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The Ron Paul Delusion ^ | February 24, 2010 | David Harsanyi

Posted on 02/24/2010 4:42:22 AM PST by Kaslin

What are we to make of the Republican Party's future now that libertarian Rep. Ron Paul won the presidential straw poll at the well-attended Conservative Political Action Conference last week?

Is the GOP about to transform into the party of the gold standard?

Let's, for a moment, forget Paul (and how I wish this could be a permanent condition, considering the congressman is neither a serious politician nor -- and I can't stress this enough -- a serious thinker).

Libertarianism offers conservatives -- many of them new to political activism -- an earnest ideological alternative to the process-heavy politics that dominate Washington.

It allows Republicans to cleanse themselves of the GOP's failure to deliver on promises of smaller government and fiscal restraint.

None of which is new. The 1964 Barry Goldwater would be considered a libertarian today by many measures. The National Review constructed a "fusionist" effort to bring the parties together. Ronald Reagan explained to Reason magazine back in 1975 that "the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism."

Two sticking points preventing this fling from turning into something more serious have been social issues and war. Has anything changed to alter the dynamics of the relationship? Probably not.

Patrick Buchanan recently claimed that the GOP is showing signs of turning away from its recent foreign policy positions. The focus of policy may have changed -- and perhaps there's more reluctance in nation building -- but polls pretty clearly illustrate Republicans still believe in a robust and proactive national defense.

Social issues are far more complex -- and they always have been, despite caricatures. But the reality is that most of the cultural issues that divide Americans have been mired in political stalemates. You can debate abortion all day long; policy won't be changing.

Economics, on the other hand, touches almost everything in a tangible way. That -- and one of the most aggressive left-wing economic agendas in American history -- makes the libertarian fiscal message seductive.

Does that mean we need Paul?

"Congressman Paul is committed to bringing the conservative movement back to its traditional platform of limited government, balanced budgets and a foreign policy of nonintervention," claims Jesse Benton, Paul's spokesman.

If only it stopped there. Paul isn't a traditional conservative. His obsession with long-decided monetary policy and isolationism are not his only half-baked crusades. Paul's newsletters of the '80s and '90s were filled with anti-Semitic and racist rants, proving his slumming in the ugliest corners of conspiracyland today is no mistake.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of Paul is that thousands of intellectually curious young people will have read his silly books, including "End the Fed," as serious manifestoes. Though you wouldn't know it by listening to Paul or reading his words, libertarians do have genuine ideas that conservatives might embrace.

A serious libertarian, David Boaz at the Cato Institute, found that 14 percent of American voters could be classified as libertarian. "Other surveys," he points out, "find a larger number of people who hold views that are neither consistently liberal nor conservative but are best described as libertarian."

Seeing as the two top concerns at CPAC were "reducing size of federal government" (35 percent) followed by "reducing government spending," it is obvious the message of individual freedom and small government has resonance. But accepting Ron Paul as the leader of this -- or, actually, any -- charge is a mistake for both parties.

TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: libertarianism; ronpaul
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1 posted on 02/24/2010 4:42:22 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Congressman Paul is should be committed...

There, fixed it.

2 posted on 02/24/2010 4:45:12 AM PST by gov_bean_ counter (Sarah Palin - For such a time as this...)
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To: Kaslin

All anyone needs to know is RON PAUL ENDORSED ADAM KOKESH


We are writing to you to express our grave concerns about Adam Kokesh, who is aspiring to become the Republican nominee for US Congress from New Mexico’s 3rd district. Mr. Kokesh has an extensive, and well-documented history of affiliations with radical leftist groups. In concert with these groups he has engaged in numerous anti-America and anti-military demonstrations and protests. Moreover, Mr. Kokesh does not appear to have any personal qualifications that would recommend him for serious consideration as a candidate for the Republican Party. He has a significant history suggestive of poor character and judgment, and he has notable incidents of direct activism against Republican office holders.

Affiliations with radical leftist groups
Mr. Kokesh joined the Iraq Veterans Against War (IVAW) in February 2007, at which time he was 25 years old. The IVAW was formed by the Vietnam Veterans Against War (VVAW), the now infamous group, formed by John Kerry in 1970, and responsible for the fraudulent maligning of our Vietnam veterans at the Winter Soldier Conference in 1971. It will be recalled that John Kerry now stands exposed as having repeated false accusations from that conference, during Congressional testimony in 1971. Similar to the VVAW, the IVAW is a virulently anti-military, anti-America group. It holds the view that our country is an imperialistic and expansionistic “One World Order” government, and that our military is but a tool of this government. Further, they believe that our soldiers are little more than marauders and murderers who, in the words of John Kerry, behave “in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan”.
Mr. Kokesh was active in the IVAW from 2007 to 2009, at which time he announced his candidacy for Republican Congressman from New Mexico. There are no indications that he has revoked his affiliations with the IVAW. As an active member of the IVAW, Mr. Kokesh was involved in numerous anti-military, and by explicit extension, anti-Bush/Republican activities and actions. While executing these actions, Mr. Kokesh knowingly and gladly, made common cause with a wide array of other well-known, radical anti-America and communist groups. The list of these other groups includes, but is by no means limited to, the following:

