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The New Model Libertarian

In thinking about Rand Paul's rather striking win last night it seems that more is in store than anti-establishment fervor. While I haven't studied Paul II's positions a great deal, he seems to be a clue to some type of recovery within conservatism. Or maybe not. However, Paul is a physician, in a middle class town in the southern part of the state, practicing his profession, raising his family and then decided to contest for the GOP nomination. If a somewhat obscure physician can topple the KY Secretary of State endorsed by all the "right" conservatives, then perhaps a major rethinking not only of American conservatism but also of libertarianism is occurring. If a physician, as obscure as any other professional plying his trade, can win a Senate nomination of a major party, surely something is breaking upon us. 

Perhaps more interesting is that his creditability held even after his views on projecting American power were publicized, which differ from most public conservatives. I'm wondering, however, how far Paul's war policy views are from other voices on the Right like Angelo Codevilla, a critic, similar in some ways to Paul. The victory was also in Kentucky, populated by the one of the most violent tribes of men to ever stalk the earth, the Scotch-Irish. In short, this is not a dovish bunch, unsure of American strength. Perhaps better than most, they sense the need for it be guarded and used only decisively with minimal application to grand progressive objectives like nation building and finding little Lockes in the desert.

If Paul wins in November, provided similar victories are achieved in other races around the country, it just might augur a correction to conservatism that it has not received since the loss in the 1998 elections and the turn the party made to Bush II and compassionate conservatism, i.e., European style Christian Democrat policies.

The implications for libertarianism seem striking as well. In short, Paul might be a clue to a libertarianisn that doesn't strive so much for autonomist liberty, but seeks recovery of vital American political traditions and habits. Comfortable with religion, understanding the foundations of the family to civilization, and yet decisively aware of the dangers posed by the progressive smart set and their federal bureaucracy to our constitution, Paulian liberatarians might be the subtle and powerful change within the coalition of conservatism.


Categories > Conservatism

Discussions - 3 Comments

For a second I thought you were purposefully combining Ron Paul and Ayn Rand. Then again who knows how Ron Paul named his kid(also did not know he had a son).

No matter what you think of Ron Paul this isn't some rather obscure person. Sure I have never heard of Rand Paul before, but my money is on Ron Paul if we are talking about members of the House that most americans can name, behind pelosi perhaps, but not by much and more popular in most circles. A first name of Rand and a last name of Paul, he had to have picked up instant name recognition. He was probably hardly harmed by not being endorsed by the "right" conservatives.

Given all this, this is a bit much: "If a physician, as obscure as any other professional plying his trade, can win a Senate nomination of a major party, surely something is breaking upon us."

Even if you think Ron Paul is in over his head going after Bernake, the Fed, or foreign policy hawks, he is incredibly popular for doing so and has done much to re-invigorate discussions of Von Mises's Human Action.
Like his father he was a physician, but I would guess that knowing nothing else the presumption about Rand Paul is that he isn't all that different from his father.

There is thus absolutely no suprise that a lot of "conservatives" don't like Rand Paul, a lot of them don't like Ron Paul.

But I would wager that at the moment if you asked republicans if they would have been better off making a dynasty out of Bush I, Bush II two ventures into Iraq, a bailout, an expensive medicare program and Euro style "Christian Democrat" compassionate conservative policies or instead gone the Paul I Paul II route....a slight majority would pick the Paul route. Even among so called democrats, it is difficult to gauge interest in big government vs. dislike of Bush, thus a slight majority of these might also have prefered Paul I and Paul II.

If the republican primary for president was today Ron Paul might pick up 25% of the vote. Folks already know the resistance to Paul within the republican party, ironically some of this resistance decreases Paul's numbers because folks don't want to waste votes or alienate contacts.

If folks in KY elect Rand Paul they electing Ron Paul.

Having spent a lot of time in and near Kentucky, I would have thought the Paul name would have cut both ways. It is an impressive achievement for the political novice.

He was not named Rand, its something he took on later in life. I think his name is Randy or something that one could reasonably draw Rand from. Although, both of the Pauls are not outright dismissers of Ayn Rand.

I am surprised that you are surpised. I really think the right's most marketable person is Ron Paul. He is popular amongst the students and the concerned gun owner crowd as well, although with their deep ties to GOP mechanics I doubt the NRA will throw their support toward him if runs for the nomination. We can all see the videos of Ron Paul asking the questions of Bernake that we all want to know: saying where is the money and Bernake refusing to answer. Their is no other person in the right with that kind of credibility to those who believe that our government and financial elite are some sort of conspiring New World Order and group of Americans gets bigger every day. The GOP's only possible legacy is now to get behind this and destroy globalism and world government tyranny or it will simply cease to be anything than a name that once stood for something that most don't quite remember.

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