While I previously resolved to cease talking about the 2016 major party primary race, the broader phenomenon of the fate of the “Ron Paul Revolution” (sometimes past stylized as the love ‘R3volution’) in light of this year’s election warrants one more set of reflections. From the looks of it, Paul supporters have gone into a frenzy of acrimony over their next direction, in the wake of failure of the Rand Paul candidacy, compared to the success of the “outsiders” in attracting voters disaffected by the statist establishment controlled political system.
Some liberty activists are downright in shock over the support given by many paleo libertarians like Lew Rockwell, Justin Raimondo and even others in the grassroots in supporting Donald Trump following the Rand fiasco. They have declared such libertarians as “the enemy,” who never understood liberty, and are thus taking what’s left of the R3volution in exactly the wrong direction. Allow me to bottom line what has been happening, as I speak critically of the movement as one who was and is in it, converses with the community regularly, and who started one of the first five Paul meet-up groups in the country.
Circa 2007, the emerging Ron Paul candidacy coalesced around the grassroots liberty movement, and performed an amicable takeover in leading it while Ron was an available mainstream Presidential candidate. The movement had existed long before that, seeding the liberty and truth message for decades through the educational campaigns of the LP, CP, and the alternative or patriot media. Virtually all agreed upon Ron Paul as a unifying candidate based on his consistent voting record, distinguished image and credentials, as well as his ability to grow the base of liberty supporters (producing the harvest from the liberty seeding that had occurred prior). But, truth be said, we didn’t win a single primary in three tries, with either Paul. In football terms, we never got a single first down.
The Ron Paul movement is fragmenting because Ron (and Rand) Paul is no longer a candidate, not because paleolibs, the LP and other grassroots folks “never really understood” liberty. The truth is, Pauls are not the center of the liberty movement, they were simply the best vehicles the movement adopted for attempting to run a real liberty candidate for President within the major party system. It has also become evident that much of the support given to Paul was personality-cult driven, instead of being based on a long-term strategic commitment. In the wake of three failed national campaigns, two major dynamics driving those defeats have been identified: 1) the Pauls’ inability or unwillingness to build winning voting coalitions beyond the 5-10% liberty base, and 2) the institutional barriers set up by the special interest run establishment, who control the major parties and media.
The Paul movement has become divided because, post Paul, there is no agreement over, or ability to acknowledge, how to address the other, above two dynamics. And without a Paul being in the picture, there is no reasonable basis for continuing to center the liberty movement around the Paul movement, which was just a subset of it. So some voters we could have reached or retained have gravitated toward other elements, from the Tea Party to Occupy, to the outsider trend, that they perceive are engaging their concerns, and are confronting the elite establishment. To succeed going forward, we need candidates who stand for liberty, and who can/will put voting blocs together to win something, and who will confront the elite. Fixating on liberty positions alone, is not enough. We need to pursue a fuller or more correct strategic direction, not just the correct policy direction.
One of the surest lessons learned from the last three election cycles (for those willing to receive the message) is the institutional resistance to the liberty message has become well adapted to the threat posed by either Paul. As coldly stated well by the Architect establishment figure in the Matrix movies, “rest assured, this will be the sixth time we have destroyed it, and we have become exceedingly efficient at it.” The elite already knows how to rig the primary process of the regime to contain and defeat the Pauls, while installing their approved puppet as the nominee, as they demonstrated in 2008 and 2012. And they were already doing the same to Rand in the 2016 cycle, apart from Trump, via the tried and true methods—limiting media mentions of Rand, giving him the least debate time, subtly suppressing his poll numbers, etc.
The Unexpected, the Opportunity, and Denial
But something unexpected happened this time—the overcrowded GOP field caused people to seek out a different kind of candidate who stood out, as a matter of establishing a unique marketing position, that the media could not marginalize. The elite was so busy trying to crowd Rand out, that they overlooked that this situation might create an opening for another independent candidate. Meanwhile, on the undercrowded Democratic side, progressives actively sought (and found, in Sanders) a fresher message than that provided by the over-controlled press releases issued by Queen Hillary. Trump et al outsiders have come along, and totally defeated the elite’s attempt to get traction for this year’s approved puppets, namely Bush, Rubio and Walker, with Hillary getting past Sanders mainly because of a super delegate overloaded, or rigged system. The plan was obviously for Bush, Walker, or Rubio to throw the election to her, not for a loose cannon egotistic billionaire to knock all three of those stooges out of the race.
The resistance of many Paul supporters to welcoming this basic breakthrough confirms everything I and others have said, about the Revolution being fraught with cultism, and people being in denial. There has been an unfortunate tendency by admirers of Ron and Rand Paul to credit them, and only them for things achieved by the broader liberty movement, or for positive developments outside the movement. Accordingly, while Trump has specifically performed a lot of establishment disruption this past year, that Rand simply did not accomplish, the Revolution’s response has largely been, nah, “he didn’t do any of that.” So, was it Rand who drove Jeb and Marco out of the race? Was it Rand (not Trump) who got the elites to waste over $200 million trying to stop him? Rand who challenged PC for the last 9 months straight? Rand who disabled the Donors? Rand who connected with, and embraced the anti-establishment voters? This inability to give even partial credit to anybody unless their name is Paul, has helped kill the Paul movement. Strategic gains need to be recognized, no matter who helped bring them about.
Was the Movement Hijacked?
The Paul cultists nonetheless maintain that the voters who were attracted to the outsiders were ‘stolen’ from Paul, and that ‘the FrankenTrump Monster’ is opportunistically leading them down an anti-liberty path, as his method of hijacking the movement. But how can something be taken from you that you never owned? While candidates like Ted Cruz did try to cynically triangulate the liberty vote, it’s not as if it was unfair for him to try to engage it, in order to win more votes. If Rand doesn’t even own his base vote, that would go double for claiming the liberty side has exclusive dibs on the rest of the reachable GOP vote as well. So in fact, these blocs were not hijacked, they are voting groups the Pauls did not pursue, thus were abandoned or orphaned. We never had most of them to begin with, in order for them to be hijacked. The position that these voters cannot pursue other candidates without ‘abandoning’ liberty, is Paul-centric, and exclusively oriented around the issues, at a time when we are past the Paul candidacies, and now understand that emphasizing our core issues can grow the liberty base, but it cannot by itself create voting coalitions that win elections, nor displace the statist establishment.
The movement has been splintering because many are failing to move towards incorporating those other two dynamics. They remain stuck at being exclusively Paul and issue-centered, having learned nothing from the last three failed campaigns. Engaging coalition building and the anti-establishment voters is not going in the opposite direction, it’s about going in a liberty-building direction by not staying stuck in 2007, and acting like the 2008, 2012, and 2016 defeats didn’t happen. The three campaigns done by the Pauls suggest they are only capable of doing overly cautious, educative efforts that fail at or avoid engaging major voting blocs to build a winning coalition. They, and others following that model, will not be able to win and get in the White House. The only way I see Rand getting in the White House is by accepting the GOP nominee’s offer to be his running mate.
Why is this movement the only place in politics that thinks we can get into the White House, by avoiding gaining the confidence or support of most voters? Rand couldn’t ever become President based only on the liberty base, even if he hadn’t lost part of the base vote, due his compromising approach. He or whomever an eventual successful national liberty candidate turns out to be, has to build a winning coalition. Rand becoming Vice President, or put in a large position in the next Administration, would be helpful towards that end. If engaging or creating alliances with trends, demographics and voting blocs that aren’t libertarian is something the liberty base can’t live with, it simply means that base is not serious about winning, ever.
It’s not about our 5% base and beating up the other candidates, it’s about attracting more voters to us. It’s about connecting with them, not insulting them by bashing everything about the candidates who do connect with them. It’s not about the Rand following, or about viewing either Paul as the perpetual center of the liberty universe, it’s about reaching beyond the following to show the liberty approach engages the concerns of most voters. The inability of Rand (or much of the following) to do that is why his candidacy did not get a winning coalition of voters on his side.
So no, the outsiders of this election cycle are not hijackers, they are suppliers meeting the demand of the “liberty for all” marketplace. After three Paul defeats, that market ideally wants 1) progress in moving the country on “the direction of liberty,” not just more educational campaigns, 2) candidates who try to win, not just more educational campaigns, and 3) progress in busting up the establishment barriers to liberty, not just more educational campaigns.
