.

    Ted I will bet you she doesn’t run. So you had better start picking your second and third choices. 🙂

  2. Peace Now, Heh Heh Heh!!!

    Matt Welch of Reason Magazine says in a Real News video segment that the tea party has not figured out or really defined its stance on foreign policy. They have just relied on common bonds on a few domestic issues — limiting the scope of government, reducing government spending, etc — to bring people together for action.

    The Ron Paul or Campaign for Liberty faction of the Tea Party movement are, as far as I can tell, very open to anti-imperialist ideas. Here’s a recent quote from Ron Paul spoken at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference:

    “The conservatives and the liberals, they both like to spend…Conservatives spend money on different things. They like embassies, and they like occupation. They like the empire. They like to be in 135 countries and 700 bases…Don’t you think it’s rather conservative to say, “Oh it’s good to follow the Constitution. Oh, except for war. Let the President go to war anytime they want.’ We can do better with peace than with war.”

    Now, that’s something I agree with. I don’t like occupation, empire and I don’t want the U.S. to be in 135 countries with more than 700 bases.

    And, if citizens who are receptive to Tea Party issues, if citizens who are anti-government and want to organize with the Tea Party because they need an outlet for their anger and despair happen to agree with the idea that we can do better with peace than war, than why not pick them apart and divide them? Why not ask them why the Freedomworks/Sarah Palin Tea Party supports occupation and they don’t?

    Leading scholar on the left, Noam Chomsky, spoke to a crowd in Madison, Wisconsin recently and said, “I’m just old enough to have heard a number of Hitler’s speeches on the radio and I have a memory of the texture and the tone of the cheering mobs, and I” sense the dark clouds of fascism gathering here at home.

    Chomsky spoke about Joseph Stack, the 53-year-old software engineer who flew an airplane into an IRS building in Texas last February. He quoted from Stack’s manifesto and said that Stack was “basically right” in his critique of American politics and capitalism. Then, Chomsky said “the left is failing the country by not reaching out to those in the Tea Party movement, who are frustrated and fed up with American government.”

    In Chomsky’s opinion, “They shouldn’t be laughed at. It’s not a joke…Ridiculing the Tea Party shenanigans is a terrible mistake.”

    Chomsky asked people to consider why those voices are being mobilized by the “extreme Right” in this country

    Perhaps, Chomsky’s logic is what CODEPINK and other liberals or progressives are responding to. CODEPINK has made plans to “extend an olive branch” to the Tea Party at the Tax Day protests.

    The group stated:

    “Liberal anti-war group CODEPINK will be attending the Tax Day Tea Party in Washington, D.C. to “extend an olive branch” to talk about war and the Administration’s bloated military budget. Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK Cofounder, will be surveying conservative Tea Party attendees on their feelings around small government vs. obese military budget. A list of Medea’s questions can be seen here in her piece recently published on Alternet (http://is.gd/bsAuo). As Tea Partiers express their anger at out-of-control government spending and soaring deficits, CODEPINK will ask them to take a hard look at what is, by far, the biggest sinkhole of our tax dollars: Pentagon spending. With the Obama administration proposing the largest military budget ever, topping $700 billion not including war supplementals, the U.S. government is now spending almost as much on the military as the rest of the world combined.”

    Naomi Wolf who wrote The End of America: Letters to a Young Patriot and Give Me Liberty when Bush was in power thinks the Tea Party is helping America fight fascism. I’m not quite sure that is true especially when considering the media and government structures that bear down upon the people of this nation but I do think this quote from a recent interview is valuable:

    JS: Why do you think the sides don’t understand each other?

    NW: Frankly, liberals are out of the habit of communicating with anyone outside their own in cohort. We have a cultural problem with self-righteousness and elitism. Liberals roll their eyes about going on “Oprah” to reach a mass audience by using language that anyone can understand even if you majored in semiotics at Yale. We look down on people we don’t agree with. It doesn’t serve us well.

