Government & Constitution

The future of the GOP
is in libertarian hands

The future of the GOP is in libertarian hands

When you start hearing libertarian arguments from a black Democrat and a Christian mama grizzly in the same week, you know change is on the horizon.

The GOP is in a very promising position right now and they have their libertarian leanings to thank. This is nothing to be frightened of, despite what the old guard might tell you. In fact it’s vital the Republicans double down on these gestures in the lead up to 2016.

After the Romney loss there was much soul-searching. Whether it was talk about winning the ground game with better software or the debates following the RNC’s Growth and Opportunity report.

But the bottom line is it all comes down to hammering home the right philosophy and taking it to the people. The winner these days isn’t social conservatism. It’s certainly not hawkish military adventures.

No, the upshot is in beating back big government. It’s about teaching Americans that big government harms everyone, regardless of demographics.

This shouldn’t be all that hard, seeing as most Americans’ liberty is violated by big government on a daily basis. They just have to come to see it from the right angle.

Last Tuesday, Louisiana state Sen. Elbert Guillory released a video explaining why in May he returned to the Republican party after being elected as a Democrat in 2007.

Sure, there’s opportunism in his flip-flopping. But his appeal to fellow African-Americans came with powerful statements:

“At the heart of liberalism is the idea that only a great and powerful Big Government can be the benefactor of social justice for all Americans. But the Left is concerned with one thing: control. And they disguise this control as charity.”

Then there’s Sarah Palin’s call during the Faith & Freedom Conference that Republicans must listen to libertarians.

“Something more is going on than your garden-variety government corruption… What’s going on says something fundamental about our relationship to our government.”

No big government conservative would want a citizen to reevaluate their relationship to government. That would result in the citizenry realizing the government serves them and not vice versa, which doesn’t suit the motives of the pork-barrel crowd.

Then we have Rand Paul. His filibuster on drone strikes was a turning point. There were two types of Republican responses to it: those who understood it and those who didn’t.

But if the IRS and NSA stories have made anything clear, it’s that Paul wasn’t being paranoid.

Republicans need to run with these small government impulses because the alternatives on offer aren’t pretty. The old guard are proving themselves out of touch.

Sen. Lindsey Graham isn’t just shrugging the NSA stories off – he actually likes them. Sen. John McCain doesn’t like Obama’s approach to Syria, but not because sending arms to the fractious rebels may very well result in arming the next Osama bin Laden. It’s that McCain wants even more involvement.

Does anyone really think these are the guys to reduce government and the now $17 trillion debt?

Of course no purist would label Palin a libertarian standard-bearer. But that’s a poor reason to reject her from the fold.

The key takeaway is that those looking for good GOP publicity are now leaning libertarian to garner street cred. Not too long ago, conservatives wanting to look electable leaned away from libertarian positions. That’s quite the reversal of fortune.

That in itself is cause for celebration. It means the libertarian consensus is kingmaker.

Anthony Furey can be reached via www.fureyonpolitics.com and @anthonyfurey.

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