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Where Is The Libertarian Reagan?
Shout Bits Blog ^ | 9/4/12 | Shout Bits

Posted on 09/04/2012 1:25:02 PM PDT by Shout Bits

Last week at the Tampa RNC, party insiders employed parliamentary tricks to block Rep. Ron Paul delegates from casting their votes. States such as Mane and Colorado came up short as libertarians got a lesson in hardball politics. Party conventions have morphed into cynical spectacles since Ronald Reagan fought on the floor of the 1976 convention, so nobody should be surprised. Still, without their own Reagan, libertarians will remain vulnerable to the hammer of mainstream politics.

The Libertarian Party and libertarians in general are like alternative energy, the perennial next big thing that never materializes. Much as the conservatives had Buckley, the libertarian cause is full of intellectuals forming the canons of individualism. Libertarians embrace smart writers like Veronique de Rugy and Nick Gillespie, but mass appeal comes from the TV screen, not a pen. While social media has leveled the playing field once dominated by the Old Time Media, the most successful politicians remain telegenic prompter readers who speak to the heart more than the mind.

Consider the sad case of Sen. Hillary Clinton. While being a joyless technocrat is not a sin, it proved to be her political downfall. A stereotypical Wellesley 1960's radical, Clinton has a centrally planned vision for the US where good government is the core problem solver. She is contemptuous of any traditional value, and thinks the family unit is subordinate to the role of 'the village.' While her vision is broad, she is a small thinker who crafts many policies to advance her leftist agenda. Enter Barak Obama, then also a junior Senator. He, too, was a college radical, contemptuous of the established order and also raised by communists. Unlike Clinton, he had no ideas or policies, just Marxist principles. With no experience in work and little experience in government, Obama spoke to the heart and easily beat the seasoned Clinton. Clinton had the entire Democrat machine at her disposal, and her husband was the best fundraiser ever. Despite such an advantage, voters chose soaring platitudes over experience and substance.

In practice Obama and Clinton are the same politician. Both support socialized single payer health care and higher marginal taxes. Both support expanded social welfare programs and wrinkle their noses at traditionalism. Only a policy snob would notice a difference in that Clinton is more academic, dry, and clear-cut.

Similar to Obama, Reagan spoke to the hearts of voters. His "Morning in America" campaign made misty voters dream again. Reagan was surrounded by conservative technocrats who shaped his policies, but his gift was in speaking to the hearts of regular people. Reagan's version of hope yielded two of the biggest landslides in US history.

Obama and Reagan's lesson for libertarians is to stop arguing policy to people who will not listen. Every great person talks to those who would listen in a way they will understand. Pundits call it 'dog whistle' politics, but the winning strategy is to bury policy deep in the rhetoric of the heart. Some examples of good politics:

All these tactics of politics 101 are meaningless without a charismatic standard bearer for the libertarian movement. To advance the cause of individualism, libertarians must stop being purists and get in the mud. Until then, the movement will remain associated with quacks and fringe intellectuals, and no great communicator will touch it.

Shout Bits can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShoutBits


TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: clinton; libertarian; obama
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1 posted on 09/04/2012 1:25:09 PM PDT by Shout Bits
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To: Shout Bits

There could not be a libertarian Reagan.
Reagan was pro-life as well as pro-military and defense of the USA.


2 posted on 09/04/2012 1:29:16 PM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: Shout Bits

Excellent article.

They could also insist that the Defense bill be about Defense only not the catch all were every congress critter burys their favorite bits of pork


3 posted on 09/04/2012 1:29:19 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: Shout Bits
reagan was sane - a land no paultard has ever visited
4 posted on 09/04/2012 1:36:04 PM PDT by sloop (don't touch my junk)
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To: MNJohnnie

The congress critters bury pork in those bills so they dont get vetoed.


5 posted on 09/04/2012 1:37:16 PM PDT by 2CAVTrooper ( For those who have had to fight for it, freedom has a flavor the protected shall never know.)
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To: svcw

exactly, Reagan has sense and was conservative on social issues not liek the mushy liberal Paul lot


6 posted on 09/04/2012 1:37:16 PM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: Shout Bits

What Libertarians could use is the new Frank Meyer.

Reagan saw Meyer’s importance as the Libertarian voice spanning the small canyon to the conservative icons.

If Goldwater was the “conservative” and Reagan was conservative with libertarian understandings, you need the new Meyer as Paul is not it.


7 posted on 09/04/2012 1:39:39 PM PDT by KC Burke (Plain Conservative opinions and common sense correction for thirteen years.)
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To: svcw

“There could not be a libertarian Reagan.
Reagan was pro-life as well as pro-military and defense of the USA.”

