on the Ron Paul anti-war / interventionist movement

8 Sep

A very good article on the principaled opposition to war and empire – led by constitutionalist Ron Paul:

The Emergence of the Anti-war Libertarians

“Now for the second major event, the Ron Paul candidacy, an historic event if ever there was one. The curtain rang down decisively on that effort with the nomination of Romney and the closure of the Republican Convention. But here for the first time since Robert Taft in 1952, there was an antiwar candidacy and more importantly a movement against interventionism. Ron Paul drew thousands of young followers on campuses all over the country with his libertarian message of civil liberties and opposition to war and Empire. And Paul’s message went beyond that of earlier anti-interventionists in the Democratic Party, like Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern. For Ron Paul and his followers opposed not only one war or several but the entire idea of intervention and Empire. Paul took up Martin Luther King’s slogan, “Come Home America,” with a vengeance. By August of this year even Grover Norquist, the politically savvy conservative skinflint, was speaking openly about taking the ax to the military budget. And conservative talk show hosts, many neocons at heart, were behaving politely to Ron Paul, although it irked them, because there are many Paul supporters in their audience and among those whom their advertisers and paymasters want to reach. That is surely a sign of libertarian clout. Ron Paul and libertarianism have become household words.

In New Hampshire in 2012 as in 1968 there were scores of young volunteers for Paul even as there were for McCarthy in 1968. Just a few years ago who would’ve thunk? In fact New Hampshire was a lost opportunity, for had Paul been able to win rather than come in second, his candidacy might have turned into a widespread grassroots insurgency within the Republican Party. But the mass media ignored or attacked Paul as did the neocons within the Republican Party. The last straw was the decredentialing of the Paul delegates at the Convention, or earlier as in Massachusetts, and the last minute ad hoc rules change to prevent Paul’s name from being put in nomination.

Ron Paul, much to his credit, has not endorsed Mitt Romney, thus putting principle over Party. And this was clearly no flash in the pan – Paul ran for president in 1988 on the Libertarian ticket as an antiwar candidate, before the Cold War had ended decisively. 2012 represents a return after nearly a quarter century, still opposed to Empire, but with the Cold War over and a perception that the GOP might return to its anti-interventionist roots. His on-line campaign publication, The Daily Paul, has transmogrified into The Liberty Crier, no longer controlled by Paul, but a vehicle for the anti-interventionist libertarian movement that Paul continues to build.

But the great significance of the Ron Paul effort is that he and his movement bring an antiwar message to the American people in terms of a philosophy and vocabulary that is as American as apple pie. Unlike the progressives, Paul is not asking for Americans to change their worldview but simply to see within that view an antiwar, anti-interventionist policy. That is a much easier task.

When we consider the Paul candidacy and the failure of the progressives to field an antiwar candidate within the Democratic Party, it is not hard to understand the ebullience of a libertarian friend of mine when he says of the antiwar movement, “We own it.” ”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s