Lost Horizonon February 16, 2012 at 12:00 am
The Republican race for the presidency has reached its natural equilibrium, and barring a hilarious celebrity dark horse entering the race (I am a Green and we are running Rosanne Barr. How do I get my dues refunded?), the contest is now down to the Annointed One and Newt Moonbase.
And while NASA now believes that these two are the likely source of the “dark energy” that is tearing our galaxy to shreds, America may yet reap some reward from Ron Paul’s continued tenacity and the platform he stands for. After all, if there is one thing that crosses the international border between the right and left, it’s legalizing pot.
We’ve had three presidents in a row now that have abused–that is to say, used and then of their own free fucking will stopped using– illegal drugs. And if Newt somehow takes the throne, what with his ex-wives dishing stories of dog collars and safe words, it makes sense to believe that Swingrich has a roach or two lodged between his couch cushions too.
So here is where the Libertarian and the Occupier can see eye to eye. It costs money to keep weed illegal. It costs freedom to keep it illegal. What the hell is America getting out of this arrangement? Not a goddamn thing. An unenforceable law has no force of law.
Libertarianism is striving for its place in the sun within the Republican party. Why can’t it triumph? Conservatism is deader than disco, murdered by Bush/Cheney and toe tagged courtesy of the miserable crop of candidates the GOP has chosen to run against Obama. The trickle down faucet has been turned off for good: there will be no right wing Millennium, and no money for World War III either. Aww.
This scarcely comes as a surprise. When have the Republicans ever actually had the scrote to diminish the role of the Federal government?After all, Grover Norquist doesn’t make congressional virgins sign thousand year contracts to shrink the size of government, just its revenue. The only small-government initiative that Republicans will burn more than a calorie pursuing is lower taxes for the wealthiest. As for the programs that our tax money pays for? Hey, if it involves gunfire they can’t shovel the billions at it fast enough.
Ron Paul has long been an aberration in this conservative circus, the only Republican monkey who doesn’t masturbate to the name of Ronald Reagan on command. So when Ron concludes his presidential folly and finally retreats from the scene, leaving the fight for liberties to his Prince of Darkness Rand (who is destined to either sell out or follow his old man into crankdom), I ask you, what will be the libertarian movement’s next play? Who else do they have on the bench?
With Congressman Paul as their Man of LaMancha, the windmills libertarians tilt at have gotten an unusual hearing in 2008 and 2012. Still, you’ll notice that the media, right and left, managed to keep Ron from ever achieving even Flavor of the Week status during this season’s run when even Jon Huntsman, the generic aspirin of the campaign, was given a tip of the hat by the end. Does Huntsman have a cheering section that follows him into the men’s room like Ron has?
So its going, going, gone time at last for a movement still trying to figure out why the corporate power structure they crush on hasn’t managed to parcel out a little air time for Ron in the media universe they own. Oh… unless the libertarians have missed the point of American “free enterprise” entirely?
Libertarians claim to stand against “crony ” capitalism, the evil twin of the “free market” capitalism that would wash America’s sins away if we would but let it. But I invite any libertarian to look over their shoulder, back to the trusts, the monopolies, the plantations, all the way back to the Founding principle that only a landowner could be trusted with the vote. When you find a slice of our history where “crony” does not precede “capitalist”, you let me know.
Libertarianism, in its extreme form, “Movement Libertarianism” as economist Robert Frank calls it, has much that should send anyone screaming from its presence. There is it’s absorption with “free” contracts that would permit the rich to buy the organs of the poor in a spirit of human dignity that only Hannibal Lecter could understand. There is also their forgiveness of foreign slave labor and an exaltation of the largesse of businesses that employ shoeless serfs in Indonesia and Cambodia and Jamaica for less than pocket change but who shrewdly place their bank accounts as far from the lands of their factories as possible.
These pitiless, amoral positions are the reason that libertarianism remains a utopian aspiration in a country like the USA , a nation that is still willing to blow the dust off the diamond of its ethics now and again. And yet, one cannot help feeling attracted (if one recalls the bygone days of the Great American Radical) to a philosophy that seems to want a genuinely smaller State, fewer bombs dropped, and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about open marriage or the Vatican Boy Love Association pissing about contraception clauses in their health insurance contracts.
The libertarian hopes, small as they are, are on the verge of being mothballed while the greater part of the GOP mainstream finishes organizing its circular firing squad. If the libertarians have any plan to genuinely shake up the system I am ready to pop my Orville Redenbacher when they announce. But it sure as shootin’ doesn’t look like they’ve got one, and Sherrif Paul is all mounted up on Ol’ Gold Standard and making for that sunset.