In the wake of Trumpmania, the political system is as chaotic and insane as it has ever been. If we were watching these events unfold in a Hollywood movie, we would probably say they were too fanciful and absurd to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, it is the reality that is staring us in the face. One of the most peculiar and eye-raising developments of this ridiculous campaign season has been Hillary Clinton’s speech demonizing the alternative right.
In Hillary’s speech – which was a more deranged, in-depth rehashing of her “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” talking point of the 1990’s – she painted a sinister picture of dark racist forces working to stop her potential presidency. She even named names. She pointed to Alex Jones, Breitbart, and Vladimir Putin as the apparent masterminds behind a new “alt right” that is vicious, toxic, bigoted, and not traditionally conservative.
“This is not conservatism as we have known it,” Clinton said in her Aug. 25 speech. “This is not Republicanism as we have known it. These are race-baiting ideas, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas, anti-woman –– all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt-Right.’”
Obviously, Hillary’s rhetoric is filled with deceptions, half-truths, and nonsense, but the fact that she felt it necessary to attack the alt-right is very interesting. A movement that has been commonly marginalized as a bunch of annoying and crap-spewing Twitter trolls is now on the big stage, having been dragged through the mud by Crooked Hillary herself. This is a water-shed moment for the alt-right that they have been reveling in ever since, and rightfully so. The alt-right is going to face some serious challenges now that it is hitting the big time.
Having been around since the beginning of the Ron Paul revolution, I have watched the liberty movement grow exponentially and unexpectedly into a political force, only to later stagnate and let down many of its ranks. Soon, the alt-right will have to deal with sustained resistance from the establishment that will manifest itself in a whole host of ways. Their movement’s future depends on how they can mitigate that threat.
As Ron Paul revolutionaries, we faced uncharted territory. We had no similar movements to look at and compare notes. The alt-right would be wise to look at the Ron Paul revolution as a case study to avoid our mistakes as they take on the political establishment. They’ve already captured Hillary’s attention, so they must be doing something right. Let’s review some of the key similarities between the two movements, where the Ron Paul revolution went wrong, and how the alt-right can avoid making those same mistakes moving forward.
Similarities Between the Alt-Right and Ron Paul Revolution
Plenty of Vitriol – Ron Paul revolutionaries were fighting mad at big government and the Federal Reserve. Instead of politely protesting the wars, they chucked snowballs into Sean Hannity’s face. The alt-right is fighting mad about globalism, multiculturalism, and open borders. Ron had a closed borders position and stood against forced multiculturalism, but these positions weren’t articulated as forcefully by Paul and his supporters as they are on the alt-right. Ron took a much stronger position against globalism, being a massive proponent for ending the IMF, United Nations, and World Bank, as well as warning against the formation of the North American Union. Opposition to globalism in its modern form is the issue where the two movements clearly overlap the most.
Not Hatched in the Beltway – Both movements were the result of grassroots fervor run amok. They weren’t hatched in the planning meetings of some corporate think-tank. They weren’t the result of scheming political operatives in Washington D.C. They weren’t tested by a bunch of focus groups or rubber-stamped by the powers-that-be in any way. The alt-right at this point and the Ron Paul revolution at its peak were raw, energetic, passionate, and dominated by fanatics. The feeling that the boots on the ground were leaders rather than followers was an ethos that has emanated throughout both movements.
Making the Establishment Squirm – The Ron Paul revolution was ignored at first and treated like it was completely insignificant before finally being taken on directly by the political establishment during the tea party era. Perhaps building from the groundwork laid by the tea party and Ron Paul, the alt-right was named directly by Hillary Clinton not too long after its initial rise. Twitter coming into its own as a medium, where the alt-right is especially tenacious and feared, may explain the difference in the government’s response to them. Regardless of the precise cause for this line of attack, Hillary has risked giving free publicity to her most fierce opposition because she was so desperate to attack the alt-right. They wouldn’t be receiving that type of flak unless they were over the target.
Dangerous Ideas – The Ron Paul revolution didn’t piddle around. They didn’t want a 4.5 percent reduction in the income tax over the course of six generations. They weren’t arguing for gradual and moderate reductions in government spending, as chronically-ineffective Beltway “movement conservative” and “movement libertarian” gatekeeper types would have recommended. They were saying that taxation is theft while calling for an end to the Federal Reserve. They went straight for the jugular. Similarly, the alt-right isn’t piddling around when fighting against globalism and multiculturalism. Using the word ‘cuck’ the way a libertarian would use the term ‘statist,’ the alt-right took the fight to the left in a brutal and enduring fashion.
Serious Resistance – The most important thing that both movements had in common is that they were radical and driven by the grassroots. They posed a serious threat. They pushed back against the conventional wisdom of the political establishment and stuck it in their face by achieving influence while breaking the rules. There was a bombastic style within both movements that is very admirable. However, the Ron Paul revolution lost many of these characteristics over time as it gained steam and rose to national prominence. The result ended up being a weaker movement that squandered much of the momentum it had with many disenfranchised activists on the sidelines left wondering what went wrong.
What Went Wrong with Ron Paul’s Revolution?
Lack of Cohesion – This is a common libertarian problem for obvious reasons. In a movement filled with opinionated individualists who tend to have big egos, there is bound to be some infighting and factionalism. This is always going to be a problem for libertarians and one that is difficult to overcome. It is a positive trait in so far as it stops the rush to mad collectivism, which is a tendency that is pervasive in most other political philosophies, but it can certainly hinder us, as well. The tendency of libertarians to butt heads with each other over trivial minutia rather than productively work to advance the cause of liberty has contributed to the general trend of stagnation within the movement.