    There is also a deliberate building up of two camps that benefits from whipping up home team spirit and demonizing the opposition. With the Internet there is even more fractioning since we are in echo chambers. With so much propaganda it is hard to calm down enough to listen.

    I don’t actually know if I believe anyone who counts themselves as a progressive, liberal or leftist is willing to get into conversation because of how vehemently opposed many are. I am just as opposed and disgusted myself. But, at the same time, these people aren’t going to go away.

    The Tea Party is growing in power and to just tell people that the Tea Party should be opposed because we liberals, progressives or leftists have better stances or a better platform on the issues that is much better for the people of this nation will do little to build the coalition of people needed to take on the structures which we are hoping to radically reshape or reform.

  3. Just to clarify Yamit’s last link.

    The GOP decries the use of antisemetic imagery by Ron Paul’s Tea Party. And so they should. The poster is disgusting.

    It is one thing for the Tea Partu to be against taxes and its a second thing to be against giving Israel money. Its a whole other thing when they suggest that this money enables Israel to kill Palestinians.

    As I have noted before, there are two camps in the tea party. The isolationists lead by Ron Paul, not his son Rand Paul, and that part just in favour of limited government and taxation, lead by Sarah Palin. She is unabashedly, pro-Israel and pro-military. But both groups support the limited government and taxes.

    Can Sarah have the support of the Tea Party, without compromising her principles? I believe that she would lose the support of the TP, if it came to that, before losing her principles.

    But then she would only be losing the support of part of it. In any event she will not be running under the TP ticket. She will run as a Republican. It is for the TPiers to support her or not. They will support her regardless.

  4. Just heard rerun of her defense of support for Rand Paul.

    If I were a strong supporter of Palin with an iota of intellectual honesty I would at least give pause to reflect.

    David Duke likes Paul, all supporters of david Duke and Pat Buchanan like Paul and Sarah Palin likes Paul.

    Tea Party likes Palin and hard core tea Party movers are supporters of David Duke and may from the fringe right.

    California GOP Decries Anti-Semitic Tea Party Activism

    04/22/09 12:12 PM

  5. No! Sarah is nothing like Rand Paul. She is not an isolationist. She supports Israel. She has moral clarity, she understands who our enemies and who our friends are. She knows we must fight evil.

    Maybe. We thought Bush was of the same stuff and look how that turned out. Moral clarity? Based on her open support for Rand paul and some others I would still hold this attribution in abeyance. I would leave that attribute open with a ?

    The Saudis are Americas most dangerous enemy. Have you ever heard her say so? The Russians have returned to near USSR cold war status has she noticed? The Chinese hold America by the huevos. What is she prepared to do about it. Energy independence if begun today would take 10-20 years to become a reality, what in the meantime? I can think of many American policy anomalies economic and political that she ignores and are just as critical to Americas future as the points she does raise if not more.

    There is only one potential Republican Candidate who has a clear vision and understanding of America past present and future and reasonable answeres as to how to steer America in order to achieve that vision and solve many of Americas current problems.

    despite his personal flaws and past negative baggage I see no one else so far who can come close.

    Knute Gingrich may not opt to run like the last cycle and I called him a coward and worse at the time but this time I see no-one else who comes close to him. The conservatives who love Palin don’t like him but mainstream Republicans, and most of the independents and probably many conservative Democrats will go for him once he declares.

  6. What does this have to do with Sarah Palin?

    Actually nothing. I wanted to post this item and just stuck it in with your lead:“she understands who our enemies and who our friends are. She knows we must fight evil.”

    Certainly none of us think the US Consulate in Jerusalem is anything but an evil enemy along with their Jew hating employees as indicated in my posted item.

  7. yamit82 says:
    May 23, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    She knows we must fight evil.

    US Consulate employees beat Jewish teens

    Jerusalem police detained, but immediately released a group of drunken US Consulate employees who assaulted two Jewish kids near a pub.
    Reply

    What does this have to do with Sarah Palin?

  8. I can see it.

    But then again, who knows what that means.

    Go to Google/Images enter: animated gif tongue look at the top row fourth from the left.

