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.