Sunday, February 21, 2010

Will the Real John Galt Please Stand Up

Perennial libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll with 31% of the vote, far outpacing the runner-up, Mitt Romney, who polled only 22% of the vote. Asked what made the difference in his selection, the self-effacing Dr. Paul (pictured below with GOP Boss Rush Limbaugh) said he made no off-color jokes about Tiger Woods.

Dr. Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy and limited government domestic platform would eliminate several government agencies such as the Education, Energy, Commerce, HHS, and Homeland Security departments, as well as FEMA, ICC, and the IRS. His economic proposals include eliminating the income tax and dissolving the Federal Reserve in favor of a return to commodities-backed currency such as gold and silver. Dr. Paul has attracted a fiercely loyal following among conservatives of a libertarian bent, including so-called objectivists.

In some ways, Dr. Paul is riding a similar kind of wave in the Republican Party that George McGovern rode to primary victory in 1972 on the rebellious anti-war, liberal activist wing of the Democratic Party. Dr. Paul’s insurgent wave of outsiders is powered by purist and idealistic libertarian conservatives who do not really fit in with the GOP, much less with extremist elements of the Tea Party mob.

The Republicants have much to ponder, not least the fractured state of their party, the anarchy among the Teabagger mobs (to date 17 different “Tea Party” groups with competing interests have surfaced), and the continuing (growing?) popularity of Dr. Paul’s message among disaffected libertarian conservatives.

The Democratic Party has its own problems, namely governing the nation in the midst of our worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Even though there’s been more progress made than Democrats are given credit for, this is one of those fights they should sit out, grab a bucket of popcorn and watch, while concentrating on getting their own house in order. Reviving healthcare under the President's more assertive leadership is the place to start.

Suffice it to say that reports of the so-called “Republican Tsunami” in November are premature and vastly exaggerated. Even fans of the Dark Lord should know by now not to believe anything Dick Cheney says.

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