Ron Paul was Declared an Albatross – Due to his difficult stances on hot-button issues, the good doctor was jettisoned by the official liberty movement. He was relegated to the sidelines, and his message was watered down for the masses. This backfired spectacularly. It turned out that Ron’s difficult and provocative stances were why people liked him. Ron’s bold, uncompromising words rattled people’s cages, challenging their preconceived notions, and getting them to change their long-held viewpoints. Erasing that dynamic from the liberty movement threw our greatest weapons (our credibility and our earnestness) straight into the dirt. This was a colossal mistake that cannot be understated.
The Parasites Prevailed in Ron’s Absence – Although Dr. Paul is still active in the fight for liberty with the Liberty Report, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, and homeschool curriculum, he has taken a backseat in a movement that is desperate for his leadership. With Ron out of the fold, liberty activists were easily co-opted. Rather than storming town halls, hounding criminal politicians, and being a subversive force within politics, young liberty activists instead chose to rest on their laurels and live high on the hog in Washington D.C. Corporate money flooded the movement and ideology was suddenly put on the back-burner for pragmatism. Social justice warriors came in to infiltrate, and libertarians didn’t have the backbone to evict them. All of these supposedly inclusive moves to create a “big tent” not only devastated the movement intellectually but also failed to actually grow the movement in real terms as well.
Libertarians were Housebroken by the Establishment – This is perhaps the most disheartening consequence of the unraveling of Ron Paul’s revolution. Libertarians have now passively accepted their role as “republicans who smoke pot.” It is now common to hear a self-described libertarian piously regurgitating Hillary’s talking points on any given day. They bleat out “racist” or “Nazi” as fast as any liberal political hack out there. In fact, a once-relevant liberty activist has even stooped as low as becoming a hatchet man for the corporate media where he writes propaganda on behalf of the fledgling GOP establishment as they desperately cling to power. Other libertarians are following suit. Self-marginalizing Libertarian Party members have even gone so far as to degrade themselves by begging a warmongering, gun-grabbing CFR globalist, Bill “Hillary’s Best Buddy” Weld to boss them around in a tacit admission of their own helplessness and inadequacy.
The Magic is Gone – Ron Paul’s revolution still resonates throughout the entire political system in various ways. The approval rating of federal bureaucrats has yet to recover. There are more independent-minded folks out there than ever before. Changing the dynamic of the entire political system permanently is no small feat, and every Ron Paul revolutionary should be proud of this accomplishment. That is the silver lining accompanying the sobering reality that Ron Paul’s actual revolution has dissipated and become a shell of its former self. It will likely never accomplish its stated goal of restoring the Republic. This doesn’t mean we need to throw the baby out with the bath water and abandon all hope. The “remnant” will have to manifest itself in new forms, and discover new ways to make waves throughout politics and society.
The Pitfalls the Alt Right Needs to Avoid
Alt-rightists must take note of all the folks who act like they are the devil and say that they are the worst thing ever to hit the right wing. In mere months from now, those same sorry individuals will be the toadies trying to ride the alt-right’s coattails. Do not waver against these infiltrators. Stand strong, and never give them an inch. These charlatans will come in and turn your movement upside down unless they are stopped. They will conform your movement to their own image, sanitize you on behalf of the political elites, and take your spirit away.
Don’t let your enemies dictate to you how to run your movement. Don’t listen to their conventional wisdom. They aren’t giving you constructive criticism that is meant to help you. They want to undermine you and make you ineffective. Many libertarians allowed their enemies to define them and get into their heads. Do not fall into this trap. Work on emboldening and radicalizing your ranks, rather than conforming to the ideals set forth by those who wish to destroy you.
Keep hitting the enemy and keep hitting them hard. This is where I see the most promise in the alt-right. Unlike so many libertarians, they abjectly reject political correctness and all social justice dogmas off hand, and they take the fight to the enemy continuously. The political establishment always whines about civility because they don’t want to be ruthlessly attacked and exposed while they are vulnerable. Thus far, the alt-right has worn the infamy of it all as a badge of honor, mercilessly taunting their crybaby critics every step of the way. Even if they are a very tiny fringe minority like their detractors say, they are maximizing their impact with their combative approach. The alt-right needs to keep this up and tune out the naysayers.
Facing the Reality Staring Us in the Face
Seeing the harsh exchanges taking place between libertarians and alt-rightists throughout the internet is particularly dismaying. Many libertarians have taken it upon themselves to do the bidding of the political establishment against the alt right. It is so heart-breaking because libertarians are using the same cheap tactics straight out of the establishment playbook used against the Ron Paul movement back in 2008 and 2012. These libertarians have effectively fallen into the same divide-and-conquer trap as the rest of the statists out there and have become useful idiots for their enemies out of desperation.
Too few libertarians understand that the totalitarian left is the real existential threat to everything that we hold near and dear. The left, driven by Marx’s deranged scribblings and similar babble, is set to destroy our culture and our freedom. They are marching forward aggressively toward those goals with each passing day. The State is the instrument they wish to use to destroy all remaining vestiges of a free society. The alt-right should fight the cultural slide, while the liberty movement fights for lost freedom. This two-headed monster, so to speak, can fend off the left while we determine the particulars of what society will look like after they are vanquished.
Regardless of the bickering and pettiness, what is considered the alt-right and what is left of the liberty movement must work together to keep America from crumbling to pieces. All hands are needed on deck to clean up this catastrophic mess. The more formidable that both movements can be, the better chance we will have from stopping the authoritarian slide into 1984. Let’s focus on our common enemies rather than what divides us, and work toward making both movements stronger rather than weaker.