Another Surprise Endorsement

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In a recent Reflection, I noted that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), son of libertarian Ron Paul (R-TX), caused something of a stir among “movement libertarians” (a phrase rather ironic — sort of like “organized cats” or “conformist rebels”) when he endorsed Mitt Romney, aka the Rich White Mormon.

Even more fascinating is the recent announcement by Wayne Allyn Root that he is resigning from the Libertarian Party’s National Committee to switch to Romney and Ryan — albeit with some understandable reservations: “I don’t deny that Romney and Ryan aren’t libertarians, but Romney is a pro-business capitalist and Obama is a Marxist-socialist.”

He added, “The economy has been trashed. This is about my kids’ future, it’s about my businesses. There is no hope for America if Obama is re-elected.”

Root was the Libertarian Party’s VP nominee in 2008, running with Bob Barr. (Barr has signaled that he, too, will support Romney.)

The move has aroused a lot of criticism. One blogger called Root a turncoat who sold out after a rich Mormon helped him pay off campaign debts. Another said that Root is just angling to take a run at replacing Harry Reid (D-NV, and ironically yet another Rich White Mormon). Root seems to confirm this when he says that he “plan[s] to join Tea Party U.S. Senators like Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Marco Rubio and Mike Lee in the near future, representing the great state of Nevada.”

What’s the old (and probably apocryphal) Chinese curse? “May you live in interesting times.”




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Comments

Jon Harrison

I look forward to your review, Fred. I also reiterate my contemptuous sniff about the belief that Obama is a Marxist.

Gary Jason

Fred, thanks for reading my piece.

For what it's worth, I have always viewed Obama as the most left-wing president we have ever had, hands down, by far. He isn't (in my view, at least) a Marxist or socialist (though by his own repeated admission, those are the professors he cultivated in college). Rather, I view him as a "neo-socialist"--someone who thinks he has a new and improved version of statism.

The neo-socialist aspires not to own the major sectors of the economy (that is the OLD socialism), but rather to completely control by regulation, public intimidation and selective taxation the major sectors of the economy. This allows the neo-socialist to use industry to do his will, but whenever there is failure (as there constantly is when government runs things), the Leader can conveniently blame it on private enterprise ("millionaires and billionaires") and free markets. Witness the mortgage meltdown...entirely caused by massive governmental intervention by Clinton, fueled by easy Fed money and a corrupt Fannie Mae and Frddie Mac--but conveniently blamed on the banks.

And the neo-socialist aspires not to eliminate private property (that is the OLD Marxism), but to redistribute it to people who vote for his party.

People are beginning to see just how left Obama is, but are still unclear how to characterize his mindset.

Dagnytg

Gary,

What you're describing is called Fascism.

Gary Jason

PLEASE!! I get enough angry attacks when I just say "neo-socialist"!!

In truth, fascism generally (and Nazism in particular)is indeed an extreme version of neo-socialism. Hitler did allow continued private ownership of business. But he was (truly, not just in his public speeches) adamently against the profit motive and individual pursuit of self-interest. Instead, he wanted all business activity to flow from a desire to help the Volk. And he put strong constraints on the important industries.

Jon Harrison

You're correct that to Hitler the Volk was all important. "What is life? Life is the nation" he said at the time of Stalingrad, and he meant the German Volk (as a mass) and not the state (the exact opposite of the Prussian conception, by the way).

Regarding the profit motive, however, Hitler (in power, at least) recognized the need for it and did not object to it. He was not "adamantly against" it in private or in practice. I can provide references if you like.

Jon Harrison

The definition of neo-socialist used here is a plausible description of Obama. But then neo-socialism reigns in both parties -- it's just a question of which industry or interest group benefits. The Democrats practice neo-socialism to the benefit of some groups, the Republicans others.

The Clinton and Bush administrations, and especially Bob Rubin and Ayn Rand disciple Alan Greenspan, were big actors in the mortgage meltdown. Had they acted more wisely, the crisis might have been averted. But to maintain that the banks played no part is ridiculous. Try reading "The Big Short". The author actually worked on Wall Street, and is no mere academic pontificator.

Gary Jason

I don't agree neo-socialism reigns in both parties equally, though Republicans are certainly far from pure capitalists.

Regarding the mortgage meltdown, the key elements of the disaster were pushed by Democrats. These include: Fannie Mae; Freddie Mac; the FHA; and especially the Community Reinvestment Act. Al dreamed up and sponsored primarily by Democrats. Bush gave lip service to the "ownership society", but he really did try to pull back Freddie and Fannie, however,both Frank and Dodd opposed him.

More generally, I take it as historically obvious that the major elements of the neo-socialist state--the social security program, medicare, medicaid, Obamacare, AFDC, the major independent regulatory agencies, and the high tax rates--are all Democratic party initiatives. Some liberal Republicans signed on, but that wing of the party is pretty much gone.

Both parties are dirty, but one is soaked in it, and it is the Democrats.

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