As libertarianism becomes more visible, politically, and gains ground in the GOP, the enemies of freedom are poised – on both the right and the left – for the attack. Libertarians have never had to deal with this problem before, in the main because their movement was considered marginal, if it was considered at all. Today, however, the situation is quite different: a wave of “anti-government” (i.e. pro-freedom) sentiment is sweeping the country, and the realization that libertarians were the original tea-partiers – coupled with the electoral success of that populist upsurge – has the Establishment in a panic. What we’re seeing is a two-pronged, left-right attack on libertarians, with the initial forays in the foreign policy realm.
The main thrust of the attack is naturally directed at the leader of the libertarian movement, the man who has done the most to make libertarianism a significant political force in the modern world, and that man is Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Ron has single-handedly raised the profile of the movement way beyond what anyone imagined only a few years ago. A lot of this has to do with Ron’s prescient warningsabout the state of the economy, and the bursting of the real estate bubble, which have given him the kind of authority he never enjoyed in all the years spent crying in the wilderness.
However, Ron’s prescience isn’t limited to economics: unlike most conservatives, Ron was clear from the very beginning that our foreign policy of global intervention would blow back in our faces some day, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks confirmed his view in a way that was not, at first, readily apparent. Yet Ron kept making this point, even in the wake of the war hysteria that followed the attacks, and ten years anon – as a war-weary and dead broke America staggers and seems about to fall – his views are seen as prophetic rather than marginal.
This is precisely what terrifies the Republican party Establishment, and positivelyenrages the neoconservatives, whose entire philosophy is predicated on theglorification of war. As might be expected, they are sharpening their knives and hoping to go in for the kill, but they can’t do what Rudy Giuliani tried to do the last time around when he got up on his high horse and demanded Ron “take back” his statement that the 9/11 attacks were “blowback,” in CIA parlance, an unintendedconsequence of our foreign policy adventurism in the Middle East. Rudy, for his trouble, got a grand total of one delegate in the 2008 Republican primaries, and this time around – he’s made noises about entering the fray again – I wouldn’t be surprised if he got less than that. Ron, on the other hand, went on to become the grand old man of the populist Tea Party movement, a candidate whose million-dollar“money-bombs” are a fundraiser’s dream and whose political prospects brighten by the day.
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