Neocon has been the go-to pejorative in libertarian circles for many years, and deservedly so. The Bush Administration ripped up the Constitution, thrust the country in endless wars, and sent the debt through the roof. These policies were then aggressively continued during the Obama regime, but times are finally beginning to change. In the age of Trump, neocon influence is waning. His “America First” talk does not align with their agenda, and tensions are bubbling to the surface.
The neocons are clearly working to undermine Trump, and their star within Republican circles is fading fast. They floated Evan McMullin as an Independent Presidential candidate for the sole purpose of sabotaging Trump’s chances. Former neocon all-stars Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are now national laughingstocks. Perhaps it has come time for libertarians to take the term neocon. Libertarians have the opportunity to Make Neocons Great Again, but not in the traditional way. Instead of meaning neoconservativism, the term must be co-opted and re-appropriated to mean the far more interesting and libertarian-friendly denomination of neoconfederate.
Although the term neoconfederate originated as a slur from leftist thought-control group, Southern Poverty Law Center to defame anyone who isn’t a Lincoln worshiper as some sort of slavery-loving, black-hating, seditious ghoul, libertarians should not run away from this term. After all, the movement it represents is very much libertarian in nature. While many groups have been called a neoconfederate by unhinged leftists, the League of the South pretty much embodies the term. Their website’s domain is titled “Dixie Net”, and they offer an unabashedly pro-southern perspective dedicated to preserving the history and the legacy of the Confederate heroes of yesteryear.
Looking past their historical interpretation of the civil war that may offend some Yankees, the core of the group’s beliefs is incredibly libertarian. The League of the South has hosted many libertarian speakers over the years, and the organization is fervently dedicated to returning the power home from Washington D.C. The reforms they propose are moderate in nature, and they are not the extremists they are made out to be. The League of the South advocates a judicious return to the rule of law and the Constitutionally limited government – with a special focus on the 10th Amendment.
In their “New Dixie Manifesto” published by the Washington Post in 1995, founding members Dr. Michael Hill and Dr. Thomas Fleming stated:
“We believe it is time for the people of the Southern states to take control of their own governments, their own institutions, their own culture, their own communities and their own lives. On the national political level, this will mean sending men and women to Congress who will insist upon a strict construction of the Constitution and a restoration of the 10th Amendment that explicitly reserves all unenumerated powers to the states and to the people.”
One of my favorite pictures is the great Ron Paul standing in front of a giant confederate flag giving a speech at a League of the South event. It really gets the goat of the inadequate, left-pandering libertarians out there, who react as if merely viewing the picture resulted in a hate crime being committed against their retinas. While speaking to the League of the South, Ron Paul railed about the evils of the tyrant Abraham Lincoln, the futility of the civil war, and venerated anarchist philosopher Lysander Spooner as proof that abolitionist and antiwar views were very much compatible. That sounds like my kind of libertarian gathering!
The entirety of Ron Paul’s tremendous speech to the League of the South can be viewed here:
While the abysmal Libertarian Party as well as beltway outfits such as the CATO Institute and Young Americans for Liberty won’t touch secession with a ten-foot pole, the League of the South buys huge billboards with “SECEDE” written on them. This organization is not only bold and brash, but they also reach out directly to the unwashed masses. They aren’t holed off in little isolated conferences, conducting pointless meetings, having seminars nobody cares about, and hopelessly stuck in a bubble that looks more and more sorry with each passing day. The League of the South is out there in the trenches for the cause of liberty ruffling feathers, setting brushfires in the minds of men, and drawing the ire of the enemy for their effectiveness.
The League of the South sets a benchmark for libertarians to follow. Rather than kowtowing to the whims of the liberal elite, libertarians should aim to step on the toes of freedom-hating trash on the left. Rather than groveling beneath corporate oligarchs and special interest moneymen for table scraps, libertarians should be hatching alliances in the grassroots and building the foundation for an enduring liberty movement for generations to come. Perhaps libertarians have some things to learn from the neocons after all!