Beyond the Base
The TP, OWS and the outsiders have actually had some success on points 2 and 3, whereas the Pauls did not. Moving the country in the direction of liberty requires addressing the strategic aspect, not just the liberty positions. If a person only wants to fixate on the latter, and ignore achieving anything on the strategic front, I invite people to join or rejoin the Libertarian Party. The LP runs educational campaigns all the time, to ensure it provides a real liberty option on the ballot, without regard for anything other than representing the true “direction of liberty,” position wise.
But the point behind the Paul movement was supposed to be getting such a candidate elected President, not just representing the 5-10% liberty base. That was the point behind supporting the candidate running within the major parties. But if the candidates could not succeed on both the position and strategic fronts (in building the coalition, and effectively taking on the elite), that didn’t eliminate the demand for somebody to succeed on those fronts. Demonizing everybody who has recognized the strategic progress being made by candidates and movements in those areas, is not productive. We can’t sell liberty for all if we don’t do outreach beyond the choir. Yet many Paulites have actually scolded me for “going in the wrong direction” for emphasizing anything other than conformity with the liberty agenda, when evaluating candidates.
Exactly how is talking about the liberty side winning elections and overcoming establishment barriers to liberty, going in the opposite direction? Only if one believes any consideration of advancing liberty that goes beyond its positions, is going “in the opposite direction of liberty.” That is, many think “the right direction” is to go on preaching to the choir, while demonizing anything else as being “anti-liberty.” That’s not merely disagreeing about strategy, that is having no strategy. It’s another manifestation of the binary mindset that refuses to to acknowledge the usefulness of strategic campaigns or trends for the movement. Instead, we should stay on target about the three things the liberty movement must do to make advances, (promote liberty positions, win elections, confront the establishment). Many people are stuck at just the first part.
Strategic candidacies who are not in our camp ideologically, but did reach out to voting blocs as we should have done, indirectly help the movement by showing us how to do likewise. Where they have successfully taken on the elite and MSM while we have not, they have set the stage for us to benefit in later cycles. Adding those strategic aspects is what will advance liberty politically, whereas only dwelling on our positions while calling that “a direction,” will not.
From Here to Victory, Eventually
Rand got just a third of the votes in Iowa, compared to Ron in 2012. The candidate and the strategy must be held at least somewhat accountable in light of those results. The truth is, both Pauls made mistakes that limited their appeal and ability to get the public to embrace liberty, so after three campaigns, it has been reasonable for supporters to notice this. Clearly the attempt to rhetorically finesse foreign policy issues needed to be tried, but having now been tried, it is also clear that it made no difference, as the base vote has not been expanded, by way of building winning coalitions. Future national liberty candidacies should proceed on a “back to principle” basis of presenting the views as clearly and openly as Ron did it in 2008 and 2012.
The failure of the Paul Revolution, again, has much to do with the personality cult surrounding the Pauls displayed by many of its supporters, which may have been more important to them in the end, than advancing liberty. Frankly, those supporters are only “pro-liberty” if it looks like, talks like, or behaves exactly like the Pauls—genteel, dryly rational, professorial. If progress towards the cause comes in any other form, like a brassy sounding talk show host, or a blue collar sounding, confident business leader, they call it “the enemy.”
Donald Trump is not libertarian, but his candidacy (as I have previously said) represents progress towards the cause of liberty by scuttling the elite’s kingmaker system that has prevented alternative candidates from getting the Presidential nomination of a major party for at least 36 years. Liberty candidates cannot get into the White House until that elite-controlled, approved insider puppets system is disrupted. In Star Wars terms, we have to disable the tractor beam, to escape the Death Star. Voters are leaning towards Trump not because his views are vague or even coherent, but because his resolve is convincing, and not controlled by mega-donors.
The GOP rank and file and public is frustrated with campaigns that have had the right positions for decades, but then caved or utterly failed to enact them once elected. The anti-establishment trend that Trump rode to first place with is thematically pro-liberty, as it confronts the statist/PC mainstream, shows resolve or backbone against it under pressure, and prioritizes American cultural or domestic issues, over war issues and internationalism. This outsider dynamic can serve as a battering ram to knock down the establishment-dominated primary racket, and once knocked down will bring more liberty candidates into office over the long term.
Poll Projections, vs Voter Data Based Projections
With that said, here’s my 2016 election prediction. First, let’s dispose of the obsession with early polling (the preponderance of which currently show Trump losing to Hillary). Polls done during the primary season, covering opinion 5-15 months prior to the fall election race, are historically meaningless. The preponderance of polls at this point or earlier in the 2012 cycle had Obama losing to Romney or the other GOP front runners. Most polls had Reagan losing to Carter at this point in the ’80 election year, and even had GHW Bush trailing Dukakis by double digits during the summer of ’88, etc.
Here is a forgotten point lost in all the fretting about polling data. Front runners are typically being protected and bolstered at this point in the primary season, such that their popularity in the later primaries creates a falsely inflated impression about their strength as candidates. Trump has been getting votes, by contrast, despite an ongoing massive negative campaign against him by party donors and leaders. Primary turnout may be smaller than the election turnout, but is a much more reliable index of voter intent and turnout than polls, since it provides actual voter behavior data, not poll projections about voter behavior. The BIG trend about this cycle is:
Republican turnout is UP by 60%, Democratic turnout is DOWN by 20%.
Note that the higher GOP turnout is largely being driven by the Trump phenomenon, despite his negatives, and despite active elite opposition to him. Lower Democratic turnout is largely being driven by tepid support for Hillary due to her negatives, despite widespread protection of her by the establishment. Obama (65.9 million) beat Romney (60.9 million) by 5 million votes in 2012. Using the 2012 election result numbers as a baseline, if we conservatively project from the actual primary voting data that the primary turnout trend will be at least 20% reflected in the election results, pro-GOP turnout should be up by 12%, and pro-Democratic turnout will be down by 4%. Do the math:
Republican/Trump: 60,933,500 votes, plus 12% (7,312,020) = 68,245,520 votes in 2016
Democrat/Hillary: 65,915,706 votes, minus 4% (2,636,632) = 63,278,960 votes in 2016
By this actual voter behavior data driven estimate, Trump will beat Hillary by 5 million votes.
The key to this being the most accurate projection, is having the ability to critically compare or counter interpret data. When I was at the Harris poll, it was emphasized that collecting or compiling the data was just one aspect of determining public sentiment–you have weigh it, and note what NET outcome it is driving as well. There is no such thing as a monolithic “higher turnout,” it is usually higher for one party than another depending on the year or the state.
The record rally crowds and voter waiting lines for Trump have largely been in competitive states, suggesting a net vote gain for Trump, not for Hillary. There is no voter data suggesting a comparable vote energized for Hillary in those states. Hillary’s turnout problem is compounded by several polls that indicate 33% of Sanders supporters will not vote for Clinton if she wins the nomination. Even if the residual turnout effect was reduced to 15% (resulting in a 9% higher turnout for the GOP candidate and 3% reduced turnout for the Democratic candidate), Trump still wins the popular vote over Hillary by 2.5 million votes.
Far more people are energized to vote for Trump than against him, from the actual voter behavior demonstrated this year. Most of the Latino vote and strongest anti-Trump sentiment is in well established Democratic states, or else states firmly locked in the red or blue column regardless, thus is mostly not a factor. From all this, I expect a strong enough popular vote for Trump to result in a electoral vote victory (e.g., via the GOP re-acquiring Florida, Virginia, and Ohio). That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
With the Republican and Democratic Parties seemingly headed for a crack up this Presidential year, and headed for a battle between two candidates with historic unfavorable poll numbers, is this the opening needed for the Libertarian Party to attain a foothold on the main stage of American politics? With the anti-establishment trend wrecking the GOP’s ‘kingmaker’ or donor-driven nomination racket (but delivering us with Trump as an alternative), and millions of progressive Millenials in rear guard mutiny over Hillary’s pending coronation as Democratic nominee, many voters will be looking for an option more agreeable to them. Will they see it in the LP in 2016?
The stakes for the Party of Liberty are enormous, as it appears pro-liberty people finally have an angle to disalign many average voters from the stranglehold of the two-party statist beast. It appears a sizeable fraction of regular rank and file members of both sides consistently advise pollsters that they will never vote for Trump, and will never vote for Hillary. This means their basic choices are to either stay home, or to consider a third candidate. If the LP contender becomes that choice, we could be in for a breakthrough moment for Libertarians to make their case before an electorate that is finally ready for them.
