STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
New York Times: Rand Paul and Libertarianism Have Arrived on the Main Stage
By Staff News & Analysis - August 08, 2014

Has the 'Libertarian Moment' Finally Arrived? … "Let's say Ron Paul is Nirvana," said Kennedy, the television personality and former MTV host, by way of explaining the sort of politician who excites libertarians like herself. "Like, the coolest, most amazing thing to come along in years, and the songs are nebulous but somehow meaningful, and the lead singer kills himself to preserve the band's legacy. "Then Rand Paul — he's Pearl Jam. Comes from the same place, the songs are really catchy, can really pack the stadiums, though it's not quite Nirvana … Still, the vitriol aimed at Paul by McCain, Cheney and others in his party defies Reagan's 11th Commandment — "Thou shalt not speak ill of thy fellow Republican" — and harks back to the enduring animus between hawks and libertarians. I asked Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, what he made of this rift. "… Look, if Rand Paul was such an outsider, I wouldn't have him speaking at three of our national events. I see Rand Paul as someone who will build a lot of bridges in our party. – New York Times magazine

Dominant Social Theme: Rand Paul is part of a mass movement for freedom.

Free-Market Analysis: The New York Times has discovered libertarianism – and Rand Paul – and we are not surprised. We've predicted this moment and especially the part that Rand Paul is playing in it.

You can see some of our articles here:

Rand Paul: Presidential Victory and Then a Long Repentance?

Rand Paul Drives Libertarian Politics Toward the Top

Rand Paul – the Next GOP Nominee for President

Why Rand Paul is in Position to Become DC's Most Powerful Pol

Here's what we wrote in our most recent article on the topic, "Rand Paul: Presidential Victory and Then a Long Repentance?"

Will Rand Paul be the next US president? We believe it's perfectly possible, and thus we've been following this meme … Rand Paul is being positioned the way Ronald Reagan was, as a Conservative-Libertarian answer to considerable social unrest.

Reagan was elected right after one of the more aggressively polarizing US presidents, Jimmy Carter. And Reagan's stated policies and general anti-government/anti-bureaucracy perspectives are similar to Paul's. In looking back, one can see that Reagan was the right choice for the times … if one approaches the election from the standpoint of addressing considerable sociopolitical upset within the mainstream paradigm.

The Times article presents Rand Paul, the Republican junior senator from Kentucky, as a man whose time may have come. It is an artful positioning of Paul within the larger dialectic of US politics.

It is written to convince us that political campaigns in the US are important, though indeed they are not. Congress is a talking-shop; the presidency is at the beck and call of the military-industrial complex and the judiciary dares not do anything to radically reshape the current consensus; indeed, any radical decisions would likely just be overturned.

During what we call the Internet Era, the US has seen numerous presidents on both sides of the spectrum. Begin with Bill Clinton, whose presidential term was derailed by Matt Drudge's expose of his sexual dalliances with Monica Lewinsky, then move on to George Bush and now Barack Obama.

The three men are different politically and personally, and yet the US's domestic and foreign policy has not deviated from the course it has been on for at least the past century. The US's domestic policy is one of federal expansion marked by catastrophic booms and busts, thanks to its monopoly central bank, the Federal Reserve. The US's foreign policy is one of expansion as well, with one war after another aimed at sustaining or expanding hegemonic control not only in the Americas but as far away as the Middle East and Asia.

The actions of the US are remarkably congruent no matter which party is in power and surely there is no real reason to believe that Rand Paul is going to change this behavior. Nonetheless, we have expected for a variety of reasons that Rand Paul is going to be presented to the US public as a politician most expressive of the vague yearnings for antebellum (pre-Civil War) freedoms in the US.

Here's more from the article:

But today, for perhaps the first time, the libertarian movement appears to have genuine political momentum on its side. An estimated 54 percent of Americans now favor extending marriage rights to gay couples. Decriminalizing marijuana has become a mainstream position, while the drive to reduce sentences for minor drug offenders has led to the wondrous spectacle of Rick Perry — the governor of Texas, where more inmates are executed than in any other state — telling a Washington audience: "You want to talk about real conservative governance? Shut prisons down. Save that money."

The appetite for foreign intervention is at low ebb, with calls by Republicans to rein in federal profligacy now increasingly extending to the once-sacrosanct military budget. And deep concern over government surveillance looms as one of the few bipartisan sentiments in Washington, which is somewhat unanticipated given that the surveiller in chief, the former constitutional-law professor Barack Obama, had been described in a 2008 Times Op-Ed by the legal commentator Jeffrey Rosen as potentially "our first president who is a civil libertarian."

Meanwhile, the age group most responsible for delivering Obama his two terms may well become a political wild card over time, in large part because of its libertarian leanings. Raised on the ad hoc communalism of the Internet, disenchanted by the Iraq War, reflexively tolerant of other lifestyles, appalled by government intrusion into their private affairs and increasingly convinced that the Obama economy is rigged against them, the millennials can no longer be regarded as faithful Democrats — and a recent poll confirmed that fully half of voters between ages 18 and 29 are unwedded to either party.

