“I think the other thing about it is that the old guard needs to realize they’re the ones that have been losing the last couple of elections,” Paul said. “If we want to win for presidency we have to compete in the states where we’re not competing. Precisely, up in the northeast and on the west coast where Republicans are basically on life support. We need to reach out with issues that may attract new people to the party.”…
Paul said he thinks there is a place within the Republican party for libertarians such as himself. He said that way of thinking, particularly when it comes to issues of privacy, can be used to attract young people to the GOP.
“Young people, they don’t really associate with Republicans on taxes and regulations. Not that they oppose us, they just don’t have any money so they don’t care much about those issues,” Paul said. “But they’ve all got a cell phone, they’re all on the internet, they’re all concerned about internet freedom and they’re concerned about privacy. And these are precisely issues where we can grow our youth vote.”
Libertarians are often dismissed as a mutant subspecies of conservatives: pot smokers who are soft on defense and support marriage equality. But depending on their views, libertarians often match up equally well with right- and left-wingers…
[A]t least two of the libertarian movement’s signature causes, school choice and drug legalization, are aimed at creating a better life for poor people, who disproportionately are also minorities. The primary goal of school choice — a movement essentially born out of a 1955 essay about vouchers by libertarian and Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman — is to give lower-income Americans better educational options. Friedman also persuasively argued that the drug war concentrates violence and law enforcement abuses in poor neighborhoods.
Libertarians believe that economic deregulation helps the poor because it ultimately reduces costs and barriers to start new businesses. The leading libertarian public-interest law firm, the Institute for Justice, which has argued Supreme Court cases for free speech and against eminent-domain abuse, got its start defending African American hair-braiders in Washington from licensing laws that shut down home businesses…
In 1975, Ronald Reagan saw a kinship between libertarians and his party: “If you analyze it, I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism,” he said.
Libertarianism once again appears to be on the rise, particularly among the young. But its alliance with the Republican establishment is fraying, as demonstrated by the increasingly personal war of words between two leading potential 2016 presidential contenders…
For their part, libertarians are thrilled. They say it is a sign they truly have arrived as a force to be dealt with, rather than dismissed as a fringe element.
“There are a lot of people within establishment Republican Party politics who have controlled the process for the last 10 or 20 years who fear that their grip on the party is slipping away,” said Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), whose amendment to restrict the NSA’s ability to collect telephone records came surprisingly close to passing in the House last week.
In an interview, Amash argued that despite opposition from House GOP leaders, his point of view represents an advancing wave among House Republicans. He cited an analysis by Bloomberg News showing that while House Republicans who have served more than five years opposed his amendment by more than 2 to 1, it won a slim majority among those who have arrived there more recently.
Lost amid all the hubbub about Rand Paul and Chris Christie’s war of words over NSA security programs and the rising strain of Republican libertarianism is this:
A similar divide is alive and well in the Democratic Party — arguably just as much in the GOP (if not more)…
Put plainly: It’s a movement in search of a leader. There isn’t one big nationally known player on the left that is pushing this issue in a way that Paul is on the right…
Potential 2016 contenders who could take up this mantle include noted liberals like Howard Dean or even Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). But Dean hasn’t been a major figure in the Democratic Party for a while now, and Warren has close ties to the Obama Administration, which would seem to make her less likely to buck it on these issues.
It’s not at all clear that this leader will even emerge, but if they do, they could quickly build a pretty significant profile.
Though not purely libertarian, I rally to Paul’s side because his freedom-based positions best counter the unbridled spending of the Obama administration. I applaud Paul’s current efforts to de-fund Obamacare, before the law can devastate the American economy.
Sen. Paul has demonstrated consistent leadership since election in 2010. While a lengthy filibuster opposing drone use received substantial attention, the 50-year-old ophthalmologist frequently voices common-sense solutions otherwise ignored in Washington, including a recent argument to withdraw $1 billion of foreign aid for Egypt to help infrastructure needs at home.
In contrast, Gov. Christie has failed to lead.
America has only gotten more and more libertarian in many ways over the course of our lifetimes. Due to ad hoc political coalitions (such as the one that deregulated airline ticket pricing and interstate trucking in the late 1970s), technological innovation (thank you, interwebz), and a general leveling of authority (welcome to “the end of power”), most of us are more free to live our lives however we see fit than ever before.
Which isn’t to say that most of the hard work of freedom isn’t still ahead of us, especially when it comes to politics. The 21st century has in many ways been a bust and not just economically (though that can’t undercounted). We’ve got a state that can tell us we must buy health insurance, where we’ve phoned from and to whom, and whom we can marry. Our foreign policy – it doesn’t really even rise to qualify as a policy, to be fair – is godawful and destructive and too many of us can’t wrap our minds around a future in which we will go broke paying for entitlements that are neither cost-effective nor necessary for most people. Yes, lots ahead for us.
Gingrich said though he supported both the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq, he has to “say the way that they were executed failed, and maybe we should have known better, those of us that supported them. … Republicans have a real obligation to ask themselves the question: Aren’t there some pretty painful lessons to learn from the last 10 or 12 years? Don’t we have to confront the reality that this didn’t work as a strategy?”