The Ballot Factor
If the LP can get 5% or more of the Presidential vote around the country in 2016, it would qualify for regular or permanent ballot status in about half of the states for several years (i.e., those states that give such status based on getting a minimum vote level in the Presidential race). This would vastly lessen the burden of the party in running and funding independent petition drives they would otherwise have to conduct across the US.
With that burden cut in half nationally, the party could then concentrate on earning regular status in the other states. Overall, a uniform 5%+ national performance by the LP would lead to improving the party’s ability to maintain regular ballot status (once obtained) across the country. This was one of the practical reasons why many in the party would have welcomed Ron Paul running on the LP line in 2008 and 2012, after his GOP bid was stalled.
The LP Field: Too Stale, Too Weird, Too Young?
The big question is whether the current LP field is compelling enough to capitalize on what could be an historic opening to solidify the party’s standing across the nation. The main contenders for the nomination at the May 27-30 LP convention in Orlando are former NM Governor Gary Johnson, anti-virus software creator John McAfee, and Austin Peterson, a former Ron Paul activist and LP national staffer. McAfee has given many the impression he is personally too “odd,” despite being likable, and Peterson way too green to be running for President, so my discussion will dwell on the LP front runner. As I noted last time, Johnson has the most serious resume, the most organization, the most experience (having already run as the LP candidate in 2012), and through his lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates, may create a pathway for leveling the campaign playing field such that “minor” parties can get the same prime time as the majors to debate the issues. As of this writing, in fact, Johnson is polling at 11%, according to a Monmouth survey that includes him in a three way race between Johnson, Trump and Clinton.
“If this isn’t an opportunity for the Libertarian nominee — and I hope to be the Libertarian nominee — there will never be an opportunity, in my opinion,” said Johnson, in an interview with the Daily Caller. “There’s no way that a third party wins the presidency without being in the presidential debates.” While his total package and being at the center of the CPB suit gives him the nominee-apparent edge as the most solid choice, partisans for the other candidates say he already had his chance in the last election, and should step aside for a ‘fresher’ face. Some are also wary of the recent spate of former GOP candidates floating over to the Libertarian universe (Bob Barr, in ’08, Johnson in ’12) to take its nomination, even as their commitment to or understanding of the party’s principles remains an open question.
For example, Johnson holds to an oft-repeated, but misleading summary of libertarianism, meant to keep the message simple to the masses, but at the cost of confusing the ideology with that of being a “moderate” (read: social liberal) politician: “I really believe that the majority of people in this country are libertarians, that we’re classically liberal at the end of the day, we’re fiscally conservative…but also we’re socially liberal. Who cares how you live your life as long as it doesn’t adversely affect mine?” On this basis, he describes Rand and even Ron Paul as not “really” libertarian, because they have socially right views. In reality, libertarians are fiscally libertarian, and socially libertarian, or first and foremost committed to the non-aggression principle (stated within the LP in terms of the non-initiation of force pledge). Libertarians are committed to not introducing force to solve problems, but reasonably disagree on the application of that principle on social matters. Social liberalism commonly goes far beyond tolerating personal freedom, towards a left authoritarian use of force (laws, regulations, suits) to demand everybody approve and support the behaviors under dispute.
This is not a minute distinction, as this aggression doesn’t let the other side of the country live their life (most typically in terms of expressing their free exercise of religion, or to express historic cultural beliefs). So Johnson’s conflation of liberty principle into being just a form of being a moderate is fatally flawed, and ends up miseducating voters as to what it means to be a libertarian. Indeed, the recent Pew study confirmed that only 11% of the public identified as “libertarian” by this understanding, meaning the “social liberalism” version of the concept is not catching on. By contrast, the three Paul liberty campaigns within the Republican universe have shown more support exists for libertarian candidates when they are aligned with the cultural right, not the left. Johnson is nonetheless strong enough on credentials, and sound enough on liberty issues in general to represent the party again, and may very well carry the LP to the much needed 5% threshold, or even the 15% needed to be in the fall debates.
Last Minute Surprises?
Other rumors are swarming about other last minute celebrities possibly parachuting in to the Orlando convention to seek the nomination, including populist Jesse Ventura, or even libertarian actors like Kurt Russell. The significance of the LP in creating this interest (or speculation) is that other than the major parties, it is the only (limited-government friendly) entity has an already up and running, ready-to-go structure for being on the ballot in virtually all 50 states (the Constitution Party has only managed to get on the ballot in 40 states, among other problems it has faced). All the talk of an independent candidacy by anybody (including most recently, Bloomberg) crashes against the reality that the barriers to getting on the ballot in all the states from scratch are odiously difficult under the current election laws. The famous “establishment” is responsible for this, as well as many other structural barriers the special interest elite have erected to frustrate alternative political voices from getting anywhere near the White House.
There is a possibility for another late entrant in the LP Presidential sweepstakes—Rand Paul. The Senator has returned to the Senate since his shockingly disappointing showing in the GOP’s Iowa caucuses, and has indicated he will now focus on legislation, BUT, if he has the stomach to do it, there is a window for him to reassert himself into the race over the next month. The “Never Trump” GOP elite plotters have made it clear they either want a contested Republican convention, or a third party option if Trump gets nominated—but the window for a viable independent candidacy is vanishing, and the path to a contested con is not established at this point. Most significantly, by the establishment itself floating both ideas, it removes the negative stigma associated with a Republican undoing their prospective nominee.
The LP race is perceived to lack a more exciting candidate than the Johnson/McAffee/Peterson choices on hand. If the GOP primary outcomes show the “deprive Trump of needed delegates” plot is actually working, Rand could announce he is running for the LP nomination, while offering the GOP the chance to avoid a splitting of the ‘limited government” vote in the election, by nominating him instead of Trump at the contested GOP convention. This move would give Rand the leverage to be the alternative candidate, cover the “independent deadline has past” issue, push out Trump, and ensure a Paul is on the ballot in November. The elite couldn’t talk down or demonize the idea of Paul “being a spoiler,” because they already have been talking up the notion, in order to stop Trump. This would be a way for Rand to become the anti-Trump in a third party manner that couldn’t be held against him.
The key to this ‘long shot’ idea is, Rand is the only candidate from the 2016 Republican field who could feasibly win the LP nomination, thus the only GOP candidate who could pose a third party challenge this year if he chose to do so. The other GOP candidates would have to go the full independent line route across 50 states, the deadlines for which are passing. If Rand does so in May, he basically calls the establishment’s bluff to support an alternative to Trump, either at the convention or in the election.
If he makes himself that option, the elite can’t demonize him for doing so, since they advocated for somebody to be that alternative. With his presence as the nominated LP candidate in place by the time of a contested GOP convention, delegates will have to choose to vote for Trump, or a different nominee and certainly lose in November due to Paul splitting the vote, OR vote for Rand. This is a way for Rand to take advantage of the GOP elite trying to reinvent the nomination process, and end up as both the Republican and Libertarian Party candidate on Election Day.
Advice to the Freedom Forlorn
Whether the above scenario happens or not, my advice for the ideal LP candidate to succeed in 2016 is the same as it was for Rand Paul, given the dynamics of this election cycle, in order to crack 5% or higher of the November vote. Namely:
Build beyond the liberty base, by appealing to their point of concern. In light of the huge negatives Hillary and Trump have, emphasize the positives about the liberty approach to reachable voting blocs, from the point of view of what do they get out of supporting the liberty candidate. Instead of just preaching to the choir, or shoving ‘our’ issues down other people’s throats, talk about their issues in liberty terms.
Discuss with evangelicals how to achieve their cultural goals in a pro-liberty way, talk to people consumed with the jobs crisis about the liberty approach to job creation, explain to those who prioritize national security how a non-intervention and non-empire approach makes America safer, etc. This way you are not ignoring peoples’ issues, since you are engaging them at the very point of their concern, while not fudging on your own principles.
Triangulate the anti-establishment vote. Don’t pummel Trump, instead attack the excesses of critics of the trend he has represented, then assert how the liberty approach will best address or solve the issues Trump etc ‘outsiders’ have raised. Avoiding addressing those issues and attacking their messenger will alienate those voters, whereas this approach will co-opt many of them. Focusing on this election dynamic and voting group, not the particular candidates who reached this bloc, is the best path to attracting them.
