STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Libertarian Wave?
By Staff News & Analysis - November 02, 2010

Midterm elections 2010: Prepare for a new American revolution Popular rage against the elite could change the nature of US politics, says Janet Daley. … More than three centuries ago, the residents of America staged a rebellion against an oppressive ruler who taxed them unjustly, ignored their discontents and treated their longing for freedom with contempt. They are about to revisit that tradition this week, when their anger and exasperation sweep through Congress like avenging angels. This time the hated oppressor isn't a foreign colonial government, but their own professional political class. In New York last week I was struck by the startling shift of mood since my last visit, during Barack Obama's (left) first year in office. This phenomenon took varying forms, of course, depending on the political orientation of my interlocutor, but the underlying theme of despair and disgust was almost universal. – UK Telegraph

Dominant Social Theme: Americans are angry. Don't get in their way …

Free-Market Analysis: Most of the analysis about the American elections taking place has to do with "anger." The Democrats are said to be dejected over President Barack Obama's lack of progressiveness. He has not been radical enough or statist enough. Republicans are said to be upset over the economy and Obama's general socialist slant when it comes to offering public solutions (and wads of cash) to private solutions.

But we have pointed out in past articles that what is really going on is deeper than merely the selection of one party over another. The American electorate seems to us to be writhing in a kind of agony. First it elects, in aggregate, a socialist – one apparently with CIA intelligence connections: Barack Obama. Now, two years later, the electorate is ready to repudiate this choice with some of the most "conservative" and even free-market candidates elected in the post-World War II era.

What's going on? Janet Daily (see article excerpt above) believes Americans are upset with the political class. This is a fundamental misreading of what is taking place – much as we would like to think we have predicted in the past few years. First of all, there is no "political class," or not really. The people in federal office now are in many cases not those who were there a few years ago, and certainly not a decade ago.

Second, from our point of view, Americans are not angry at a political class so much as the system itself. They are seeking to regain control of it by "throwing out" incumbents, and this is a comment about how the system is working – and not merely the people that function within it.

Third, Americans, both and right and left are increasingly seeking the party that is not being offered to them. It is a party that rejects the economic meddling of the left and the behavioral/moral constraints on the right. We expanded on this not long ago in an article entitled A Coming Republican Onslaught. Below is an excerpt:

The right-left paradigm of the past 100 years is rapidly giving way to something else in our view. It took nearly Clinton's full term before he was radically affected by Internet reporting. President Obama, did not receive nearly the "honeymoon" of either Bush or Clinton. Almost from the beginning Obama has been hounded by Internet reporting that has cast doubt on every part of his background and professional and personal characteristics.

Wise political pundits in the mainstream (there are some) and of course those who analyze such things for the alternative press have taken to cautioning Republicans that their current rebound is due more to electoral frustrations than an alternative and compelling vision of governance. In fact, we would argue, it is only going to take a few more political cycles before the frustration and anger aimed at Democratic socialism spills over into the military industrial complex. The reason for this, as we have tried to show in this article, has to do with the PROCESS of the Internet and its growing impact on the political environment in the US (and abroad as well).

In 2008, Congressman Ron Paul sparked a libertarian revolution (and began the Tea Party) with his run for the presidency as a libertarian Republican. Since then almost every one of Ron Paul's economic perspectives have found fertile soil. For those who don't believe a real classical-liberal realignment is coming, we have a simple question: Why should the intellectual and sociopolitical ferment reflected in the Internet suddenly cease? In our humble opinion, the "enlightenment" continues, driven by the economic crisis itself and the free-market thinking to be found on the Internet.

The truth-telling of the Internet combined with the economic downturn, has begun to make the political discourse increasingly schizophrenic in our view. The changes between right and left are coming faster and faster. This is not because people are seeking answers but is symptomatic of a frustrated – increasingly enraged – electorate. People are looking for the one party that is not being offered – the Libertarian party. Sounds weird? Let us make the case …

The Libertarian party is tarred as a party for drug addicts and other "far out" ideas that make it somewhat unpalatable to hard-core US conservatives. But in actuality the largest swath of American voters are small-L libertarians as a result of American cultural leanings and Constitutional antecedents. Probably a vast slice of the electorate would settle for less government meddling at this point in both the bedroom and the economy.

Voters have simply not coalesced yet around this idea – have not fully realized it – but we think it is coming. What is going to happen is that – once Republicans are empowered again – the debate over spending will increase alongside criticism regarding America's serial wars, overlapping intelligence agencies and generally the cost of maintaining the welfare/warfare state. It is "gridlock" most likely that will spark this further conversation, and we would expect that it will be an increasingly vocal one over the next two years.

We are at a point now where the political structure of the US will begin to change in our view. There is no more love for Republicans within the electorate at this point than for Democrats. The good will is all used up. We note, for instance, that President George Bush has begun to make more appearances and that his biography of his presidential years is coming out. Obviously Republicans and Bush himself hope to capitalize on the sweeping repudiation of Obama's policies and governing philosophy.

But Bush himself was as bad (if not worse) president than Obama. His out-of-control federal spending, compulsive warring and determination to expand domestic authoritarianism built a base that Obama has only expanded upon. If the Republican establishment is counting on business-as-usual once the results of this election are in, they may find they are fooling themselves.

The next two years may well see increased unrest over the nation's military/intel industrial complex as well as the furniture of economic ruination – the Federal Reserve, the graduated income tax and even the institution of regulatory democracy itself. Ordinarily, the Anglo-American power elite could control and minimize such unrest, but the combination of the Internet and the economic crisis may prove somewhat resistant to damage control.

The elite in our view intended to use economic difficulties and the "war on terror" as a way to move toward global government. But they are doing so under the lens of a new communications technology, and this is exposing its secrets and undermining its plans. In Europe, we believe the unrest that has occurred will continue as something of a class war. In America, because of cultural differences, electoral dissatisfaction is increasingly emphasizing a small-L libertarian viewpoint.

After Thoughts

This of course is not being reported at all in the mainstream media. But if one looks closely, the liniments of a continued electoral realignment may be seen. For now, the Republicans have uneasily co-opted the messy, freedom-oriented movement called the Tea Party. But as we have long pointed out, the Internet is a process not an episode. The next few years well may make the evolution of freedom both clearer and more compelling.

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