    It should be a little video of a shiksa doing gymnastics with her tongue (only a shiksa would do such a thing).

    Her tongue is like a cobra, and she is like a snake charmer who leads a life of endless despair in the Black Hole of Calcutta.

    It is infinitely fascinating.

    Or mind-numbingly tedious.

    I am unsure which.

  9. She knows we must fight evil.

    US Consulate employees beat Jewish teens

    Jerusalem police detained, but immediately released a group of drunken US Consulate employees who assaulted two Jewish kids near a pub.

  10. Does anyone think Palin is a libertarian or extreme in any way?

    No! Sarah is nothing like Rand Paul. She is not an isolationist. She supports Israel. She has moral clarity, she understands who our enemies and who our friends are. She knows we must fight evil.

  11. Jesus must be doing well financially.

    His sales force is on television all day and night raising funds.

    I was getting up at 2 a.m. this week to finish a rush project, and the agents of Jesus were always on TV explaining that they would cure my cancer/leprosy/post-nasal drip if only I would a) sincerely believe in the divinity of the Savior; and b) send money.

    Not necessarily in that order.

    a) sincerely believe in the divinity of the Savior; and b) send money.

  12. Societal responsibilities like affirmative action quotas, welfare for illegal immigrants, and surrendering property to private developers through eminent domain?
    International responsibilities like obedience to the United Nations?

    Count me in on libertarianism!

    Then count you in on America refusing to resupply Israel militarily in 1973.

    Societal responsibilities like making sure that retirement homes don’t treat old people like shit.

    International responsibilities like defeating Soviet communism..

    The government has a legitimate role to play.

    Liberals do not understand that role, and neither do libertarians.

    Insofar as the UN is concerned…

  13. International responsibilities like obedience to the United Nations?

    Count me in on libertarianism!

    Ayn certainly does not mean being involved with the UN, but rather America unilaterally taking charge on the world stage and preventing genocidal madmen like Iran’s dictator from obtaining nuclear weapons. Libertarians are isolationists who would simply shrug their shoulders at the prospect of Israel getting nuked, saying its not our business or in our interest to get involved.

    Bill you are wrong in saying libertarians would have fought hitler. They would not have acted against him unless Germany actually tried to invade America. Short of America being directly attacked, libertarians oppose any military intervention. And even though we were directly attacked on 9/11, they still oppose the war in Afghanistan.

  14. Michael Sunstar, what is your alternative to capitalism?

    Jesus

    Jesus must be doing well financially.

    His sales force is on television all day and night raising funds.

    I was getting up at 2 a.m. this week to finish a rush project, and the agents of Jesus were always on TV explaining that they would cure my cancer/leprosy/post-nasal drip if only I would a) sincerely believe in the divinity of the Savior; and b) send money.

    Not necessarily in that order.

  15. Send Ted Belson all of your cash now! Do not delay!!

    who is Ted Belson? We don’t need no Ted Belson!!!

    Send me all of your cash now…!!

  16. And yet this comment gets through every time:

    Send Ted Belson all of your cash now! Do not delay!!

  17. Levinson which group or groups reflect your political and social philosophy?

    Since the days of Locke, libertarianism has attracted pacifists, utopianists, utilitarianists, anarchists, and fascists. This wide array of support demonstrates the accessibility and elasticity of the libertarian promotion of natural rights.

  18. Damn nothing is getting through your filter Ted!!!

    We lose the fluidity and immediacy of our interaction, debate and or discussions.

  19. Again levinson you show your kneejerk superficiality:

    Libertarianism can be traced back to ancient China, where philosopher Lao-tzu advocated the recognition of individual liberties. The modern libertarian theory emerged in the sixteenth century through the writings of Etienne de La Boetie (1530-1563), an eminent French theorist. In the seventeenth century, John Locke and a group of British reformers known as the Levellers fashioned the classical basis for libertarianism with well-received philosophies on human nature and economics.

    Since the days of Locke, libertarianism has attracted pacifists, utopianists, utilitarianists, anarchists, and fascists. This wide array of support demonstrates the accessibility and elasticity of the libertarian promotion of natural rights.