Obama has profoundly disappointed many of these voters by shying away from marijuana decriminalization, by leading from behind on same-sex marriage, by trumping the Bush administration on illegal-immigrant deportations and by expanding Bush's N.S.A. surveillance program. As one 30-year-old libertarian senior staff member on the Hill told me: "I think we expected this sort of thing from Bush. But Obama seemed to be hip and in touch with my generation, and then he goes and reads our emails."

… Early polls show young voters favoring Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016, but their support could erode as they refamiliarize themselves with her, just as it did in 2008. Clinton has been even slower than Obama to embrace progressive social causes, while in foreign policy, she associates herself more with her former Senate colleague John McCain than with noninterventionists. Nor is Clinton likely to quell millennial fears about government surveillance.

After eight years out of the White House, Republicans would seem well positioned to cast themselves as the fresh alternative, though perhaps only if the party first reappraises stances that young voters, in particular, regard as outdated. Emily Ekins, a pollster for the Reason Foundation, says: "Unlike with previous generations, we're seeing a newer dimension emerge where they agree with Democrats on social issues, and on economic issues lean more to the right. It's possible that Democrats will have to shift to the right on economic issues.

… Hence the excitement about Rand Paul. It's hardly surprising that Paul, in Ekins's recent survey of millennial voters, came out ahead of all other potential Republican presidential candidates; on issues including same-sex marriage, surveillance and military intervention, his positions more closely mirror those of young voters than those of the G.O.P. establishment.

Paul's famous 13-hour filibuster last year, while ultimately failing to thwart the confirmation of the C.I.A. director John Brennan, lit afire the Twittersphere and compelled Republican leaders, who previously dismissed Paul as a fringe character, to add their own #StandWithRand endorsements. Paul has also gone to considerable lengths to court non-Republican audiences, like Berkeley students and the National Urban League. In a presidential field that could include Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and Paul Ryan, Paul — who has called himself "libertarian-ish" — is by far the candidate most associated with the movement.

It was inevitable that the Internet Reformation would eventually cast up someone like Senator Paul. The same cocktail of economic dysfunction and sociopolitical ineptness in the 1970s generated the successful campaign and eventual election of Ronald Reagan. In "Rand Paul: Presidential Victory and Then a Long Repentance?" we concluded with the following:

There are many parallels between Paul and Reagan, even in terms of the larger economy. Reagan came in after a time when the dollar had dropped precipitously against gold, when the stock market had shown considerable volatility, when both fiscal and monetary policy were in disarray.

One can argue that Reagan's results were minimal: Leviathan did not contract under him; the military-industrial complex expanded; tax loopholes were closed, but progressive taxation was not much affected. Even the educational bureaucracy – one of his main targets – remained fairly unscathed.

It was Reagan's rhetoric that differentiated him. He made what Richard Nixon called the "silent majority" believe that the political process was still capable of significant reappraisal. The political system itself was shored up by Reagan's behavior and rhetoric.

The same problems affect the US today, and the same sort of therapy is probably deemed needed.

Bill Clinton's corrupt regime disabused many of the political process. The disastrous George Bush era showed clearly that traditional Republicanism was not the answer, unless one sought military conflict abroad and repression at home. Barack Obama surged to the fore by promising "change" – and sounding like a man who was not a traditional politician; yet his time in office has proven even more disastrous than his predecessors.

All three of these presidents have been analyzed and dissected on the Internet, and their policies found wanting. Call them the first "Internet presidents." And now there is nowhere to go. The Democratic paradigm has proven useless. The Republican paradigm is bankrupt.

Time for a "libertarian."

But if Rand Paul does run and win, he will likely be no more able to effect real change than his predecessors. The US political system is disengaged from the larger globalist regime that is increasingly reorganizing the world. The US political system surely serves the purpose of keeping people occupied while the real changes occur elsewhere. Most of these changes, as we have seen recently, are put in place by the US intel-industrial complex that runs Silicon Valley behind the scenes and intimidates US politicians and corporate leaders as it chooses.

Western intelligence organizations seem to run the world on behalf of the internationalists that first created them, and today they are firmly in charge. No real change in a positive sense will emerge from "democratically elected" governments in the US, and the same can be said regarding Europe.

Once "alternative politics" are seen to have failed, there will be nowhere to go. The system itself will face a kind of crisis, if events even allow such an evolution to take place.

Anticipating this, we continue to propose that people take human action within the context of family, friend and local communities. It's probably not possible to change the larger system, but one can certainly expand one's preparedness in numerous ways.

Start by understanding the reality of the modern era economically and socio-politically. Then secure one's finances through the purchase of money metals – and even farmland if that is possible.

Perhaps one will wish to attempt to capitalize on the current "Wall Street Party" before it subsides. Additional property is useful away from one's home country. There are other kinds of preparedness, often to be found on blogs and websites dealing with this sort of thing.

After Thoughts

Unfortunately, changing the world via politics is not a very useful option at this point. A great show is about to be presented, but the reality – as before – will not meet expectations. Voltaire advised, "Cultivate your own garden." There's truth in that.

Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
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