In 2006, libertarians
who were fed up with Republican excess either threw their support
behind the Democrats or stayed home on Election Day, resulting in
victory for the Democratic Party as it took over both houses
of Congress and a majority of governorships and state legislatures
from the GOP.
reason to expect libertarian-minded voters to play any less significant
a role in the outcome this year, especially when they have a candidate
in Ron Paul who is continuing to gain momentum for two important
reasons: 1) libertarians finally have a candidate running on a major
ticket who represents many of their views, and 2) there is no ideological
difference between any of the leading Democrats or Republicans when
it comes to the federal government – they all believe in the
virtue of the paternalistic, centralized state; they merely differ
in how it should run our lives.
Not only will
it be the natural inclination of Americans to vote for a Democrat
after almost eight years of an unpopular Republican president, but
to 20 percent of self-described libertarian voters nationwide
will almost certainly either refuse to vote altogether or give their
support to an independent or Libertarian Party candidate in November
if Paul isn’t the GOP’s nominee. Given Paul's enormous popularity,
this will be more than enough to tip the scales in the Democrats’
favor, and the Republicans’ defeat will only be more lopsided if
Paul decides to run on a third-party ticket.
If Ron Paul
weren’t the only anti-war candidate in the scrum, perhaps this reasoning
would be different, but don’t expect any self-respecting libertarian
to side with Clinton, Obama, or John Edwards. Also take into account
that Paul is the only Republican candidate who appeals to young
people and liberals and independents alike, precisely the types
of voters a Republican
needs to attract in November.
By this rationale,
only Ron Paul can prevent us from hearing Hillary Clinton or Barack
Obama take the oath of office come next January. Certainly a Paul
nomination may not necessarily guarantee a Republican victory any
more than a McCain or Huckabee nomination would, but failing to
nominate Paul will surely result in a loss at the polls.
us to an interesting question: Would the GOP prefer to have a Democrat
in the White House for the next four years if a victory would mean
a Ron Paul administration?
As if it were
a mystery, this
article by David Limbaugh confirms the motivation of today’s
conservatives: war. A “true neoconservative,” explains Limbaugh,
“favors a more energetic role for government in domestic policy
and a more proactive approach to foreign policy.” Limbaugh even
admits that the neocon may also be willing to invade countries that
don’t present a threat to the United States if it means illustrating
the “transformative, contagious power of democracy” to the world.
the notion that Iraq posed any danger to us before we invaded, Limbaugh
insists that, even today, he and most conservatives still
believe that Iraq (the country as a whole, we are to assume) represented
a threat to our security before the war began. I suppose if Limbaugh
is right about anything, it’s that Iraq is at least a threat to
us today. After all, it would be hard to imagine that the Iraqis
hated us more in, say, 2001 than they do now, after almost five
years of American occupation and indiscriminate killing.
Given the fact
that the Republican Party has gone from one that rallied around
limited-government principles in 1994 to one that does anything
but in 2008, a Ron Paul triumph would obviously be a sweeping rebuke
to today’s GOP. It would effectively mark the beginning of the end
of an entitlement culture within the party that would threaten the
very security and existence of elected officials who have grown
fat and happy at the hands of special interest groups that have
solicited from them the very government largesse Paul has railed
against for years.
In no uncertain
terms, Republicans will fight tooth and nail to prevent Ron Paul
from gaining their nomination and an electoral victory, especially
when a Clinton or Obama presidency would perpetuate the cronyism
and wars they so desperately crave.