Show a spine, confront the mainstream. Be willing to say patently non-PC things, and not back down, as a way of introducing a unique dimension to issues that is left out of the two-party paradigm coverage of the campaign. The LP candidate should, as it is not representing as being a “mainstream” party, be able and willing to say some red meat things to pull a fragment of the mass audiences the liberty way, issue per issue. In this way libertarians can bring up “our” issues in a way that resets the table in our favor.
Talk plainly about the covert-op driven foreign policy (including false flags) that keeps the country engulfed in foreign wars. Tell the Democrats concerned about income inequality that the monetary policy of the Fed is the overwhelming cause of the issue, as it has served to crucify the middle class with zero interest rates (as James Bovard put it, “folks who relied on their savings have been devastated at the same time the Federal Reserve artificially inflates stock values to benefit the richest Americans.”); and so on.
Engaging the Future
The best national liberty candidate (speaking without names attached) would be someone with consistently pro-liberty positions, who can and will seek out and engage reachable voting blocs beyond the liberty base. Regarding the latter, on the GOP side, Ron and Rand Paul did not do this. I don’t see Justin Amash or Thomas Massie doing this. On the LP side, I don’t see the current announced field doing this either, but I’m welcome to be proven wrong.
Maybe Andrew Napolitano can, Adam Kokesh more possibly can. Alex Jones could. So could the late Aaron Russo, but he’s not among us now. Kurt Russell? I have no idea—though if he ran like one of his characters, say, Snake Pliskin, or Wyatt Earp, anything’s possible. “We’ve had it with tyranny, the tyrants are finished! We’re going to take our country back to liberty. You tell ’em we’re coming. You tell ’em I’m coming! And hell’s coming with me!”
Based on the 2016 experience, we need a Paul-minded candidate with a William Wallace alpha vibe. Someone who will really go after getting the Tea Party, cultural right, and outsider voting blocs in the GOP universe. This same candidate should also appeal to the Millenials on the Democratic side by bringing up the “1%” of Wall Street issues in a libertarian context (i.e., objecting to corporate welfare, the Federal Reserve’s destruction of middle class savings to the benefit of the banksters and globalists). The LP also uniquely can speak to protecting youth from any attempts to reinstate the military draft, that certain demonic Beltway figures of both major pro-war parties have not only advocated, but suggested should be expanded to conscript young women as well as men (ain’t equality grand?).
Whatever the case, the candidate has to do more than just embody the liberty base. More to the point, running an education-only style candidacy does not create a winning coalition. You don’t just speak core things to a core audience, you have to actively reach out to energize a mass audience, or enough segments of that audience to win. Fortunately for the LP, that ‘win’ only needs to be a uniform 5% or higher finish across the country, in order to get the freedom bells to start ringing.
The past month has seen the end, or the beginning of the end of several political monoliths. Barry Soetoro, AKA lifetime CIA-sheperded-asset-turned NWO puppet Barack Obama entered into his final year of tyranny as a constitutionally unqualified US President. As foreshadowed by seven months of campaign mistakes, Rand Paul crashed and burned in the latest unsuccessful national liberty movement campaign within the Republican primaries. Antonin Scalia, longest serving Supreme Court Justice of the modern era, unjustly “passed away” under the usual highly suspicious circumstances, setting off a Super Bowl blitzkrieg of acrimony over how, or if the vacancy created on the court will be filled in Obarry’s lame duck year.
More will be said about the Puppet-in-Chief and his actual pro-liberty accomplishments in a future discussion (yes, somehow, there are actually a couple of them). Of more pressing relevance to libertarians hoping to breakthrough to electoral success via the major parties, has been the push back against the liberty movement within the GOP, and Rand’s failing campaign. Instead of adding to the growth of the liberty base started by his father Ron in 2008 and 2012, and building primary-winning majorities in the 2016 cycle, Rand’s campaign seemed to result in that base getting cut in half, with no gains made in attracting larger voting blocs needed to win. Nor could he attract the kind of mega-donations his campaign rivals could (since he would not sell his soul to the “pro-war and spy on everybody 24-7” crowd showering money upon neocon robots like Mr. Roboto-Rubio).
Rand on the Run
Ted Cruz has taken millions from the Adelsons, and other elite sources, so he will intervene, and unconditionally bow to Israel as ordered. His posturing as an outsider is a pretense, but he did a better job selling being anti-establishment than Rand did. If Rand had made even a partial attempt to act like a real deal outsider, he would have enjoyed success similar to Trump’s, Cruz’s and Carson’s. The ‘real deal,’ in this context, is demonstrating you will confront the party leadership, elites and media, not whether you hold the best positions. In fact, Rand’s decision to attack the outsider trend, instead of triangulate it and Donald Trump, as Cruz did, was the crucial body blow to his campaign. Cruz also triangulated Rand by adopting his liberty positions, which eliminated the reason to go with Rand to begin with. Cruz and the others all had to deal with Trump’s domination, but clearly some (Cruz, and for a while Carson) navigated it much better than Rand.
If Rand had not positioned himself as a compromising libertarian, he would not have been vulnerable (or as vulnerable) to somebody else posturing as a compromising libertarian stealing his views. Not having the foresight to see his finessing of liberty issues could be matched by somebody counter-finessing them turned out to be a fatal mistake. Some suggest Rand could have simply tried new methods to finesse communicating the issues (e.g., by leaving most of his beliefs unsaid, or confining himself to speaking on tax and fiscal matters). The problem, though, is that we’ve already been through a campaign where Rand finessed communicating the issues. We found out that doesn’t work, in terms of building a winning coalition. And the candidates who did do better talked mainly about issues other than taxes and fiscal restraint of government—they spoke about immigration, protecting the national interest from trade to refugee policy, and cultural issues.
Our next liberty candidate needs to talk about the issues the voters actually want to talk about (not the stereotypical ones we think they want to talk about), BUT to talk straightforwardly to them with pro-liberty answers, NOT finesse them. If they want to talk about jobs, talk about liberty approach to job creation and a growth economy. If they want to talk about health care, talk about the liberty approach to health care and health freedom. And so on—talk plainly about what issue comes up, and when it does, things are not to be left unsaid.
Nor are we to think that a candidacy can be sustained based on a single age demographic. Rand spent much of his time, and credibility, talking up the youth vote he had behind him, that ultimately did not materialize. in essence, Rand was trying to come in on one engine, and kept selling us on that one engine, and the engine failed. Stepping back in hindsight, we can see that basing a campaign strategy on the one voting demographic that is the least reliable to turn out, was a dicey losing proposition. Young people know how to date, and know how to party, and that’s about it. They are not reliable about turning out to vote, and unless you conduct an aggressive absentee or early voting campaign that takes care of most of the steps for them, or literally drive them to the precinct center, they just won’t vote.
Which points out the real issue. Whether the original liberty base was cut in half by Rand, or was too soft to begin with, it needed to be built on, but Rand (and perhaps Ron as well) was unable to. And you can’t win the nomination unless you attract a major voting bloc. The opportunity was there to engage the evangelicals, the anti-establishment folks, the Tea Party, etc, but it wasn’t taken. Perhaps the issue is that both Pauls are stellar liberty statesmen who managed to get elected in their states, but were not, and are not great national liberty candidates. Perhaps we should field someone from our ranks with full-fledged liberty views who happens to be an evangelical, Tea Party friendly, and overtly anti-establishment, in the cycles going forward.
The main issue hindering that building remains not the personalities, but the (until now) establishment-driven outcome of the primary regime. Our movement has tried to get an ideal candidate nominated across three election cycles, without dismantling or confronting the elite-controlled racket that is firmly in place to keep alternatives from winning. Naturally, the Pauls could not win, as the racket stopped them. That kingmaker system has pre-decided which insider will get to be the nominee for decades, and this year it was supposed to be Jeb or Rubio.
Trump has been riding the wave of an outsider trend that (should he get nominated) will have broken down that system for the first time in 36 years. That will be progress, which can make it easier for us in the years going forward. In the meanwhile, we’ve tried to crack the “getting a liberty guy elected” problem three cycles in a row, and we need to retreat to figure out a better way to proceed. To use the Star Wars analogy once more, our Jedis need to vanish, to work up a plan that will get us over the top in a future sequel. I’ll be focusing more on the Libertarian Party front the rest of this year, to review its ongoing effort to seed a liberty mindset within the public through educational campaigns.