BINGO.


8 posted on 09/04/2012 1:41:06 PM PDT by WOSG (REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMA. He stole America’s promise!)
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To: 2CAVTrooper

Exactly. I have heard an estimate that as much as 50% of the annual defense budget is nonsense put in the defense bill in order to make sure it passes. The sponsors merely manufacture some tendentious link to defense in order to justify its inclusion in the defense bill.


9 posted on 09/04/2012 1:44:04 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: Shout Bits

Reagan won his Delegates, fair and square.

Ron Paul lied, cheated and bullied to get his Delegates.


10 posted on 09/04/2012 1:49:27 PM PDT by Kansas58
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To: Shout Bits

Ronald Reagan could not get nominated in today’s Republican Party - he was simply too conservative, too much of a boat rocker, too keen on trying to rein in spending and the growth of government, as well as simply being too socially conservative for the Party leadership and insider hacks to countenance.


11 posted on 09/04/2012 2:01:59 PM PDT by Yashcheritsiy (Science puts you on the moon, atheism puts you in the gulag)
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To: Shout Bits
The Libertarian Party and libertarians in general are like alternative energy, the perennial next big thing that never materializes.

The fusion power of politics. Success is always 20 years down the line.

12 posted on 09/04/2012 2:04:05 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Perception wins all the battles. Reality wins all the wars.)
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To: Shout Bits
Some examples of good politics:

How about picking a libertarian candidate who

- doesn't have "truther" leanings and

- has some concept on the realities of modern warfare (WMDs, proxy armies, cyberterror, the risks of open boarders, etc)

13 posted on 09/04/2012 2:06:58 PM PDT by kidd
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To: svcw
Reagan also recognized that not all sex is good for those involved. He formed the Edwin Meese commission to go after child pornographers, which lead to the first huge Interpol busts of international child porn rings which used off shore bulletin boards in those pre internet days.

The justice department also went after pimps and escort agencies to a degree that has not happened since.

The current crop of libertarians, with their opposition to age of consent laws and agenda to legalize prostitution is diametrically opposed to the values which drew people to Reagan.

14 posted on 09/04/2012 2:07:29 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Shout Bits

You lose my attention when you can’t even spell MAINE...credibility goes way down....


15 posted on 09/04/2012 2:13:17 PM PDT by Nifster
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To: Shout Bits
Strange list for a libertarian.

Instead of promising to cut welfare, promise to cut corporate welfare (which is by far the bigger problem)

This is possibly true, but I'd like to see some numbers. Distinguishing corporate welfare from legitimate tax deductions is not always clear-cut.

Instead of promising to cut military spending, promise to focus on defense before offense

Apparently the author never heard that the best defense is by definition a good offense.

As Paul Ryan says, instead of cutting middle class entitlements, promise to save them

What!! When did this become a libertarian policy! Middle-class entitlements are at the core of our fiscal problems.

Instead of legalizing drugs, promise to keep them out of children's reach through regulatory enforcement

Not very clear, but presumably this means they'll be legal for adults, and that will make it easier to keep them away from kids. Does anybody really believe that? It works so well for booze and tobacco. There are good arguments for decriminalizing (many) drugs, but this isn't one of them.

Instead of de-regulating industry, point out that laws like the minimum wage only hurt the poor

The problem is that this is not entirely true. Such laws help some poor people and hurt others. Probably the net effect hurts "the poor" as a group, but it's still not a very good argument. And what does the minimum wage have to do with deregulating industry?

16 posted on 09/04/2012 2:13:26 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Perception wins all the battles. Reality wins all the wars.)
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To: Sherman Logan

What if a candidate actually made lucid arguments about the Constitution and the authority it actually gives the Federal govt (vs the states)?


17 posted on 09/04/2012 3:38:14 PM PDT by ReaganGeneration2
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To: svcw

The point is not that Reagan was a libertarian any more than Obama is. The point is that the libertarian movment needs communicators like these two politicians. I think I was fairly clear.


18 posted on 09/04/2012 3:40:02 PM PDT by Shout Bits
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To: Shout Bits

Apparently not.


19 posted on 09/04/2012 3:41:32 PM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: Shout Bits
people have heard the paultards and rejected it

again - sanity

you and obama both think no one understands the brilliance of your theories

we HAVE heard them - and rejected them

its not a ‘messaging’ problem

20 posted on 09/04/2012 3:48:30 PM PDT by sloop (don't touch my junk)
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