It’s Time For Libertarians To Clean Our Own House Saturday, Jan 28 2012 

It seems like the biggest winner in the GOP presidential primaries this year, other than the loser who will eventually be nominated, is libertarianism. Even Charles Krauthammer, one of the smartest and best writers in America, agrees. Right now the man who is carrying libertarianism banner is none other than Congressman Ron Paul. To say that Ron Paul that has baggage however is an understatement of the decade. There is of course the infamous Ron Paul racist newsletters that he of course knows nothing about. There is the continued association with the likely writer of the aforementioned newsletters, Lew Rockwell.  There is the troubling lack of understanding, to put it mildly, about the origins of the Civil War and the Confederacy. Finally, there is just that damn inability to communicate which has allowed the enemies of libertarianism to define its ideas. In order to build on the momentum we have, we need to purge this cancer that is the Paul-Rockwell strain of “paleolibertarianism”.

As I wrote in my last post, successful political movements are built not only of inclusion but of exclusion. Any political movement that is built upon the foundation of pandering to anti-libertarian ideas such as racism and glorifies fundamentally anti-libertarian states such as the Confederate States of America has no place in the libertarian movement. For those of you think this poison of “paleolibertarianism” was a fad of the 1990s, consider the fact that the Campaign for Liberty continues to attract anti-Semities. There is also the pandering to and embracing of loony conspiracy theories such as the North American Union nonsense and 9/11 Truth among others. It is time for libertarians to begin asking themselves why in the hell does the movement continue to attract these losers?

For those of you who weighed the pros and cons of supporting Ron Paul while absolutely disgusted by Lew Rockwell and the rest of his creepy cult’s perversion of libertarianism and came to the conclusion to support him anyway, I’m obviously not targeting you because that’s where I am at. I’m also not speaking to those who worship and hang on every word Ron Paul says and treats it as near holy. You know who I’m talking about, those miserable, deluded, anti-social people who harass and spam anyone who dares to criticize Ron Paul for anything. Those people are hopeless and I have nothing but contempt for them until they grow up. The ones I want to speak are those libertarian and conservative activists who have gotten on board the Ron Paul bandwagon for whatever reason. I want to ask those of you, especially if this is the first politician that you have ever believed to please understand where I am coming from. I criticize Ron Paul not because I hate him or the liberty movement in general. On the contrary, I am criticizing him because I do not want the liberty movement tainted by the filth of racism, conspiracy mongering, and more importantly, I do not want want our movement tainted by how our statist enemies, right and left, define it. I come not to destroy the liberty movement, but to help save it. Continuing to tolerate these people will allow neocons and progressives to equate libertarianism to racism to less politically educated (ie. the average American).

There are many who object to the idea of expelling people from the libertarian movement because it is a movement based on individual liberty. But I think the critics are missing the essence of libertarianism is about in my opinion. To me, the essence of libertarianism is the reduction and elimination of state coercion in as many aspects of the individual’s life as possible while protecting the rights of life, liberty, and property for all. This does not mean we should stay silent as racists, anti-semites, conspiracy theorists, theocrats, and other anti-libertarians despoil our movement. There is nothing wrong with telling these despicable statist lunatics we will not associate with them, period.

According to research done by the Cato Institute, 14% of all voters can be broadly defined as libertarians. Ron Paul has had lots of success in the GOP primaries, despite his flaws. Ironically, Paul is having his greatest success as a politician as the guy who is defending the civil liberties of all Americans, regardless of color. In other words, Ron Paul is succeeding because he is not embracing “paleolibertarian” ideas. The only way libertarianism will continue to gain respectability is to champion the liberty of all Americans and provide a path forward. This election and indeed the events of the past six years have shown that there is a demand for liberty among a large segment of the American people. The surest way to put an end to this is to continue to condone these anti-libertarian beliefs by attacking those who dare to call them out.

If you are a libertarian and want to see our movement grow, please join me in standing for liberty against its enemies. Even the ones who try to despoil our label.

Where Does The Ron Paul Movement Go From Here Friday, Jan 13 2012 

It has become clear that Ron Paul will probably not win the Republican nomination. Indeed, Mitt Romney has won major victories in both Iowa and New Hampshire and latest “not Mitt”, Rick Santorum, has begun his collapse. Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman are out of the race but they just don’t know it yet. Newt Gingrich will make his final stands in South Carolina and Florida. However, Ron Paul had a stronger than expected New Hampshire performance and is making a strong move in South Carolina. Win or lose, Ron Paul may yet be the biggest winner in this election cycle. Indeed as Alex Kauffman writes, Ron Paul may yet have huge performances down the line. The question is not whether or not Ron Paul will win the nomination (he won’t), but how will the GOP will make peace with his voters and win them?