Speaking of the LP race, in a year that has delivered us Trump and Sanders on the major party scene, maybe a Libertarian who presents as “nuts” like anti-virus software creator John McAfee will succeed. Gary Johnson, running a repeat of his 2012 campaign, is the most organized all around. Austin Peterson has been active in the LP, Paul, and FOX universes (having worked for Judge Napolitano). Peterson’s ambitions might be better served by raising money to run for Congress in MO instead on a fusion basis (LP/GOP), where he could wait for an open seat situation and win it. From there, he could be a potential future ‘favorite son’ pro-liberty GOP candidate for President, as his state is adjacent to Iowa.
The Pelican Brief 2.0—Scalia R.I.P.
Those seeking a proper summary tribute to the Justice may go here. For the rest of us, the urgent issue is indeed justice. So, who bumped off the conservative Justice? I mean, the body being found with a pillow over his head suggests something other than natural causes, doesn’t it? Scalia, though 79, was not known to be in bad health, so it is odd that a loss of this political importance is not receiving an autopsy. In many states, an unattended death automatically triggers an autopsy (yet in this case, the Justice of the Peace did not even look at the body before declaring the death to be from “natural causes”). The big rumor is that fellow Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has already informed the White House of her intent to retire at the end of the 2016 term in July. In response, could they (i.e., a black ops team) have had Scalia bumped off (e.g., induced a heart attack using a modern variation of the “poison frozen dart” gun demonstrated at the Church hearings, or pumped CO2 into his hotel room), so Obarry could pack the court with not one but two more liberals in his final year?
That could have played into US Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to immediately declare there will be no hearings to confirm anymore Justices in the lame duck year of this President. Whereas, if he had green lighted a hearing for Scalia’s replacement, he would not have been able to credibly raise the lame duck issue later in the year, when Ginsburg retired. Whether the Senate will have the backbone to hang tough on this, has now become the big question of this election. If McConnell doesn’t give in, will the party lose enough seats over it to turn control of Congress back to the Democrats?
That’s what the MSM said when the Tea Party pushed for threatening a government shutdown, to get the leverage needed to really fight against Obamacare and debt ceiling increases. Next thing you know, the GOP picked up seats and now control the Senate. Unlike the shutdown, which the public perceives could have an immediate impact on them in terms of getting benefit checks and such, a Supreme Court vacancy does not impress that kind of personal urgency on voters. Thus, no pressure on the GOP to cave. So it may be possible for the GOP run Senate to ride out rejecting an appointment, yet still retain their majority. If Obarry makes a recess appointment, however, forcing the Senate to have to deal with it, that’s when the cave will almost certainly happen.
On No Longer Waiting for Godot
Regardless of the cave-in question, the “pack the court with true constitutionalists” strategy has been failing for 35 years. Statists were better at packing it the other way, as half the GOP picks turned out to be disasters, while aging Democrat justices always made sure to stay on the bench until a Democrat won the office before retiring. It was only a matter of time before a Republican appointed justice passed away on a Democratic President’s watch, and there goes the ball game.
There was an opening on the issue to outreach to social/cultural conservatives that Rand (and even Ron) Paul did not exploit, namely, that the fixation of the Republican Party with foreign policy (or more bluntly, with starting wars) over the last twenty-odd years has cost it several Presidential elections, and thus the ability to make more appointments to the Court. Many won’t dare vote GOP as a consequence, knowing that it almost certainly means still more hyper expensive, no-win wars based on lies in the Middle East, while de-prioritizing doing anything on abortion and other cultural matters. This point could have been raised to drive a wedge between the pro-war side, and many on the religious right who want to see action on their issues, and are willing to consider a new solution.
With the repacking the Supreme Court path now blocked off, liberty activists and candidates should persuade the social right to hold Congressional conservatives’ feet to the fire, by demanding that they vote (as per the Constitution) to remove the jurisdiction of the federal courts to rule on issues like abortion and gay marriage, which would de-facto return these issues to the states. This would get the federal government out of the issue and overturn the toxic social left authoritarian case law over hanging these issues, and get us out of the “waiting for the magic five pro-life or constitutional justices” rut we’ve been in for decades.
If the Ryan/McConnell axis does weasel out and puts another Obama appointee on the court (to make it effectively a 6-3 left-authoritarian fortress on all major decisions), this might finally wake the right up, to finally vote the milquetoast set out. They bought into the passive “waiting for Godot” constitutionalist court majority strategem Republicans were supposed to deliver on, for decades. What has it gotten them, except still more decisions reinforcing the bad case law?
No more passive strategies, it’s time for an active approach, without cave-ins. In a year where anti-establishment anger is already expressing itself, this last betrayal could act as a rocket booster for fostering change. Tea-partiers within the Republican universe should primary any GOP incumbent who caves, and move the battle to overturn the liberal precedents to Congress, where it belongs.
The End of Reforming the GOP
These developments, from the Rand failure in engaging Republican rank and filers, to a potential monumental cave by the leadership on giving the Supreme Court away for another generation, signals the complete refutation of the “save the GOP” model for being “relevant,” or advancing the liberty cause. To those who would bash the third party universe and the grassroots as being “incompetent losers,” despite losing three straight times trying things through the majors, I say: less derision, more relevance. To somebody outside the Paul movement or the LP universe, there is no functional difference between a minor party that is structurally suppressed or marginalized away from winning, and an alternative liberty candidate running in a major party that is structurally suppressed or marginalized away from winning. The outcome is the same either way—we haven’t gotten anywhere, so our vote was ‘thrown away’ in both directions. It’s just taken us longer to notice that the Pauls also had 0% chance of winning.
Lots of changes have to happen, to realistically change that 0% outcome on either end. Indeed one can argue case by case, depending on the campaign, that several national LP candidates made fewer mistakes, and exercised more competence in their campaigns than Rand just did in his campaign. And clearly, the fact that all the other minor parties have had similar struggles, no matter who they ran, or how they ran, indicates the issue is the power elite that dominates the American electoral system.
If there were 100 districts that were specifically gerrymandered for libertarians, and the LP failed to win most of them, yes, perhaps we could concede the main issue was party incompetence. But of course, there are no such gerrymandered districts. The US political order is hardwired for ‘them,’ not for us, and that’s why we keep losing. Until we have a better handle on how to dismantle that order, the fix will still be in against liberty, whether pursued via the minor or the major parties. The entire liberty movement needs to cooperate to foster that end, not wax superior over our pot supposedly being less black than the other side’s frying pan.
“As far as politics are concerned, more than anything else in this world, it is imperative that the establishment elite in Washington, D.C., are dethroned.” —Chuck Baldwin
“The Kingmakers have picked our last bunch of losers. And there’s one loser after another because they were more interested in maintaining their flow of money from the big donors and their cooperation with the Democrats…” —Phyllis Schafly
I stress over and over the factor of disrupting (or at least confronting) the current system, because it really is the overriding factor blocking change. Many liberty activists are hard headed diehards, who still think trying to accomplish things by winning within the GOP is the only realistic path to gaining political influence, respect and unity for the movement. In fact, it was the adopting of that strategy that led to the co-opting and neutering of the movement, as immediately evidenced by Rand’s compromising approach to even stating a liberty position in the 2016 cycle. The temporary ‘influence’ the liberty side gained was not respected at all by the party leadership, who immediately yanked back control of most of the positions the Paulites gained circa 2012. In the end, the GOP is controlled by $25 billion special interest people like Adelson, every bit as much as the Democrats are by $25 billion special interest people like Soros. The takeover has to be of the whole rigged kingmaker process, not one of Hydra’s heads, in order to work and in order to keep the movement united.
By focusing on reforming one party, the movement abandoned the Democrats and Independents who were first attracted to Ron Paul in 2007-8. It also needlessly divided a grassroots that was based on liberty issues, by the top-down edicts that tried change the mission into ‘saving’ the Adelson/Koch controlled party system. Naturally, the liberty base was cut in half, not expanded by the time Rand tried to run, with many of its voters ultimately being co-opted by Cruz or Trump. Through such devices, the current system is designed to marginalize and defeat alternatives, be they operating inside or outside of the major parties. The current system has to be displaced, not worked within, in order for us to get anywhere.
Liberty Solutions: Our Own Cable News Network?