  20. Ted’s filter is Frankensteinish no logic, lets comments with many links through and long posts and bounces 2-4 liners with no links at all. If I knew the method or logic I could work around the filter but it has no logic to it.

  21. Do not repeat your comments. It makes matters worse. Once your comment has been held for moderation or marked as spam, the spam program takes a while to learn you are legit.

    Allyn must have reset it.

    It will takes 3 days for the transfer to be complete. Then and only then will I speak to him about the spam filter.

    Keep cool and don’t post your comment twice

  22. Libertarianism is an excessively egocentric philosophy that exempts the believer from any societal or international responsibilities.

    It has proven to be political poison.

  23. That is the north star for Paul. He does not believe that the Constitution allows the government to force businesses, landlords, etc. to change how they do business and who they do business with. And he fears that doing so in the name of positive social change puts us on a slippery slope to extra-Constitutional measures in the service of negative social change — taking away guns, putting people in camps. You can disagree, but that’s where he’s coming from.

    I tend to agree with this. Paul’s stance on domestic issues doesn’t bother me. I do not support ran paul’s position on foreign policy however. On that issue, he is dangerous and therefore should not have won the primary. He is going to damage the tea party movement.

  24. I would wipe out all debts, all loans, and erase international debts.

    I would close the banks and the IRS and shut down all taxation.

    I would dethrone all communists, socialists and greedy capitalists.

    Where would people keep their money if there are no banks? Why wipe out debts? People are in debt due to their own irresponsibility. How will businesses start up if we wipe out loans? How would people purchase homes without morgages? In other words how would the economy work? Why erase international debts and allow irresponsible nanny states like Greece to be let off the hook? I’m in favor of letting those socialists suffer.

    Michael Sunstar, what is your alternative to capitalism?

  25. Libertarianism is an excessively egocentric philosophy that excuses people from any societal or international responsibilities.

  26. Better to be a Libertarian than a democrat right about now.

    Better to be suffocated than strangled?

    Libertarianism is an excessively egocentric philosophy that excuses people from any societal or international responsibilities.

    Had FDR been a libertarian, Hitler would have won World War II.

    Had Reagan been a libertarian, the Soviet Union would have survived and prospered.

    Embracing libertarianism would be the death knell of the Republican Party, and would provide the socialists with permanent control of America.

  27. Beck is a carnival act, a cynical opportunist whose entire agenda consists of promoting Glenn Beck’s career.

    If he could make more money supporting Obama, he would do so eagerly.

    Libertarianism is an excessively egocentric philosophy that excuses people from any societal or international responsibilities.

    Had FDR been a libertarian, Hitler would have won World War II.

    Had Reagan been a libertarian, the Soviet Union would have survived and prospered.

    Embracing libertarianism would be the death knell of the Republican Party, and would provide the socialists with permanent control of America.

  28. Better to be a Libertarian than a democrat right about now.

    I too will go with a lack of laws rather than an over abundance. Society can deal with a lack of law–we survived the Wild West with the six shooter and good rope–the citizenry will band together to implement order in such cases. Any free society–even a flawed one–is better than any tyranny, even a tyranny of progressive ‘love’.

  29. If all Libertarians were like Glenn Beck we’d have nothing to worry about – but have honorable people in charge.

    Glenn Beck is a conservative Libertarian capitalist by self confession.

    I’m a social conservative, but not a fiscal conservative as I don’t believe in rationing or cutting out entitlements.

    I love the US CONSTITUTION and believe the whole Western Hemisphere should come under the jurisdiction of the United States and that instead of using a worthless UN charter to change the world, that the US CONSTITUTION should be adopted by any country that would like to become a state of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    I am not a capitalist even though I am a slave like everybody else.

    Libertarians, within themselves, do have some unusual doctrines that I disagree with, but if GLENN BECK defines exactly what a Libertarian is, then such a man would make a better president than Obama

    Any man would be a better man than Obama!

    Better to be a Libertarian than a democrat right about now.