Most people who have flocked to Ron Paul have done so for the following reasons

  • They feel suffocated by big government programs, regulations, and the nanny state which is emerging from Washington DC
  • They’re sick of over 10 years of endless war
  • They feel as if Washington DC is not listening to them and is out of touch with what the American people think
  • They know the usual dog and pony show and establishment politics and solutions are not working and we need dramatic change in the way business is done in this country
  • Finally, many are scared about the fiscal future for our country and demand action to avert fiscal collapse.

The challenge is to how best  to get these people who have already rallied to the Ron Paul banner and to use them for a long-term movement to promote limited government, a sane foreign policy, and more federalism/localism.

Indeed, Ron Paul himself is probably not the best messenger for his movement as Doug Mataconis from Outside the Beltway points out

The personality cult, the newsletters, and Paul’s ties to Paleoconservatives who think Abraham Lincoln was a tyrant and defend the Confederacy. This is not a good recipe for a “pro-liberty movement” at all. Rather than helping advance libertarianism, I’m coming to the conclusion that Ron Paul and his supporters are doing serious damage to it.

While Doug is correct to point out the flaws of Ron Paul and the Lew Rockwell cult that he unfortunately surrounds himself with, I can’t be as pessimistic for the future of the liberty movement as he is. From talking with many Ron Paul supporters on Twitter (BTW: my handle is @kevinboyd1984), I think most of the more rational ones are in the fight for the long term. They’re going to be working to elect like minded people to Congress and to state and local governments. Ron Paul has been great for the liberty movement, but the liberty movement has also had two other great recruiters in George W. Bush and Barack Obama. It also appears that Mitt Romney will serve as just as great of a recruiter as well.

The reason why the movement will outlast Ron Paul is because the issues will not go away. The Washington establishment consensus is still for more war, more spending, and less freedom. More importantly, the Washington establishment consensus wants the American people to sacrifice more of their hard earned money through higher taxes to fund their bloated warfare/welfare state.

The person who will lead the liberty movement is the one who can best articulate ideas to promote less government and a sane foreign policy. Will that person be Rand Paul? I’m not sure. I think he’ll have to earn that leadership mantle. But the fact that we are talking about a serious leadership mantle for the libertarian movement illustrates how far we have come in the past four years.

Finally, I want to leave with a question from Alex Kauffman from the post linked above:

While Paul is certainly bringing more attention to our cause, one has to wonder what the baggage fee for this attention will be.

That is a tough question. If I thought this movement was just about Ron Paul, I would say the the baggage of the race baiting newsletters and the Lew Rockwell cult would be too much to bear. However, its not just about Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell anymore, this is a vessel of the anger and the aspirations of the American people. This is a vessel for the remnant of the Founders’ Republic that is looking for a voice and finally, this is a vessel for those of us who refuse to let our heritage of American liberty die. For those reasons alone and yes, for the fact that Ron Paul has no chance to win, I’m willing to pay the price of Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell now to get a hell of a payoff in the future.

What we need is libertarian critics like Alex and Doug to do is to be the William F. Buckleys of the libertarian movement. Potent political movements are not just made up of inclusion, but also of exclusion. William F. Buckley expelled the Birchers and the Objectivists from the conservative movement, while at the same time, worked with Frank Meyer to promote “fusionism” which is a melding of conservatism and libertarianism. We need people in the libertarian movement to step up and say there is no place for crazy conspiracy theories, racism, sexism, homophobia, and neo-Confederates in the movement. At the same time, we need to be reaching out to those who share our broad ideals, whether they be on the left or the right. That’s how we build a lasting movement to promote liberty in the future.

For now, I’ll probably vote for Ron Paul when the Mississippi primary happens because the race will be largely be over. But at the same time, I will be looking past him because its not about one man, its about preserving our heritage and passing it on intact to future generations.

College Football Playoff Proposal Monday, Jan 9 2012 

College football season is over. Alabama destroyed LSU for the BCS championship and everybody still hates the system. Most fans and many commentators would agree we need a playoff.

Here’s a quick proposal.

Keep the current BCS bowl format as the quarterfinals. Keep the rule that only two teams at most from each conference can be represented in the big bowls. The winners of the four big bowls (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, and Orange) then meet a week later at neutral site for the semifinals, the seeding to be determined by the AP poll rating.

Highest seed plays lowest and middle seeds play each other.

The next week, the winners of the semifinals play in the national championship game.

Perfect, no. It keeps the bowl system intact and it only allows 8 teams to have a shot at the national title. It also may exclude smaller conferences from national title contention. But it would be a lot better than what we have now.

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