For now, one of the most helpful ways to build a national libertarian infrastructure that can engage mainstream audiences, would be to get a real alternative network on the cable dial (or through syndication), call it “Liberty TV” and promote it as the true remedy to pro-government, pro-war, pro-PC news and commentary stations. BUT FOR IT TO HAPPEN, AND FOR IT TO WORK, AND FOR IT TO NOT GET CO-OPTED:
Cooperation: The entire grassroots liberty movement needs to work with each other, by which I mean both the libertarian or constitutionalist wing, and the patriot or populist wing. Meaning, no sniping at, or put downs of libertarians over being too ‘pure’ or the minor parties as being ‘irrelevant,’ and no sniping at, or put downs of populists over conspiracy or truth advocacy. Programming of both types should be on the channel, possibly from using material already being independently produced (say internet talk show simulcasts, from Ben Swann to Infowars Nightly News, to Michael Rivero’s What Really Happened, to Abby Martin’s Empire Files, and so on). Respectability Napoleons need not apply.
Funding: A consortium or board of mutually agreed upon, grassroots-trusted independent voices should set up the network as a cooperative venture, and control both editorial and financial decisions. This is important to keep the network from being infiltrated by Republican, corporate or neocon operatives who will want to rope the content back within the two-party paradigm and turn it into FOX2. If most of the programming is reused from independent, but existing material, that should minimize costs enough for the channel to be sustained by grassroots donations or (case by case) selected big donors (e.g., Peter Thiel). The board should be committed to NEVER letting folks like the Kochs in as funders, or any advertiser who demands the channel “stop talking about X” as a condition for advertising on the network.
What would the ratings be for such a network, at least at first? Probably abysmal, but it could build from there. The point would not be to be ‘popular,’ but to be there at all. It would not be a for-profit entity, but a cooperative that made sure the average cable viewer had a reliable place to see news from the alternative, liberty perspective. MSNBC gets by with what, 200,000 viewers daily nationwide? Given that an internet based liberty-friendly network like Infowars has an audience of 3 million a day by itself, a cable channel running with re-used Internet show material will be popular enough.
The more things change, in US politics or Hollywood, the more they stay the same, or get tweaked just enough to look new. The release of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, the latest leg of the famous movie franchise drops just as the actual major party Presidential primary contests of the 2016 season are soon to begin, and both carry suspiciously similar elements (beware, some spoilers ahead). Mash-up time: Is the regular electorate finally tired of the mostly phony left-right paradigm at home, and the Phantom Menace abroad constantly foisted on it by the Empire, as its First Order of deception? Are they, in fact, now moving more towards supporting the Resistance?
How Liberty Died
Just to recap what has gone before, on two fronts: The Star Wars/American saga is about a once great democratic Republic (the original, Constitution-based USA, or the Galactic Republic) driven by rational ‘light side,’ peace officer Jedi principles of the rule of law, limited government and non-aggression, was taken over by the Empire, a predatory and tyrannical order driven by the war-mongering Sith (or the NWO), who are emotionally committed to the ‘dark side’ goals of total government and total, “unlimited power!” The constitutionalist Jedis see the whole world as embued, in varying shades of grey, by the Force (with all having access to God’s indwelling light, and rights), while the globalist Siths view things in war-mode, Manichean black and white absolutes, where all parties not loyal to them are deemed the enemy and must be destroyed.
The first SW movie trilogy chronicled the restoration of the Resistance to fight the Sith’s total state tyranny. But it was the later ‘prequel’ trilogy that spelled out the true mechanics of the struggle, as it depicted how the ambitious politician Palpatine (or in our world, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt and the rest of the authoritarian gang) could fear-monger, double deal and false flag an entire Republic into ultimately surrendering their liberty, checks and balances on power, and pretty much everything else, “with thunderous applause.”
Have the Jedi Vanished?
Since that time, on both the big screen and in life, there have been ‘new episodes’ where the Resistance started to emerge, be it called the Goldwater movement, A New Hope, Morning in America, Return of the Jedi, or the Ron Paul revolution. In fact, the plots have been curiously similar. A New Hope was about an evil dude dressed in black trying to retrieve some critical info from the Rebels, only the data has been stored inside a cute droid, who escapes to hide on a desert planet. The droid meets with the main protagonists, who end up blasting their way off the planet together by flying the Millenium Falcon. From there, they wind up working with the Resistance, becoming more aware of the ways of the Jedi and more comfortable battling the Sith-controlled tyrants. A daring plan is devised to destroy the enemy’s new Death star, where a daring rescue is also to be made, and where a tragic death of a main protagonist occurs. Meanwhile, The Force Awakens is about—hmmm, the same thing, word for word. The more things change…
The only divergence between the reel world and the real world is that while the good guys win some battles on both fronts, the Sith/Empire/First Order globalist forces keep winning the war in the modern world. The quick version of the real world script goes, conservatives promise major change towards restoring limited constitutional government in every national election, then get elected and after that, nothing happens legislatively. No one has found a way to blow up the big government Death Star, or repeal any major program, and no Skywalker has emerged to reverse the advance of the New World Order. Worse, the entire Hegelian “problem, reaction, solution” false flag apparatus of fear by which the Palpatines of global empire keep the masses and systems in line, trundles on intact despite being exposed as such many times. It’s as if the last Jedis of liberty never existed, or have long since disappeared.
Or, did Luke vanish for a reason, both in fact as well as fiction? The new movie suggests he has a plan, perhaps involving the training of a new generation of Jedis, the full dimensions of which are not yet disclosed. With the Rand Paul campaign now poised to be probably defeated (which would be the third big liberty movement defeat in three election cycles), perhaps it’s time for the good guys to take a similar sabbatical, to work on a plan that works. In the absence (or ineffectiveness) of our Jedis, what the movie (and life) displays are a host of conflicted new characters, some just becoming aware of the evil or excess of the Total State (Finn), some being unaware of their latent power over the Force (Rey), and some trying to deal with their turn to the dark side (Kylo Ren).
Which is the Master, and Which is the Apprentice?
While some comparisons are not completely exact, life at times does copy art. The growing disillusionment of the masses with the Mideast wars, the frustration of rank and file GOP members with the party leadership and their lack of policy achievements, and the exhaustion they have with the mainstream media’s non-stop PC bullying (designed to cow them back into compliance) appears to be leading to a mass resistance against the Order. This non-, or anti-establishment rebellion started most recently with the Ron Paul campaigns of 2008 and 2012, with the Tea Party gains since 2009 to present playing its part, but has reached a crescendo with the outsider posturing of candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ben Carson in the current GOP primary race. Since each of these persons arguably have been previously associated with the Stormtrooper establishment, they can be said to be the ‘Finns’ of the real world at this time.
Note these individuals are certainly not themselves Jedis—the ‘Rey’ character of this election cycle is clearly Rand Paul, who has shown the potential of using the Force, yet currently lacks the training or commitment to fully represent the light side like his Jedi father Ron. But these Finns of the campaign have each found a way to engage the frustrated mass sentient of their non-establishment supporters that the darkside-dominated political leadership—including the GOP’s—must be confronted, deflated, and replaced. Which brings us to the ‘Kylo Rens’ of the current saga, embodied by creatures ranging from the Sith neocon robots Rubio and Jeb, to the Democrat “alternative” in the form of that blood-soaked battle axe named Hillary, to the regime’s would-be financial controllers—the Adelsons, Kochs, or other sultans seated at the corporate militarist, AIPAC and bankster table. Indeed, it’s hard to tell at times which one is the Sith apprentice, and which one is a full Master, as their agendas are so much in lock step.
The Force is Not Strong With This One
The GOP primary tragedy of 2015-2016 remains the ineffectual Rand candidacy, which I had such high hopes for six months ago. Why have the Finns been able to reach the anti-establishment voting bloc with their themes, while Rand has not with his correct, coherent pro-liberty approach, and actual anti-establishment positions? Well, to the public, Trump appears to have resolve, while Rand does not, when it comes to resisting the PC framework, and plainly prioritizing topics like the impact of immigration. Forget his compromising rhetoric on foreign policy—Rand hurt himself more when he pandered to the left to avoid the “racist” control word smear, backed away from his stance on the Civil Rights Act, and caved when the media pushed the “he’s sexist” smear line once he challenged the loaded questions he got from women reporters in earlier interviews. Compare this to Ron Paul NOT caving on non-intervention when Giuliani tried to bully him into ‘apologizing’ for it.
