I’ve written about the new Libertarian Hegemony before and how it has changed the conservative movement and libertarians themselves. This week showed how their new found power changed libertarians on the only position they were worthy of praise for — their non-interventionist foreign policy.
The Ukraine crisis has highlighted this alteration and we can discern it in the the two, differing responses to the situation from both the elder and younger Paul.
Ron Paul remained true to his non-interventionist beliefs and blasted the US for getting involved in a region that we should have no vested interest in (he even went on the “dreaded” RT to say this). Meanwhile, his son Rand regurgitated the generic conservative line that we need to get “tough” with Putin and he even went on the home of generic conservative lines to spout this — Fox News.
What’s amazing about this turnaround is that this was the policy area they chose to meet halfway with average conservatives. They certainly didn’t moderate themselves on gay marriage or drug policy, which are two positions that the conservative base care more deeply about. Instead, they moderated on the one stance that converted many disillusioned young people to libertarianism in the first place.
Many young people were disgusted with the Bush administration’s foreign policy and wanted to find an ideology that was set in stone against such foreign incursions as Iraq and the deployments that prompted 9/11. That’s why Ron Paul became a hit with Millennials in 2008 and 2012, not because of his non-committal stance on same-sex marriage.
But Rand’s new found foreign policy “centrism” comes with his prime time slots on Fox News and keynote addresses to CPAC, so he has clearly benefitted in the short-term from his position change.
Possibly an even more interesting development is the choice of channels that the two Pauls decided to air their message on. Rand’s choice shows that he doesn’t want to go too far out of the mainstream’s purview. The movement he is leading wants to be normal, wants to be liked, and just wants to fit in. And they won’t get their spot at the table if they follow the elder Paul in going on that KGB-backed, freedom-hating, propaganda spewing RT!
Now remember, this is the same RT that was one of the few media outlets that originally gave libertarians a platform, specifically targeted libertarians with their programming, and even gave a radical “liberty-lover” like Adam Kokesh a show
Despite Rand and his followers new stance on foreign affairs and their aversion to appearing on RT, the same people who are currently urgring for Cold War 2.0 and attacking anyone who might not want to bomb the entire world have made Rand Paul their number 1 target. So this tactical moderation, done to appease his critics, won’t stop the dobermans of neoconservatism from relentlessly smearing him and hunting down every, single unsavory connection that the Paul family might possibly have.
But I can’t say I feel sorry for them — these “pussies” dug their own grave. Soon it will be time for them to fall down it.