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Ron Paul

Meet The “Neocons” That Every Libertarian Should Applaud And Embrace

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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…

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The Masses In Motion: Why Libertarian Populism Is The Way Forward

in Politics by

For students of political strategy, the 2016 presidential race was a remarkable and informative election. This is especially true for grassroots libertarians who want to learn how to build an electoral coalition capable of winning national elections. It shows why libertarian populism must be the way forward for activists interested in advancing the liberty movement. Donald Trump – or should I say President Trump – accomplished something incredible: he methodically took down sixteen of the Republican Party’s best candidates in the primaries and then annihilated Hillary Clinton in an electoral landslide, holding on to traditional red states while winning states like Michigan and Pennsylvania that establishment Republicans could never even dream of winning. What made his victory even more amazing was that Trump managed to win these traditionally deep blue states despite being viciously attacked around the clock by the mainstream media, Democratic Party, and neoconservatives (who de facto are the Republican establishment). Trump accomplished all of this while turning the traditional political strategy of beltway elites on its…

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A Plea To The Alternate Right From The Ron Paul Revolution: Don’t Repeat Our Mistakes

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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…

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You Probably Don’t Understand Gary Johnson’s Position On Abortion

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Throughout his campaign for President of the United States, Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson has been attacked by the right for being pro-choice. Many see Johnson as no better than Hillary Clinton on the issue of abortion. After all, Johnson says in nearly every interview that being libertarian means supporting a woman’s right to choose. However, a more in-depth analysis of his public statements about abortion both during this campaign and in the past make it fairly clear that those who dismiss Johnson with a pro-choice rubber stamp simply don’t understand his stance. First off, Johnson has made it clear that he supports state bans on late-term abortions. According to his campaign website, he also supports parental notification and counseling requirements. Johnson claims to be personally pro-life and morally opposed to abortion, although he believes the state should not ban the procedure until after the fetus is viable outside of the womb. While he has not stated as much this election cycle, presumably as a part of his strategy…

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Dear Austin Petersen, Personhood Is The Ultimate Liberty Issue

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Dear Austin, As a Libertarian Presidential Candidate, I know you’re busy with a lot of interviews and meetings with conservative media and voters looking for a way out of the coming Trump/Hillary nightmare, but I wanted to take the opportunity to reach out to you and try to iron out some of the wrinkles in your pro-life messaging. See, protecting life is an utterly non-negotiable issue for a slew of Libertarians as well as Republicans, and polls show that the nation as a whole is moving in an anti-abortion direction, with the highly-libertarian Millennial generation leading the way. Many of us flatly refuse to support anyone who won’t fight for the right to life, no matter how much we might agree on other things. I think you’re on the right track with the life issue, and that’s incredibly important for the sake of moving the historically pro-choice Libertarian Party (LP) that way. Your stance on this issue could impact the future of the LP well beyond 2016, and to…

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Iowa Just Destroyed The “Rand Or Nobody” Narrative

in Politics by

Iowa was the final act for a number of presidential candidates, including liberty candidate Sen. Rand Paul – but the reason Paul dropped might come as a shock to many. Though the Rand campaign made many overtures to his father’s base in the final months, Rand Paul did not carry the Iowa libertarian vote. Among the chief victims of the dramatic Ted Cruz win Monday night was the “libertarians won’t vote for Cruz” narrative pedaled for the last year by the Rand Paul campaign. The caucus results have been sliced and diced a hundred ways, and with Sen. Rand Paul’s subsequent exit from the presidential race, the question of where the liberty vote will go is finally being asked — a question Iowa already answered. Sen. Cruz’s win was hailed as a show of power for Iowa’s evangelicals, but the math simply doesn’t add up for that narrative. Even if Cruz benefited from the Trump-inspired turnout bump — for which there is little evidence — that doesn’t explain his leapfrogging Trump and finishing more than…

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Ted Cruz Should Be Every Ron Paul Supporters’ Second Choice

in Politics by

Rand Paul is without doubt my first choice for the presidency. As the most libertarian member of the United States Senate, and the son of Ron Paul, Rand is strongly deserving of our support and I wholeheartedly endorse him for President of the United States. However, should he be unsuccessful in his presidential campaign and choose to leave the race at any time in the next few months, we should keep our options open, for there is clearly another candidate in the race with strong liberty credentials. 1. Ted Cruz is one of the most fiscally conservative members of the United States Senate. He boasts a 98% lifetime score from FreedomWorks and a 96% lifetime score from the Club for Growth. He has consistently voted for spending cuts and lowering taxes, and has repeatedly stood up to the establishment’s last-minute deals that do nothing more than increase the national debt. Whilst it is fair to criticize him on the very few occasions where he has not stuck to his core free market  principles, the…