That, plus his lack of urgency on cultural issues in general, sent the signal that Rand wouldn’t get things accomplished as President, because he’d cave or backpedal to the PC drumbeat whenever push came to shove on each of these fronts. That’s why policy details have taken a back seat in this campaign to the “won’t back down” posture. Proposed policy means little if the framework supporting the existing policy goes unchallenged. Rand has appeared to back down from, or to avoid even engaging the establishment, on too many fronts.
To get anywhere with the Sith Lords, you have to address their emotion-mongering. Until we run candidates who are the liberty voice of emotion as well as reason, we’ll keep losing. It’s like the game rock-paper-scissors, where reason is the rock, paper is emotion and scissors is pain. Ron and Rand can run on the rock of reason and peace, but demagogic emotion (“we’re under threat,” fear, fear fear, more war until we win, etc) will overwhelm it or ‘wrap it’ every time. Two years ago, when the war hawks tried to crank up a war on Syria with phony claims Assad had launched a chemical attack, the world turned off the drumbeat by flatly calling the claim a scam, and standing firm—and so we must do again.
We have to confront the emotional pro-war framework papering over the truth, by rejecting the premise behind the framework—we have to say NO, we’ve been lied to, there is no real threat, ISIS/Al Qaeda are CIA created enemies, the War on Terror is a fraud to justify empire building the US had already long planned to do. The “we’ve been lied to” meme can act as scissors to cut through the emotionalism, and break the spell the War party puts on everybody with each new false flag. The pain of realizing you’ve been conned (the “it’s a trap!” syndrome) is known to wake people up, so they can hear reason again. But if Rand won’t call the war whoopers on their latest fraud, the emotional pro-war narrative will continue to stand, and smother reason.
By contrast, in terms of standing up to the Empire, Donald Trump’s campaign has had a net positive effect in the primary race. The truth is, several bad positions aside, Trump has done most of the things Rand SHOULD have done in the race—energized an anti-establishment sentiment among the GOP rank and file, stood up to the MSM’s bullying tactics and challenged their cult of self-importance, threatened a third party run for leverage (to keep the leadership from rigging thngs), destroyed the Bush campaign and neutralized the Koch/Adelson coronate-a-new-puppet machine, pushed cultural issues to the forefront of Republican discussion (instead of more warmongering), etc.
These outcomes represent progress, as they are thematically beneficial to liberty. If Rand couldn’t or wouldn’t produce them, the fact remains the party that did accomplish them should be appreciated, and that the electorate that wanted this done was, and still is gettable. What has been established is this vote can’t be gotten merely based on “positions,” even if they are the correct ones, and are directly non-establishment. A real sense that action will be taken on them, as currently evidenced by exhibiting resolve under PC fire and confronting the mainstream framework, appears to be the formula to engaging this voting bloc. Concentrating on this is focusing on the target, while baiting and carping about Trump’s drawbacks is majoring in the minors.
A Return of the Jedi Pathway
Rand’s best pathway for victory at this point is to flat out win, surge style, the Iowa caucus, to create the momentum he needs to win other February contests, and to get the “Rand can’t win” monkey off his back. This can work if the evangelical vote gets split enough between Trump, Cruz and Carson to Rand’s advantage, and if Rand can get the youth and independent vote out to the maximum extent (note that the college kids will be present and not away on holiday break, as with the past two IA caucuses). It would have been better if Rand had challenged mainstream frameworks or pursued a multi-party line fusion candidacy to give him more leverage, but absent that, this ‘win Iowa’ or win something early emphasis would be his last best bet.
It would also help if Rand would start triangulating Trump, instead of renouncing him over the next month. A large reason why Cruz succeeded in getting some of Trump’s vote was his triangulating the Donald, which assured those voters he was on their side, whereas Rand disengaged himself from those voters by attacking Trump. For that matter, it would serve Rand to start triangulating Cruz as well, since the media (and Trump) will be beating Cruz up. Rand could say “Cruz’s critics are out to lunch, he’s on the right track, but here’s the best way to proceed…”
This will be payback for Cruz triangulating Rand over the last few months (when Cruz stole Rand’s positions, he was mainly paying his respects to Rand, by trying to show liberty voters they could turn to Cruz to see their views represented). When Rand steals his own voters back, that should give him the extra edge he needs to keep on winning or placing high in successive primaries.
It is indeed instructive that even a “slithering weasel” like Cruz, who is disliked by both the media, and other Senators, has also been doing better than Rand. Compare the outcomes: Cruz triangulated Trump, thus he is now in first place in Iowa and second place nationally, with strong inroads made with engaging Trump supporters. Whereas, Rand attacked Trump, thus he is struggling in Iowa and nationally, with no inroads made with engaging Trump supporters. That’s why Rand is still losing. Cruz has too many wrong positions, but he has played Trump perfectly.
The Finns are, ultimately, not the enemy, the Siths are—so Rand should be focusing on beating the latter. These suggestions represent the best map for the Senator to be fighting them, while there’s still time in this election cycle. There, Jedi Rand, I am giving you your light saber, now let’s get this started! Roll credits.
Double Hmmmmm. It appears the ISIS related terrorist mayhem in Paris in the Charlie Hebdo attack in early 2015 was just a warm up for the ‘main event’ November Paris attacks of Friday the 13. The latest tragedy included multiple restaurant and theater shootings, along with suicide bombers, and a few convenient “this is for Syria” shouts, just to make it clear to the public to connect the attacks to next Muslim country on the War Party’s hit list. You guessed it: just as the Hebdo event appears coated with covert intelligence signs that it was a false flag, so too do the current attacks smack of heavily orchestrated propaganda.
Adding it Up, or Not
Consider, as usual, the things that don’t add up, a tell tale indicator of black ops at work. Why, oh why, if the ISIS terrorists are sooo into advancing their agenda to gain acceptance for their ‘caliphate’ territory in the Middle east, that they perform very heinous acts just in time for important scheduled geopolitical events like the Vienna meeting over Syria, and the G20 conference in Turkey, where world leaders can be physically present, or right on hand to plan and resolve to defeat them? How does it help their cause for ISIS to make it as easy as possible for countries to publicly condemn them? Why, if you’re ISIS, and your booty is currently and most severely being kicked by Russia in Syria, do you proceed with an attack on civilians in France, in the first place? If NBC knows where ISIS is currently getting one million dollars a day in new revenue from, why haven’t government agencies shut that down? If these ISIS militants are sooo intelligent, why do they keep leaving behind passports of themselves, so they can be quickly tracked down? And how are these real or fake magic IDs usually surviving intact, in this case despite one owner presumably being blown to bits? Do these guys want to be rounded up and captured?
Most of all, how did radical extremists like this once again turn out to be already on the watchlists of government investigators and bureaus, who already knew about them, yet nobody noticed any of them getting the explosives, AK-47s, etc equipment ready for a big operation? Didn’t any of these “authorities” think it might be important to double up on monitoring them, in light of the upcoming summits? How did the guys get AK-47s in the first place, in France, a nation with just about the most intense gun control apparatus in Europe? For that matter, how did working class Muslims afford to get the RPGs used in the Hebdo massacre? And, in another tell-tale sign of orchestration, there were anti-terrorism drills (“exercises”) taking place the same day as the Paris attacks. Ah, just another “coincidence,” like local Paris Jewish community centers who were somehow warned in advance, or like the pre-meeting US and French intelligence officials held just before the attacks (to finalize the false flag?). As I said at the beginning, hmmmmmm.
What’s the Bottom Line?
Then look at the things that do add up, from the point of view of cui bono. As usual, Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com sums up the real War Machine agenda:
“The Paris attacks are the signal for full-scale Western intervention in Syria, a “pitiless war,” as French President Francois Hollande put it, and the US is likely to follow in his wake. This will achieve another longstanding Israeli goal: the interposition of a substantial Western military force between Israel and its enemies. (Although the Israeli far right doesn’t necessarily agree.)
What we are looking at is a Western expeditionary force aimed at smashing the Islamic State, occupying Syria, and imposing a “negotiated settlement” of the civil war. The outlines of this have already been drawn with the negotiations between the US, its allies, the Russians, and the Iranians. The coming massive Western intervention is designed to counter Russian and especially Iranian influence on the outcome: the Paris attacks couldn’t have come at a more convenient time.”
