Entries Tagged as 'libertarianism'

The Secret of Ron Paul’s Success

David Frum January 3rd, 2012 at 11:11 pm 30 Comments

Based on the tiny unrepresentative sample at the precinct caucus I attended: his core group are true believers, who have absorbed his message on Austrian economics and foreign policy non-interventionism.

But when they communicate to the broader Iowa Republican rank-and-file, they repackage Paul as a much more conventional conservative: pro-life, pro-military, small government, and supportive of the operation that killed bin Laden. If Paul ever does gain altitude, he will be very vulnerable to negative advertising that exposes the truth of his beliefs and background.

Best of FF: Have Libertarians Lost Their Way?

December 28th, 2011 at 12:59 pm 47 Comments

As 2011 comes to a close, FrumForum plans to re-run some of our best featured pieces from the year. Kenneth Silber’s piece on the libertarian movement is especially important in light of Ron Paul’s recent surge in the polls

Last fall, I wrote for FrumForum about “How I Joined the Vast RINO Conspiracy,” tracing how I, a longtime self-described “libertarian conservative,” got out of step with the right as the right moved further right and as I moved toward the center. Some readers applauded my independent thinking and others invited me to drag my backside out of the Republican Party (something I’ve declined to do).

A new book The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America, by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, respectively the editors of Reason.tv and Reason magazine, has given me much to contemplate, on how libertarianism fits into American politics, how Reason fits into libertarianism, and why I, a onetime fairly regular contributor to that magazine, eventually failed to fit in at Reason.

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How Ron Paul Assimilated the GOP

December 24th, 2011 at 9:08 am 83 Comments

With Ron Paul for the moment topping polls in Iowa the Republican Party is moving into full freakout mode. Unfortunately the GOP panic over Paul is about a decade too late and entirely misdirected. Despite the brief surge, Paul has no more chance of winning the Republican nomination than you do (excluding you, Mitt). Paul isn’t likely to be the nominee, but that should not offer Republicans any comfort.

The Presidency isn’t the only prize in politics. In the measures that really matter Ron Paul is probably already the winner of this year’s race. By patiently accumulating power he has built a political block that will influence policy regardless of who wins the White House in 2012.

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Don’t Forget Gary Johnson!

December 20th, 2011 at 1:08 am 26 Comments

While I was reading Conor Friedersdorf response to David Frum’s critique of Ron Paul, as well as Andrew Sullivan’s endorsement of Ron Paul, one question kept coming into my mind: “What about former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson?”

Friedersdorf makes the case for Ron Paul on the basis that he is different from all the other Republican candidates, but that is just not technically true. Gary Johnson is essentially Ron Paul but without the racist newsletters.

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In Defense of the Department of Energy (Sort of)

November 11th, 2011 at 8:42 am 29 Comments

Before he famously stumbled in the debate earlier this week, Rick Perry said he would eliminate the Department of Energy. Ron Paul agrees. Any time one sees a bunch of libertarian minded people in a room together (heck, even libertarian-leaning liberals) the Department of Energy often ends up on the theoretical chopping block.

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A Decision That Will Set Libertarians’ Hair on Fire

November 8th, 2011 at 5:36 pm 27 Comments

Judge Silberman has issued another tour de force in the extremely interesting opinions generated by Obamacare. I have noted other opinions on Obamacare’s constitutionality but this one is full of interesting tidbits.

The first and most interesting tidbit is who wrote it. The Honorable Laurence H. Silberman is no hippie.

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Ron Paul’s Spaced Out Plan

October 19th, 2011 at 11:42 am 59 Comments


Ron Paul has unveiled a fiscal plan that would eliminate the Commerce Department, among other departments. The Commerce Department includes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and one of NOAA’s functions is operating the nation’s weather satellites.

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The GOP Can’t Quit Ayn Rand

September 28th, 2011 at 1:19 am 193 Comments

Two years ago, I began work on a book that was to examine the ideological roots of the 2008 financial crisis. Over time this became a broader examination of the radical right’s renaissance in America. For many months I’ve been eating, sleeping and breathing Ayn Rand—and on February 28 the results of my journey will be published by St. Martin’s Press, in a book entitled Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America’s Soul.

Ayn Rand’s spirit hangs over the 2012 presidential race like the aftermath of a bad meal that, for some reason, we’ve all forgotten that we’ve eaten. Click here to read more

How is Authoritarian Singapore More Free Than America?

September 21st, 2011 at 12:28 am 31 Comments

There is a new study out which shows that the US is suffering from a decline of “Economic Freedom”. The study was produced by the Economic Freedom Network, which is a project of the Canadian-based Fraser Institute.

Studies like this can be useful because they reveal the cognitive dissonance taking place on the libertarian right. It turns out that some policies which libertarians assume to be incompatible with freedom actually exist in many free societies, and vice versa. Here are two examples from the study:

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It’s Hamilton vs. Jefferson All Over Again

September 19th, 2011 at 1:02 am 61 Comments

When General Lee handed Ulysses S. Grant his surrender and my ancestors went home in defeat, there was reason to believe that one of the great unresolved conflicts over the meaning of the American experiment had been laid to a bloody rest.

I’m not talking about slavery, and it did not in fact prove to be the end. The most important original argument over American’s identity was best encapsulated in the competing visions of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

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