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Wanted: Dead Or Alive – What The RLC Vote Really Says About The Liberty Movement

in Politics by

It turns out the death of the Liberty Movement has been greatly exaggerated. At the first sign of some sputtering from the presidential campaign of “libertarian-ish” Sen. Rand Paul, critics and pundits gleefully took to the web to declare the so-called “libertarian moment” over. But those seeking evidence of the continued relevance of America’s youngest and most vibrant political faction may just be looking in all the wrong places. Of course one shortfall in the arithmetic of those waiting to dance on the grave of libertarianism is that it attempts to judge the fate of a movement by the electoral success or failure of a single candidate.  That doesn’t make sense by anyone’s standards, but makes even less sense in relation to a group as ideologically diverse as the Liberty Movement. Contributing to the confusion were many liberty folks who placed all their eggs in the basket of the Randidacy from the get-go; attempting to force the movement into the shape of the younger Paul despite widespread hesitation within…

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I’m a Ron Paul Guy, And I’m Supporting Ted Cruz

in Politics by

The other night as my wife Kelsey and I were getting ready for bed, we were talking about the 2016 presidential race and discussing how things would shape up for the first-in-the-nation caucus state – our home state – of Iowa.  We had both heard that Ted Cruz was set to announce his candidacy at midnight, and were keeping a finger on the pulse of the reaction within our liberty-heavy political circles. My wife’s phone buzzed, and then I heard her groan. Another of our friends had asked her who we would be supporting for president in the state where politicos never sleep. Both of us knew that we were leaning toward supporting Sen. Ted Cruz, but both of us also knew that we didn’t want to have “the talk” with another of our Randian friends at 11 o’clock on a Sunday night. I had to chuckle as she tried to think of ways to defer the familiar question one more time.  Despite the fact that no candidates had…

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Rand Paul Taps Liberty Movement Leader As Iowa Political Director

in Politics by

Sen. Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign, which in recent months has gone from being a strong possibility to a near certainty, has hired a new political director to conduct operations in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. Jonathan Van Norman, who served as former Rep. Ron Paul’s regional director in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District during his 2012 presidential run, will join an Iowa campaign team which is already staffed with several big names such as former Iowa Republican Party chairmen Steve Grubbs and AJ Spiker. In addition to his work for Ron Paul 2012, Van Norman’s impressive resume includes Liberty For All (a political action committee which proved crucial for Thomas Massie’s 2012 victory), the National Right To Work Committee, and most recently as a Regional Field Director for the Republican Party of Kentucky. “Jonathan Van Norman comes highly recommended, especially for the good work he did with Ron Paul in 2012. AJ Spiker said he has a great work ethic and people like to work with him. Assuming…

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Rand Returns To His Roots

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Nobody thought that former US Representative Ron Paul would show up in Iowa this week to stump with his son, Kentucky Senator and likely 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul; but when Rand took the stage to deliver the keynote at an “Audit the Fed” rally hosted by Liberty Iowa, there was a whole lot of Ron in the room. Ron Paul shirts, Ron Paul hats, and Ron Paul stickers adorned many of the roughly 120 people that gathered in Des Moines to hear the younger Paul speak. Even the speech itself sounded a lot more like the fiery Texas Congressman of yore than the polished, diplomatic tenor that Rand has worked to fine-tune over the course of his fairly recent emergence on the national stage. While at times Sen. Paul has shied away from his libertarian heritage, he seemed to embrace it fully on Friday night – to the applause of an energetic crowd of Liberty activists from around Iowa. “Anybody here want to audit the fed?” Paul bellowed…

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Cruz To Liberty Movement: No Softballs

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Nearly two weeks ago, just prior to his appearance at Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Summit, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz carved out some time to meet with leading liberty activists from around Iowa. The low-key meeting, held in Des Moines, was many activists’ first time to meet the libertarian-leaning Tea Party firebrand. It was also Cruz’s first time fielding questions from a crowd comprised almost exclusively of members of the thriving Iowa Liberty Movement. Cruz opened with high praise for former Rep. Ron Paul’s rapidly-maturing political army. “The power, the energy of the Liberty Movement is inspirational,” said Cruz. “I think it is starting to change the almost inevitable currents of Washington.” He went on to discuss his appreciation for libertarian thinkers like Hayek, Bastiat, and von Mises, keying on areas of agreement with his audience. Cruz, who recently challenged Republicans to “lighten up a little”, also threw in some of his characteristically disarming humor. Admitting himself to be a “geek” while discussing his high school pursuits, the 44-year-old Senator…