What a darkly brilliant, ruthlessly efficient way for the US to finally create a legitimizing pretext to justify its presence in Syria. The US has been trying to oust Assad for years, to put in a pro-Western compliant puppet, using “fighting terrorism” or “he’s gassed or dropped bombs on his own people” charges as a justifying canard. Note how “he’s done X to Y people” never has to be proven, nor the context considered, but the rhetoric is part of the grammar to depose of every ruler the West targets (meanwhile, when the FBI firebombs and uses CS gas on the Branch Davidians, or US troops drop white phosphorous on Fallujah, it’s not spun in “we’ve done X to Y people” atrocity terms). But American attempts to militarily intervene (that is, invade and plunder) Syria have lacked any authorization until now—no UN sanction, no declaration of war from Congress, nor even the unconstitutionally vague “authorization to use force.”
But with the Paris attacks, which French President Hollande instantly christened “an act of war,” the US can now say they are coming to the military aid of a fellow NATO member, as part of our treaty obligations! The conveniently coincident summit meetings (where the leaders all expressed solidarity with France in fighting ISIS) thus serves as “getaway driver” to lock in the legitimacy conjured from air by the false flag operation. This outcome serves to counter the much more legitimate Russian intervention (who actually were invited by the Syrian government) and so sets the stage for the US to negotiate that it be the controlling nation meddling in that country. For the war hawks, what matters is the end result—we can go into yet another state in defiance of their sovereignty, on a “we’ve got to fight back” impulse, and stay engaged indefinitely. The war party never needs to prove anything before intruding, and once there, never wants limits on its excursions. The hawks are deeply behind schedule in invading and taking over the Middle east, according to the plan admitted to by Wesley Clark, and feel this latest gambit is their way to get back on track:
The last shoe that should be dropped on this point is the open secret that the US created and funded ISIS in the first place, as documented in government briefs Judicial Watch forced the release of via numerous FOIA requests. At the G20 summit, Vladimir Putin himself brought up the inconvenient fact that Russian itellingence has concluded that ISIS is funded by 40 different nations (one of them being France!). As recently as this spring US armed forces were caught red-handed dropping off food and supplies to ISIS forces. There’s no evidence that ISIS ever stopped being a US or Western intelligence asset, but much data to suggest they are being quietly assisted in order to serve their purpose of being the lifeline to NWO goals in the Mideast. You don’t really think the military repeatedly leaves behind Humvess and heavy-duty weapons by accident, do you? Below is that no-account US Senator from NY, Kristin Gillibrand (who I ran against in 2010 on the LP line) admitting to We Are Change that Hillary and Co. did in fact foment and fund ISIS in the late 2000’s:
Pretexts and Contexts
Given all of the above, we should definitely cut to the chase and call this out as a false flag, and state ISIS is another puppet enemy, created/funded/trained/equipped by US/UK/Mossad, to justify the war on terror and non-stop meddling in the Middle East. Are the Paris attacks (both Hebdo and this new one) just the latest leg of Operation Gladio? Yup, probably (for those unaware, Gladio was/is a secret program in Europe from the ’80’s, since exposed by government documents, to perform false flag attacks on civilian targets, to convince the public to continue to support NATO in fighting the Cold war, and now perhaps the War on Terror as well). Regardless, we should speak out against both OVERT (military) and COVERT (false flags and black ops) intervention used to keep us drowned in war and empire. Likewise, we should call for restoring the (pre-9-11) classification of terrorist acts as falling under “crime” rather than “military threat” to de-couple these incidents from a geo-political response in the first place. This would prevent people from calling for “war” every time somebody or some group shoots up a local theater, mall etc. Instead, call the police.
Otherwise, as it now stands, every organized act of violence happening anywhere on the earth can be leveraged as an ‘international incident’ requiring a military intervention, or an “aggressive response” conforming to global standards of policing. More and more, those new “standards” increasingly look like the militarized protocols that have led to the increase in police brutality, misconduct, and excessively confrontational tactics we’ve seen hit communities all across America in recent years, with black communities in particular serving as fodder for the resulting lethal engagement. The alleged War on Terror (WOT) has led inexorably to a “black lives don’t matter” consequence, with the latter seeming to serve globalist central planners as “canaries in the coal mine” in an ongoing experiment to see how much ‘militarism in the neighborhood’ the public will tolerate.
The warbots secondarily want to use this incident to achieve associated goals such as ending public access to digital encryption (in the “balancing” of privacy and security, people can’t expect to retain an once of privacy that discomfits our Orwellian masters). They also want to use the latest crisis to push still more no-due-process bulk surveillance, and to force a new wave of unregulated, no-protected-borders immigration unto the red states (over the objections of 30 Governors and states, Obama is sending ten thousand Syrian refugees to mostly Republican states, not to Chappaqua, Hollywood, the upper East side Manhattan, or similar PC fortresses). Some of us wonder why masses of refugees are being sent many time zones away from their native lands, instead of to nearby, more culturally compatible countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the like? Or perhaps those neighbors are already packed to the gills with refugees from the last rounds of US-led invasions in the area?
What is the Liberty Bottom Line?
“Want to stop terrorism?” asks Lew Rockwell in his indispensable blog. “Ron Paul had it right: get out of Muslim countries. Stop bombing. Stop installing dictators. Stop stealing. Stop intervening. Stop killing.” This is simple bottom line, common sense logic, backed up by the actual track record of the last 14 years, not just libertarian principle. Unfortunately, physical attacks, real or false flagged, have a track record of emotionally overwhelming common sense and steamrolling us straight into a new conflict. Despite our knowing that the Afghanistan adventure has been a disaster, Iraq has been a disaster, Libya has been a disaster, et al, a new outbreak of “we’re under attack” syndrome leads to exactly the reaction the pro-war side wants: an impulsive military response, with no limits placed on the engagement.
This could be the grisly calculation made by the false flagging war mongers. The public IS war weary, and wants to elect a President who is not knee-jerk inclined to launch new invasions or bombings (and seems to have the resolve to back it up, hence the appeal of Trump and Carson in the Republican race). So, the War Machine has decided, let’s scare ’em up with new stuff, and make sure to push the shiny new WOT 2.0 threat of ISIS to the point where it overwhelms all past considerations about the above mentioned Iraq disaster, the Afghan disaster, the Libyan disaster, etc. War, as the health of the State, thereby keeps being fed.
When Ron Paul was a principled presence in the last two primary races, and made it clear he would champion peace-not-war no matter what new 9-11 inside job was thrown at us, TPTB didn’t dare start a new war or pull a major false flag in the middle of the race. The elite was always afraid of inadvertantly creating momentum for Paul as the Peace alternative in the Republican race, or possibly as an independent candidate. By contrast, Rand Paul’s GOP-only commitment, and his hesitant criticisms of the war party (including the refusal to confront the main “we’re under threat” premise or framework legitimizing the WOT) has not only not worked tactically, but appears to have provided them the window to resume conducting the very fear-creating covert ops leading to more militarism.
The 20 Percent Solution
Some libertarians look at the wave after wave of militaristic demagoguery, and despair that the problem is “freedom is just not popular.” My response, it doesn’t need to be, as long as enough pro-liberty people are true to it, and to each other. As shown by the American revolution, liberty does not need a numerical majority to succeed. Liberty needs only to be popular with a dedicated minority that is large enough to change the status quo, or to make doing things as usual impossible. The majority is typically conformist, and goes with the resulting flow, with no fiercely held or fixed view either way. A few “give me liberty or give me death” patriots or “religious nuts with guns” (P.J. O’Rourke’s wonderful phrase about the people who founded this country) are all that’s needed to prevail, given the passivity of the general public.
Look at what a handful of “Freedom Caucus” so-called radicals did to shake up the House leadership this past month. Examine, in war-torn countries, how few guerrillas it takes to keep things unstablized, by disrupting the regular routine. Depending on the rules of a legislative body, a handful of people can bottle things up for extended periods of time in order to at least partially get their way.
Most importantly, the other side has succeeded via their minority influence, based on the fierce dedication and organization of the Total State partisans. Neocons started out as just a few Troyskyites writing columns, and grew to take over the right on foreign policy within a generation. Domestic issue socialists likewise wormed almost all the points of the Communist Manifesto into the American system through regulations, liberal courts, controlling the media, bribing voters with subsidies, and through constant dishonest use of language.
So, liberty folks should stop pining for ‘popularity’ that would be ephemeral or passive if even obtained, and concentrate on achieving the perhaps 20% critical mass needed to bring liberty back, via clogging the current system up, then worry about steering the passive majority into conforming to it.