Code Pink

A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition

United for Justice and Peace

Communist Party of America

Muslim Brotherhood

Black Panthers

In cooperation with the above-named groups and the IVAW, Mr. Kokesh: participated in multiple anti-war demonstrations in Washington DC, and other cites throughout the country; organized and incited violent demonstrations at military recruiting stations; participated in an initiative to encourage active duty soldiers to desert their military post; organized and participated in a Winter Soldier Conference 2, an effort designed to malign and undercut the moral of our soldiers who were fighting and dying on the battlefield. Even a most cursory search of the Internet will yield a plethora of documents attesting to the veracity of these assertions.

Personal character questions, and anti-Republican Party activities

Apart from his considerable radical leftist affiliations and activities, there many concerns about Mr. Kokesh’s general personal qualifications for congressman; and we have specific concerns about the appropriateness of his being considered for being a Republican congressman. Mr. Kokesh has no history of personal accomplishments or achievement, yet he does have a notable history of poor judgment and illegal behavior. Moreover, he has no history of supporting the Republican Party, and in fact has been actively unsupportive and undermining of the Party.

Mr. Kokesh’s personal accomplishments and achievements appear to be limited to his having served in the Marine Corps from 1999 until 2006, and his political activism with the IVAW from 2007 until 2009. His MC service was basically unremarkable, in terms of citations, medals, and commendations, and it was ultimately marked by a demotion in his discharge rank, from Sergeant to Corporal, and a downgrading of his discharge status from honorable to general. Mr. Kokesh’s tenure with the IVAW has been noted above and need not be repeated here.

There are no indications that Mr. Kokesh has ever maintained any private sector employment, and unless otherwise proven, it might be assumed that his ‘work’ with the IVAW was financed through contributions to that organization, finances that often originated in leftist organizations such as Other than an undergraduate degree in Psychology, there are no indications that Mr. Kokesh has achieved any academic standing that might, given his young age and his otherwise lack of general accomplishments, recommend him for serious consideration for Congress.

There are numbers of incidents in Mr. Kokesh’s personal life that suggest that he employs poor judgment, and that he has trouble coping with stress. Examples of his poor judgment include the following: he smuggled a gun home from Iraq, and then was apprehended when he bought it onto a college campus; he has incited protestors to engage in violent actions against military recruiting stations, and; he incited unrest on a college campus by hanging racist poster around the campus, and signed the posters as being a member of the college conservative Republican organization.

Given the above, it is our position that Mr. Kokesh is in no way qualified to represent the Republican Party in Congress. In fact, if his history is any indicator of his future performance, it is most likely that he will behave in a manner that is antithetical to the positions and values of the Republican Party. In our view, a Kokesh candidacy will at best, precipitate much conflict within the Republican Party, and, at worst, invite derision from outside of the party.

Like you, we are interested in maintaining the integrity of the Republican Party. We understand that this is a time when the party leadership is striving to reconcile disparate ideas within the party, and to clarify its unified voice. A Kokesh candidacy would be completely at odds with those strivings and ideals.

We are urging the Republican Party to withhold any endorsement of a ‘Kokesh for Congress’ candidacy. We look forward to hearing from you.

3 posted on 02/24/2010 4:46:08 AM PST by RaceBannon (OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE IS SHOVEL READY...FOR SENIORS!!:: NObama. Not my president.)
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To: RaceBannon


4 posted on 02/24/2010 4:49:52 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for Obama: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin
(Ron Paul) is neither a serious politician nor...a serious thinker


But then again, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
5 posted on 02/24/2010 4:50:19 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: gov_bean_ counter

The sooner the better

6 posted on 02/24/2010 4:52:15 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for Obama: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

Boy, that meaningless little CPAC vote has sure got the Ron Paul haters terrified! Countless posts slandering him, bringing the “racist, anti-semitic” BS back, etc.

7 posted on 02/24/2010 4:57:24 AM PST by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: Kaslin

ron paul is an idiot. The main thrust of this article, one that we must remember, is that libertarians and conservatives have been tied at the hip for generations. There are far to many on this site trying to divide us, and to rip apart the party. I do believe that these people are actually agents for the communist party (democrats) and are doing this on purpose, for the goal of divding the party, thus losing the elections this year. Do not accept the destroyers so called arguments. These people do not understand, or refuse to understand, the constitution, as written. Do not fall prey to the trap.