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Cruz Courts Liberty Movement In Iowa

in Politics by

Tea Party champion and conservative firebrand Ted Cruz may be ready to embrace his libertarian side – and he may need to, if he hopes to find a path from Iowa to the White House. As it turns out, the death of the Liberty Movement in Iowa may have been greatly exaggerated. While an establishment resurgence in 2014 spearheaded by Governor Terry Branstad succeeded in purging the Ron Paul element from the leadership of the Republican Party of Iowa, members of the state’s robust and often-boisterous Liberty Movement are turning their attention to greater things – namely, the 2016 presidential cycle. Still reveling in the unexpected victory of libertarian-leaning Congressman Rod Blum in what had been a heavily Democratic eastern Iowa district, the Liberty contingent is starting to have conversations about how much effort and energy should be poured into a presidential race that – for the first time in a decade – will not feature Rep. Ron Paul. Paul, who retired from Congress in 2013 but continues to…

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Rand Paul’s Plan “A”

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  Invincibility lies in the defense; the possibility of victory in the attack. – Sun Tzu   Last week, Kentucky Senator and likely presidential candidate Rand Paul got in a highly-publicized spat with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council over the Senator’s answer to a question on abortion and contraceptives. Paul – a medical doctor – was asked directly whether the Plan B pill should be legal, to which he responded, “Plan B is taking birth control… I am not against birth control, and I don’t know many Republicans who would be indicating that they are against birth control.” His comments sent a shockwave of indignation throughout the virtual world, as pro-life conservatives took to social media to chastise Rand for “selling out” on life  – very reminiscent, in fact, of the shockwave that followed Rand’s “thousands of exceptions” gaffe last year. As I watched the predictable and useless “I’m more pro-life than you” chest-beating erupt among conservatives, I realized that in Rand’s latest futile attempt to walk…

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A Time For War: How Foreign Policy Can Make Or Break The Liberty Movement

in World by

The Middle East is in flames again, and for once, Liberty people seem unsure what to think about it.  For years our only rallying cry was “no more nation-building – bring the troops home!” And for a while, that was enough.  Our foreign policy ideals were so diametrically opposed to those in play for the last few administrations, we didn’t need to nail down all the details of our ideology.  Mere assertion sufficed. But the situation in Iraq has brought the Liberty Movement to a crossroads. On one side, Ron Paul’s steady non-interventionism is what first drew many people to the Movement, and the case could even be made that these foreign-policy-first libertarians form the core of the Liberty Movement.  These folks steadfastly believe that the United States should bring all military forces home and leave the world to its own devices, relying on free trade and free association to govern international affairs.  But this group has fallen strangely silent in the wake of all the images coming out…

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A Movement To Maturity

in Politics by

  Think not those faithful who praise all thy words and actions; but those who kindly reprove thy faults. – Socrates Last week I wrote an open letter to social conservatives, in the interest of broadening communication between two groups that both have a vital interest in stopping the socialist slide engineered by people who benefit from government expansion.  As a homeschooled Christian conservative who chose to plant my flag firmly within the Liberty Movement, I think I can offer some perspective to those on both sides who don’t see an avenue of cooperation. But as I pointed out in last week’s article, reproof is a two-way street.  Each leg of the conservative coalition exhibits different strengths and weaknesses, and there is opportunity for greater understanding and cooperation between all if we are willing to do some self-examination and establish goals both personal and political.  To that end, fairness demands that liberty people examine our own weaknesses, and work to improve our activism.  There are some ways in which the…

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An Open Letter To Social Conservatives

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“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” – St. Augustine Dear Social Conservatives, I hesitate to address you by that name in a political sense, because being socially conservative isn’t really a theory of government, it’s a theory of culture.  One could be socially conservative in a totally stateless environment.  That’s why there’s been a high degree of overlap between your endeavors of late and those of the Liberty Movement, and that’s why many of us can comfortably identify ourselves as socially conservative libertarians. Now of course the Liberty Movement is incredibly diverse, and has shown an uncanny ability to unite a wide range of political and social groups in a quest to reduce the size and scope of government.  Some of us are socially liberal, some are socially conservative.  Some walk the Randian line between liberty and anarchy, and others just want a return to the government of the Founders.  Some want to legalize drugs to use drugs.  Others want to legalize drugs because we…

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