8 posted on 02/24/2010 4:58:24 AM PST by joe fonebone (CPAC.....Commies Playing At Conservatism)
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To: Kaslin

Libertarians need to understand that you cannot have liberty without first having a strong national government. Too often they seem to think liberty can exist in a vacum. I’ve always considered myself a libertarian nationalist. I want a strong and agressive foreign and defense policy, but the maximum amount of liberty practical at home.

9 posted on 02/24/2010 4:59:36 AM PST by Hugin (Remember the first rule of gunfighting...have a gun..-- Col. Jeff Cooper)
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To: Kaslin; SoCalPol
Though you wouldn't know it by listening to Paul or reading his words, libertarians do have genuine ideas that conservatives might embrace.

After the 2008 election, I explored the Libertarian Party and its ideology, and truthfully, much of it is very appealing, at least on paper. In fact, there is a great deal of overlap in Libertarian and Conservative thought, and it can even be argued that Conservatives are Libertarians to a certain degree.

However, in actual practice, I've found in recent months that most Libertarians (but not all, including a few of my very good FRiends on this board) are out and out kooks, especially Ron Paul supporters, who are not much more than rabid wolves in my opinion. Consequently, I could never associate myself with such a party that almost exclusively includes 9/11 truthers, drug legalization proponents, abortion supporters, pacifists, and open borders advocates.

With that said, I do think that the GOP would greatly benefit from a big dose of Libertarian free market and limited government medicine, if the feckless party leadership would only open wide and swallow.

10 posted on 02/24/2010 4:59:59 AM PST by Virginia Ridgerunner (Sarah Palin has crossed the Rubicon!)
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To: Kaslin

So the author is clearly not in favor of auditing the Fed
wonder why?

11 posted on 02/24/2010 5:01:11 AM PST by cowtowney
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Sorry to disappoint you but your kook needs to be committed

12 posted on 02/24/2010 5:03:21 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for Obama: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

I suspect...if “reality” ever hits the Federal bond market...Ron Paul will look even more presidential...

13 posted on 02/24/2010 5:03:53 AM PST by mo
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To: Kaslin

Although I am not a huge fan of Paul I don’t believe that he is an idiot, quite the contrary.
And considering some of the options being pushed on conservatives like Mitt, Newt and the Huckster....

14 posted on 02/24/2010 5:13:11 AM PST by muddler (Obama is either incompetent or malicious, and it makes little difference which.)
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To: muddler; Kaslin
If Paul were your common junkyard neo-con, there would be little to criticize.
15 posted on 02/24/2010 5:30:35 AM PST by wolfcreek (
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To: Hugin

A “strong national government” is the antithesis of liberty. The Founders clearly understood that which is why they attempted to limit the powers granted to the national gov’t to those enumerated in the Constitution. No, you can’t have liberty in a vacuum; it must be preserved at the state and local level from encroachment by the national gov’t. To the extent that you have an agressive foreign policy, you always compromise liberty at home. History clearly demonstrates an inverse relationship between agressive foreign intervention and liberty enjoyed at home.

16 posted on 02/24/2010 5:32:51 AM PST by glide625 (We wouldn't find ourselves ensnared by the Evil One if we weren't nibbling at his bait!)
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To: GulfBreeze


17 posted on 02/24/2010 5:38:15 AM PST by stevie_d_64 (I'm jus sayin')
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To: Kaslin
Ron Paul has many valid things to say, but includes like all of us some mistakes. Character attack is an expression of the inability to deal with the deeper issues.

This article is a spin using stereotypical definitions - a primary mechanism of the Left.

Libertarianism is not Conservatism because the latter depends on the responsible and moral behavior of the individual, thereby allowing human commerce to proceed without the domineering external grip of authoritarian government - it is a manifestation of Christianity.

Libertarianism is simply a shallow (humanistic) reaction, albeit a deserved one in today's venue, against that authoritarianism.

We have a long long way to go and may never get back. As evidenced by this article.

Johnny Suntrade

18 posted on 02/24/2010 5:44:12 AM PST by jnsun (The Left: the need to manipulate others because of nothing productive to offer.)
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To: Kaslin

All ru paul and the Claxton Brigade are going to do is ensure that the RATs win. Demanding a “purity test” that can only exist in their minds will do exactly what the dims want, the destruction of the conservative movement. Here in TN in 2006 ford was almost elected to the senate because two conservatives split the vote in the primary which Corker won, then there were people that refused to vote in the election. The paulies political views seem to have more in common with the left than they do conservatives.

19 posted on 02/24/2010 5:46:24 AM PST by sticker
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To: Kaslin

I’m more concerned about the 22% at CPAC that cast their vote for Romney.

I’d take Paul over that guy any day.

20 posted on 02/24/2010 5:58:49 AM PST by wilco200 (11/4/08 - The Day America Jumped the Shark)
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